I hear a lot of talk about community, and to be honest, most of it goes over my head. I don’t do community very well. As I mentioned yesterday in my post at Michelle’s, we don’t belong to a church. Language barriers separate me from most of the people I come into contact with on a daily basis. And, I have to deal with the whole introvert issue (I am one). All this to say, community and I should probably be in therapy.
However, as I pursue new paths–harder, scarier, poorly lit paths–I recognize the importance of having others come up alongside me and throw an arm around my shoulder. We need fellow travelers, friends and family and lifelong loves, to stand with us. To smile us through the sunny patches. To laugh us through the hard ones. To pray us through the impossible.
My list starts with God and I work my way down from there. My husband of sixteen years, he of huge patience and great faith, is next on the list. The husband is good with directions and packs a suitcase like a jigsaw puzzle. As a bonus, he likes to cook and he fancies himself capable of indefinite wilderness survival with only a knife and a piece of string. He’s a good guy to keep around when I inevitably get lost and find myself in a muddle. After God, he’s my most reliable compass.
To this list, I add in all the people I love who help me see more clearly, who encourage, walk beside, lift up, advocate, understand, pray, or make me laugh. I have different travelers for different journeys. It’s important to know this and to accept not everyone in your life is fit for every path you take. Every Friday this month, I want to introduce you to some of the people walking home with me. Fellow travelers, who in one way or another, help me in my journey. I think they will help you too.
One last word on travelers–sometimes you’ll find they arrive uninvited. I used to believe these folks functioned as secret agents of the devil, or at the very least minions of annoying proportions. I’ve since discovered, God often gifts us with these people. The difficult ones, the ones who threaten to pull our eyes off of the path, the ones we need to pray for and change for, the ones we need to love more—these people are essential to our growth. Our paths cross with a purpose and often that purpose involves a tree bearing something called the fruit of the spirit. Difficult people help produce good fruit.
Tomorrow, a friend and fellow writer will join us on the journey. She’ll be writing about facing the unexpected and the ugly–when you walk along a seemingly safe path and instead find yourself standing over the edge of a cliff. You don’t want to miss what she has to say.
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