A few years ago, I learned a new way God uses our brokenness. He uses our brokenness to develop community! How can that be? A few years ago, I went through a period where my seizure disorder bloomed from an occasional early morning break-through seizure every 7-10 years, to monthly and even weekly seizures at all times of the day!
Medications were changed, treatments were changed, an epileptic specialist was seen regularly but nothing was changing really…at least not for the better!
People were offering to take me places when needed, (I wasn’t allowed to drive of course) but I hated to ask. They were busy, so I would try to work errands around my husband’s (also busy) schedule. One day, through the fog of medication, it dawned on me that my pride and arrogance was showing…big time! (I think the “dawn” was the Holy Spirit being very frank with me.)
Here were all these people who loved me, offering help that I needed desperately…but was too proud to accept. I thought I knew better than God about who should be allowed into the inner circle of my life. But He did not let up. Soon I started asking people for the help I needed. True to form, they were glad to help and give my husband a break. I think he was struggling under the weight of my demands and the responsibilities of his job.
I did NOT like being in the position of needing help…AT ALL! I wanted to be the helpER, not the helpEE!! It was humiliating to need help from others.
How did all this help community? I had to come to the end of myself and learn to ask for help, sometimes more than once. I had to learn to give grace to people who couldn’t help me when I needed it…because it just was not possible at that time. I got to know people I never knew before by accepting the grace they offered me in the person of themselves and their time.
Do I have room to grow in this area? YES. But I encourage you to think of your trials as a way to contribute to community. You will learn things about yourself that will show you how to live in community with others in such a way as to develop community with them. It takes two to build community. THEY are not always the reason community fails. I am often the contributing factor as well.
Are you wondering why there isn’t closer community in your church or circle of friends? Look at yourself first. How do you respond when others try to help you? Are you as willing to accept the gifts of their time and themselves as you are to give them?
It is very humbling to receive those gifts from others…particularly when you realize the cost to them. But those experiences that cause us to be more humbled are good for us…and for those with whom we live in community.
Please share examples of the times your brokenness or the brokenness of others has helped break down walls and helped build community in your family? in your church community? in other parts of your world?