I grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In Lancaster, I have a great church, wonderful friends, awesome community, and the most amazing support system that a girl could wish for. I love the dear, dear friends that I have there. I love the breakfast dates where we challenge each other in our lives, our relationships, our faith. I love that I can call someone when I need to talk, or when I need someone to really ask me how I am doing, or to keep me accountable. I miss being that intimately connected with other people’s lives. When I joined the Navy, the first place that I was stationed was Charleston, SC. I loved living in Charleston, and I had a great church and small group, and there was some good community there. Not as much as in Lancaster, but that level takes time to build. Then I moved to Norfolk, VA.
God handed me exactly what I needed in Norfolk. I had a church in Norfolk where every single Sunday, the pastor preached about exactly what I needed to hear. It’s like he had my brain wired and every single sermon was exactly what God was trying to beat into my head throughout the week or on an issue about which I had been struggling. In Norfolk, I found the older Christian mentor about whom I’ve been praying for so many years. Older, wise, kids out of the house, limited work hours, available for lunch on the spur of the moment. Terri was wonderful, and I miss her dearly. In Norfolk, I lived with two fantastic Christian girls, one of whom has been a dear friend for many years. Together, we challenged each other, knew what was going on in each others lives, asked the hard questions, were there to comfort through hard times, and were available to laugh, cry, have ice cream, or watch cheesy indian movies whenever that was necessary. And in Norfolk, I had an amazing counselor. She wouldn’t let me hid from the issues I was dealing with. She wouldn’t let me shove things into a box. She forced me to look at what God was trying to teach me, to sit in my proverbial meadow and listen, to grow closer to Jesus. She was amazing.
Now I live in San Diego. In San Diego, I have a few good friends, a couple of friendly acquaintances which may develop into friendships, no Christian friends who really know me, no church yet, no small group, no community. I have been realizing that I really miss this community, and my life is missing something important without it. But I’ve been getting glimmers of it, here and there. Mostly related to my dog. The same group of people are at the dog park every morning, and I’m starting to see that community. I just started running with a running buddy and am starting to see that community. There are tons of them, and I don’t know how to find them. I feel like God is trying to tell me something, or show me something, and I’m not sure what yet.
How do you find community where you live? When you move? What community is most important to you?