The Gift of Community

Every time I attend, or teach, at a writing conference, I am reminded of the power of community. The interaction, learning, camaraderie, encouragement, and support inspire and propel forward motion. But community isn’t limited to writers. Faith-based, creative, work-related, local, regional, and family-oriented communities enrich our lives.

 

Following are some of the gifts of community:

Accountability

In recent years, I’ve had the privilege of participating in several writing mastermind groups. Not only have I developed lasting relationships with the members, but I’ve experienced accountability. When you say you are going to do something, but don’t have accountability partners, it’s easy to let it drop to the bottom of the list again and again. My mastermind friends encourage and support me. We push each other to stay on track, finish tasks, and move beyond fears. Could you benefit from an accountability partner in some aspect of your life?

Learning and Growing

No matter how old you are, how many initials you have after your name, how many books you’ve published or awards you’ve garnered, you can always learn more. If you isolate yourself, you miss out on the interaction that leads to learning and growth. You rub elbows with those who are experts in areas in which you have no expertise. By immersing yourself in community you avail yourself to those who can direct you to new resources and methods and help you see beyond your current knowledge.

Sharing

Life is often hard, so when you find a group of people who have experienced life challenges, coped with them, learned from them, and are willing to gently guide you through your turmoil, you have found treasure.

Whether a mastermind group, a faith community, or a bond of friendship, having those who listen, provide insight, and support you when you are too confused or weak to move forward, makes all the difference in navigating the tough stuff of life.

Cheering Each Other On

Last week, at the writing conference, I had the honor of hearing my name called for a first place Selah award. However, two of my mastermind gals were sitting with me, along with an editor friend, and they shrieked so loudly I almost couldn’t hear! Later, I was able to cheer for them as their names were called.

On awards night, we all won, but sometimes that isn’t the case. Learning to celebrate with others, even when you are left behind, is a skill that requires patience, love, and putting jealousy aside.

If you are in community with those who cheer for you, weep for you, and pray for you, consider yourself blessed.

Moving Forward

At times, we cannot sustain forward motion in our own strength. God created us with the desire to interact with him and others. While community is a cherished gift, God is our ultimate source of empowerment. Remember to seek him in the good as well as bad times. Allow his plan and vision for your life to direct your paths. As you grow in faith, you will also grow through the gift and blessing of community.

“Let us consider how to inspire each other to greater love and to righteous deeds, not forgetting to gather as a community, as some have forgotten, but encouraging each other, especially as the day of His return approaches” (Hebrews 10:24-25 VOICE).

©CandyArrington

Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, speaker, and freelance editor. She often writes on tough topics with a focus on moving through, and beyond, difficult life circumstances. Candy has written hundreds of articles, stories, and devotionals published by numerous outlets including: Inspiration.org, Arisedaily.com, CBN.com, Healthgrades.com, Care.com, Focus on the Family, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Candy’s books include Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (Bold Vision Books), When Your Aging Parent Needs Care (Harvest House), and AFTERSHOCK: Help, Hope, and Healing in the Wake of Suicide (B&H Publishing Group).

To receive Candy’s blog, Forward Motion, via email, go to https://candyarrington.com/blog/ and scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up.

 

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