What is community…
When you think of the word, community, what comes to mind? Do you think of your town, your neighborhood, or a group of people you are part of? One of the definitions of community is “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” Do you have that in your life? If not, it is so incredibly important to have!
I recently spoke to a church about my own grief story and how vital community has been in my journey. When I first lost my husband almost six years ago, I had a great deal of people I was surrounded and loved by, however, I was missing a true community where I felt truly connected to and had fellowship with. If you have ever been in that place where you felt disconnected, you know the importance of community and how lonely it is to lack a community.
God did not intend for us to do life alone. He made us need and thirst for community. Jesus’ own life was an example of what true community was. He surrounded himself with people he could fellowship with, grow with and they all shared common goals and didn’t lose sight of that.
The journey of widowhood can be a lonely one. It can be full of long days (and nights) of feeling like you are the only one facing this journey and that no one truly understands you. Here at Stand In The Gap Ministries, we always say that no one understands another widow, like another widow and that is why we do what we do. We spend our days working to help churches and organizations to connect with the widows in their churches and communities and equip them to reach and create communities for widows, so widows know they are not alone.
In my journey that I shared, my journey did not end in loneliness. God brought a fellow widow into my life because she followed the calling to reach out to another hurting widow. She walked through this journey with me and I with her. We have been there through the hardships of our journey and we shared things that we couldn’t share with others. We understand each other in a way that others don’t. I didn’t know her before I lost my husband, but now almost six years later, she is one of my closest friends. Not only did we share those hardships, we’ve also been able to share the triumphs and successes of our journeys. We’ve seen each other navigate through dating again and my marriage to my husband. We’ve discussed how to parent kids who’ve faced trauma and we’ve prayed and supported each other. I honestly would not be where I am today without this sense of community and beautiful friendship.
If you are walking the lonely journey of widowhood or just walking alone in life today, please know that is not what God intended or planned for your life. He wants you in community and He wants to surround you with people who understand and will love you through each step of the journey. We are here to support you in helping find that community and please know that no matter how lonely you are or how dire the circumstances seem right now, I truly believe God will bring the right community to surround and support you!
Amy Woody brings her personal experience and passion for helping others to her work with widows. She wants you to never forget you have a purpose and a God-given calling placed on your life, no matter what you've been through! Use your hurt to help others!