There have been hard things before, but I did them alone. I chose that way. It felt safer. I had more control over my emotions and my capacity. I got fewer questions, and I proceeded, me and God. After the fact, even years after the fact, a friend helped me dissect pieces of what happened.

This time it’s different, and I’m noticing the value of it.

When I walked it alone and God’s voice was quiet, He seemed silent. This time when His voice is quiet, a text might come in from a friend with something I hadn’t considered like, “I was praying over this, and it lead my heart to rejoice that _________.” Although my heart was certainly not rejoicing over anything at that point, I would want to be able to turn my heart and say, “Okay God, I am still so sad about this, but thank You for that.”

Community is giving God another access point to my heart.

I’m also noticing there are places my heart can’t get to yet, things I can’t mentally process. But a friend who isn’t as emotionally involved can go there, and I see God leading me through their questions. 

I see my friend pleading with God in ways I can’t yet. I see her praying protection over me that I can’t ask for myself yet. She sees a storyline that I can’t see yet, but she can, and for me, that’s enough. I’ll be able to catch up.

I see the value of community.

It’s still more in my nature to walk it alone. But I’ll choose not to because it would be ridiculous. I’ll ask for grace when I cut off my friends who are trying to be helpful and care about someone who doesn’t accept care very easily. I thank God for their sacrifice in walking beside me.

I believe community matters. Not for the egg dishes that someone brings to Bible study, but because when we have been forged through the years together, God begins to speak to us through our friends when we can’t hear Him ourselves. They can pray the things we can’t pray yet. I see them holding up my arms. I can see tangibly what that looks and feels like. Recently it feels like my feet aren’t even carrying my full weight. 

There will be days where I won’t need to be held up with as much effort by my people, hopefully sooner than later. But for now this is hard and that’s okay. I am glad I’m not fighting alone.