Personal Growth, Stories
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Are You Experiencing Community as it was Meant to be?

-written by Betsie Richards

“Joe’s here.”

That’s all the text from my sister said, but that’s all it took to calm my nerves for the moment. My mom’s IV pump wasn’t working correctly and it’s hard not to panic when the medication keeping your Mom’s heart going isn’t getting there.

In all honesty, we had minimal training on the home equipment we were given. But I knew who to call, part of my “tribe” if you will. Joe beat me to my parents’ house with two of his kids in tow. He had everything working correctly before I even got there. This was in addition to answering the (likely) thousands of texts I had sent him in the previous six weeks.

“Bets, you have good friends.”

Mom said this to me repeatedly during her hospital stay. She knew this because they came and sat with us, prayed with us, brought food, rolls of quarters, offered their homes, slipped cash into my hand or purse, sent constant encouragement, and even came to the hospital to visit during those weeks. My sister’s coworkers sent a care package. My new coworkers sent bags of goodies to the hospital with me. My small group prayed for my family, for me. My best friends from college came and sat with us during one of mom’s surgeries. My friend Christi, who has been my friend since 4yr old pre-k, brought dinner one night after I called her crying about my daddy needing a cheeseburger. Our family friend Amanda came and spent most of Mom’s last day with us at the hospital; I found out later she missed a meeting to be with us. There are more stories, but this blog would be far too long. Our family and friends, our “community” sustained us during this time. They held us up in prayer. Sometimes they literally held us up physically. We couldn’t have made it without them.

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Being part of a community sometimes means you do the work; sometimes it means you humble yourself to allow your community to work for you. I can’t begin to express how much it ministered to me and my family to have our “community” surround us and hold us up during these last few months. Just knowing people were praying for us gave us strength. Having so many stand with us the week we lost not only Mom but our family friend Aaron, was a comfort we can’t describe. We never felt alone.

I give all these examples to make one point, one you’ve heard before if you’ve been at SoHills more than once: We belong to each other.

We are built for community. We need each other. Romans 12:4-5 says, “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.”

We belong to each other. To encourage, to inspire, to hold accountable, to listen, to cry with, to laugh with, to learn with, to grow with. We have to work together for the whole to properly function. Everyone has to do their job or there are pieces missing. More than this, everyone has to be present or there are pieces missing. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s enough to skirt through on the sidelines. You will never experience the fullness of the body of Christ on the periphery. Despite the sacrifices it presents, despite the time commitment; join a small group, join a bible study, start volunteering. Community is satisfying; it’s encouraging; it’s what we are meant to be. Learn to love recklessly.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. – Proverbs 27:17,

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. – Romans 12:10

Betsie has been attending SoHills for nearly 20 years. You may have seen her serving on stage with the band, but she also serves behind the scenes with the Women’s Committee. She loves spending time with her family and friends, watching her niece play softball, her nephew play basketball, and any moment possible at the beach.

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