I’m curled up under blankets typing this to you: my readers. This letter is long over due and my heart is literally bursting at the seams as I type this. If you were here, we’d be snuggled up on the couch, drinking coffee, sharing our stories. But, since the internet world is what connects us, this letter will have to do.
So, here you go. Here’s my heart.
This life is hard (can I get an amen??). Like gut punch kind of hard. Many of you have shared bits and pieces of your stories with me and there are times I sit behind my screen with tears streaming down my face. Because, I see the pain. I get it. I connect with it. I hear the struggle, the fight – and I want nothing more than to scoop you up in my arms and make it all better.
We need each other. We need community. We need a village. Dear God almighty we need to get back to embracing being co-dependent. (Yep, I’m one of those crazies that believes co-dependency can actually be a good thing. A healthy thing. For you Bible lovers, I’ll back it up with scripture)
God himself is co-dependent. He doesn’t do anything outside of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and likewise they don’t operate outside of Him. Three in one. And, we’re made in his image. So, why would we try to do life independently? It goes against the way we’re made. And, if you’ve tried it, it doesn’t work. Lonliness is killer.
I have a small close knit group of people that I trust with my life. Like literally. They have lived life with me for years….some for decades. Every high moment, they share with me. And when life slams me to the ground, they lay down in the mud with me until I find my way out.
THEY ARE AMAZING.
I CAN’T EVEN.
Words cannot express the depth of love I have for these people. They’ve seen my ugly cry. They’ve listened to my crazy rants. They know the depth of me and champion me to the core. (You know who you are. And I love you to pieces)
We ALL need this.
People have been living in tribes, in community, in villages, like FOREVER. It has been a means of survival for centuries.
Yet, even inside our community we fight this need. We push it away. Until the late hours of the night when we can’t sleep (and have eaten way too much ice cream) we get out our computers, phones, laptops, what have you, and we find our village. We collect more pieces of our tribe.
YOU ARE PART OF MY TRIBE.
Can I just say, I love you faithful readers of this blog??!! You are my people. My brain mates. You all are the breath of what I am made to do. Every word you type on here, every response and every comment, I cherish. Deeply cherish. I don’t respond to every comment, but I read them all. I don’t always respond to emails, but I read (and treasure) all of them (so please, keep writing!!).
YOU ARE AN AMAZING BRILLIANT GROUP OF JESUS LOVING MINDS AND I SERIOUSLY WANT TO SQUEEZE ALL OF YOU. ALL THE FREAKING TIME.
I am a listener. I’m a handcrafted listener. If we met for coffee, this is what we’d do: I’d study you, listen to you and capture every word you said. I’d ask questions and listen some more. After processing, I’d respond. It’s how I’m made.It’s how I work.
In many ways, this is what this blog has become for me. A conversation. Every time you comment or email, I take it in. I listen, I study, I process. And then I write. My blogs are often my responses to the conversations I receive from you in connection with the ongoing conversations I’m having with God.
I LOVE THAT. I LOVE THIS RHYTHM.
And in listening, I’ve learned that I have some of the greatest followers there are. Like for real. You are deep thinkers, listeners and learners. You are willing to see Jesus outside of the religious box. You love his spirit, his heart and his passionate, wild love. So do I. And that’s why I love you; and probably why we found each other in this crazy internet world.
We all need community. People who understand and champion us. People who value us enough to value the things that make us who we are – even if those things are different.
You won’t find two minds exactly alike (and what a boring world that would be anyway). But, real community forms when people take the time to study and learn each other. When you learn a person, you will love that person. Because, when you take off the masks, the stereotypes, the social, religious or political differences, you find that we are all very much the same.
We are human. Every single one of us. We all have hurt. We all have stories. We all have hopes. We all have dreams. We all are broken vessels trying to carry on. We all long to be known and connected. This is who we are as the human race.
One of the unexpected surprises from this blog was when I felt that shift happen.
When people of different backgrounds and beliefs sort of came together around this idea of loving like Jesus to those around them. I have received countless emails from people from all different backgrounds and beliefs….and you know what? My heart connected with every single one. There is a heart connection that happens when you expose.
When you let go of what you think people want to hear, what you think you should say/be/do, WHATEVER – when you let all that go and all you’re left with is the human heart, everything becomes so much more simple. We see each other as people. Not as projects. Not as individuals to fix or correct. But just people.
When you begin to see people as people, you gain respect for them. And out of that comes love. Real, authentic love. You begin to look a whole lot like Jesus.
So, thank you for being an extension of my community. My tribe. Keep it up. Keep thinking outside the box and loving fiercely. You all are amazing.
Love you bunches.