Last week, I welcomed people into my beautifully flawed home in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs.
Last year, I spent most days after my summer internship wallowing in the fact that I couldn’t find community. That same community that I had experienced over my summer away. No matter where I showed up, I wasn’t content.
But that’s what I wanted. I wanted to just show up. I wanted to show up and people to be excited and on fire for Jesus. I wanted our hearts to immediately be aligned and for common ground to just be laid out in front of me. My job is often times to lead people, and I wanted my community to come easily. I wanted it to be little to no effort, easy to integrate into, and people to have a willingness to show up and be messy on the spot.
A year later, after another summer away, reality set in and my heart was burdened for community in this city. This time I knew that I was going to have to take a little more initiative.
It hurt me to see people ranging from college aged to young adults show up at my church, but not stick around because there wasn’t a place for them to come as they were and connect with people who would say “me too”.
I knew that running around in circles, trying to find community to just show up to, wasn’t going to happen. I had been trying for three years to just slip in somewhere, and I wasn’t about to waste a fourth year chasing after disappointment. After praying and dreaming, I felt it in my heart that I was gifted with this home to invite people in. My house is literally in the center of Colorado Springs. I’m in the heart of it, not slightly North, South, West or East. If God wasn’t clear about telling me I needed to be in the middle, in the thick of it, He was certainly clear now.
My dream was ultimately for community to become real, even if this wasn’t the way I first imagined it.
Tuesday night, my dream was more real and beautiful than I could have ever imagined it. People came through the door with toddlers and babies, single and dating, those new to the area and those new to my church, those not even attending my church. Our common ground, being Jesus, made it easier to pray, eat, and converse with each other.
I had a mason jar, that had four pieces of paper in it with questions printed on them. We ended up opening the jar and pulling out a question, it read
“what have you had to learn the hard way?”
Taxes, how to change a tire, traveling, how to raise children, how to cook and not burn the food…but one answer created a ripple effect.
“I have to continue to learn every day that things aren’t always about me.”
The responses echoed because someone’s willingness to be vulnerable allowed others to agree.
As I closed the door that night I sighed a sigh of relieve, of anxious nerves that left my body and I collapsed on my couch surrounded by chairs where my friends sat that night. I was so thankful. I still am so thankful that people felt comfortable to come as they are, and they stayed.