Community and Fellowship

It's been too long since I've written a post. This must be remedied.

Right now, I'm enjoying the wonders of being home. It's amazing (I still can't believe my eyes) to see things which are only memories during most of the year. They are right in front of me, I can touch them.

This morning, I went to church and was reminded of how much I love the people there. This past summer, I spent my weeks here wisely. I built relationships, made connections and fell in love with people. That hasn't changed just because I've been gone. Those connections are still there.

Tomorrow, I am meeting a new friend. My friend Rachelle had a baby in my absence and I get to meet her in person. Actually, I did Rachelle's maternity pictures, so I'm eager to see the baby I've already photographed.

Last week, a good friend from Florida called me out of the blue. We haven't talked since August (she graduated last year). We picked up right where we left off and it seemed like just yesterday that we'd talked.

In fact, I've been connecting with all sorts of dear friends lately, from all over the place.

It's amazing to me how God brings people together. We, in His family, are from all backgrounds, all homes and experiences and interests. Still, He is the perfect bond of unity for us.

This is the last week of Advent and I've been thinking a lot about love and waiting (this is the week for that, I didn't make it up). We await Christmas now with a certain readiness, but even though we think we're ready, it's not quite here. A little more must be done first.

It's easy for me to love these people. My church family who readily embraces me, my dear, far-flung friends who connect with me on a deep level, my family, who appreciate me most of the time. But what about the people I run into from my past? What about the connections I wish I hadn't made? The people I spent time with and wish that I hadn't? Some things are better left alone, but others God places directly in front of you.

The Christian community in my hometown is small. You run into people you know, whether you want to or not. I've been around. I have many connections from different times in my life. I've been praying for love for these people. People I know, people I don't know, not just the easy people to love.

Don't get me wrong, my family and friends are not always easy to love. But I'm safe with them. They can hurt me, but I trust them. Many times in the past, I have been hurt by people (who hasn't?). Do I think God doesn't know what that feels like?

As I make myself ready for Christmas, on the edge of my seat for what God is going to do in this upcoming year as I prepare for graduation (though I'm not quite there), I want to be more open to love. I want to love better, but I also want to receive love better, from God and from others.

Merry Christmas!