okay, i know i may sound redundant with this whole ~community~ thing and you’re probably extremely tired of me talking about my people, great people, or the importance of finding good people. well, i’m here to tell you i’m here to not stop talking about it. community is one of the greatest gifts we have from God. i have been apart of all sorts of different communities. i have been friends with the people who are widely known for gossip. i have been friends with people who look a lot like Jesus. and i have also have found myself in the in between, you know, the group that does a little bit of both. now, i’m not here to encourage you to find a community that is perfect, because there is no such thing. when you find yourself in community, you are willingly coming together with other imperfect people who need grace just as much as you do; however, i think it is important to find a community that strives to root one another in love and truth. so, what draws your community together? is it sin or something that makes each and every one of you better?

about two weekends ago, it was one of my best friends birthdays. and let me tell you, this dude is some sort of master at bringing everyone and anyone he comes in contact with together. he simply enjoys making all of his friends feel so loved, and i am beyond grateful to call him friend. as one of his love languages is giving to others, it only makes sense that he has given me some of the greatest people to call my friends as well. in celebration of his birthday, friends of his from all over the map came together and i was so blessed to be apart of it. we went out to his lake house and we had incredible times. we played games for hours on end, while not even thinking about touching our phones. why? because in those moments, it felt as if we had everything we ever needed right there. we had love. and it wasn’t just love, but we had Godly community rooted in love. that is irreplaceable. we had laughs, we had serious moments, we had heartfelt moments, and we had a little bit of sarcasm per usual. nonetheless, there was something so magnificent that i felt in my heart, but i couldn’t quiet describe it. all i felt was an overflowing heart that beamed with joy because i knew i had this group of people to stand with, walk with, run the race with, and rejoice through life with.

i sit back and laugh because some of these people i have only known for about 4 months, while some i’ve known for years, and some i literally met the weekend of feb. 4th. however, God somehow has filled all these gaps that most friendships would come with. you know, the backstory that comes with all of us. our baggage, our testimonies, our struggles, along with our strengths and weaknesses. it is as if i have know these people my entire life. it’s wild, to say the least. the chemistry between this special community is indescribable, but i can stand firm in the fact that this community was an answer to prayer for me. as i have gotten older (says the 19 year old HA), the Lord has allowed me to see the importance in surrounding myself around people who love Him. why? well, because if they love Him well, they will  you well. they will love everyone well, and who doesn’t wanna be stirred up in love?!? i was sitting with one of my friends late one night and asked an honest question. i’ve always wondered if God wants us to give give and GIVE some more to people who don’t give in return, and love others who don’t love us well even harder, or in fact does he want us to do the complete opposite? does He intend for us to surround ourselves with any and every community, even at the risk of hurting our own heart, but expanding the kingdom? it all seems quiet a bit controversial and paradoxical if you ask me, so that’s why i asked someone else. i was thankful that her response also held confusion, but we worked through it the best we could. it came down to this:

we are apart of a royal priesthood and loved by a father with an indescribable love.

we DESRVE a glimpse of that love through the people we surround ourselves with

there is no harm in loving others, for if we love God, we love all of His people

however, who you let in matters because your heart matters!!!!

so, all in all, it seems important to allow yourself to be in a community of people who build you up, because if we are not constantly encouraged, we will have nothing left to give. we will be empty vessels. life is meant to be spent with people who are broken just like you, but who are focused on running the same race you are. people who are focused on the Kingdom, people who are focused on loving and redeeming others. life is about choosing things that grow you closer to Jesus, and rejecting things that draw you farther from Him. and let me be the first to tell you if you have not heard already; a broken, shattered and distracted heart can be destructive against your relationship with the Father. find the grey rule in your life, and i promise you can still go and reach the black and white.

so, if there was a point to any of this, it was that there is mighty strong power in finding a community focused on Jesus. there is freedom in being around people who love you for as you are, and it is a freedom that will allow you to run your race as unapologetically YOURSELF forever. there is WILD goodness in night air, good conversation, and a sky full of stars. i even believe moments as simple as that can heal almost any wound. there is SIGNIFICANCE in good community, because the more you all become more like Him, the more work you all can do for the Kingdom. there is beauty in surrounding yourself with people who see your worth in Christ, and nothing else, because when you need to be brought back to life, they will be there to light your way. REMEMBER: love is soft, kind, and understanding. settling for anything else will cause you to lose the fire that ignites your soul. love is freedom. love is truth. love is Jesus. so, let’s surround ourselves with people who remind us of Him.

and a big thank you to the people who remind me of Jesus. you all are an answered prayer. i’ve prayed for a community like this for what feels like forever, and it an absolute honor to watch you all love hard and walk in Christ. i know what loving like Jesus looks like because of  you all. thank you.



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