You see, in college I had many communities readily available; so many clubs and classmates and roommates. I happened to live with 3 amazing women for my last 2 years on campus, and we foraged through real Christian community together. We ate together, prayed together, shared our lessons and trials and tears together. We learned how churchy buzzwords like accountability actually work when we talked about cleaning duties, or when my roommate would scream “cockblock!!!” outside my bedroom door when my fiancé was over visiting.
And then we all left.
We all moved, for various necessary reasons, all over the city. Then we all moved even farther, and today my 3 beloved housemates live on almost opposite ends of the continental U.S.
And the lessons I learned about community faded without the immediate presence of those I called closest. Was I an out-of-sight, out-of-mind friend? What did community mean at such a distance? In college I dreamed of having other women friends and married friends in the town I settled, friendships that would be filled with neighborhood justice and meaningful conversation and chic soirees. An extended and grown-up version of my housemate community.
But reality is hard, isn’t it?
I need to confess, cyberspace. I almost never call my closest friends, the women I miss so deeply. I do not invite couples to dinner or women to go out. I barely browse online for things to do and then make the choice to stay home and ‘be productive’ or ‘rest from work,’ because in reality cultivating community and a social life is intimidating and hard. I was excited about the neighborhood community I moved to last year; I only know 2 of my neighbors.
Yet I read websites and blogs about the perfect dinner party, community activism in your neighborhood, how to garden organically. But no action.
So let this be a commitment I make, and a call to action for all young women out there. I will make the phone calls. I will host that barbecue. I will learn to garden, learn to make foster new friendships, and learn to fall on my face. I will at least try to find what it means to be young and Christian and active in a community that doesn’t make that easy for me.
Come with me.
Be a part of my community. Because we are all finding out what it means to be who we are, where we are. And we can learn from each other.