Today’s topic is close to my heart as I truly believe that living in tight community with others is a crucial component in our fight for joy. God created us to be relational beings. It’s rooted in the fact that we are created in the image of God, who is triune and relational Himself. We aren’t meant to walk alone. As we live life together and share in each other's joys and sorrows, the fellowship and encouragement that we experience brings such help, comfort, and joy.
Living in tight community with others through the ups and downs of life is something that we really value as a family. We have worked hard to create it and find our "tribe" wherever we have lived. But I have to say, when Jackson died, we understood it and experienced it on a whole new level. We were so blessed and helped by the amount of comfort, support, and encouragement that our community surrounded us with when we were absolutely overwhelmed with sorrow and pain. And, our strong community continues to be here for us in such meaningful and helpful ways as we continue to keep pressing forward in grief.
This brings me to my guest today, Jodi Nemec. Jodi is one of my best friends and her family is an important part of this strong community...an important part of our family's personal community. They are some of the people that we most closely live life with here in town. They value living in community with others just as deeply as we do, so its a blessing to have this conversation with her. I think you’ll love hearing her story of how their family changed some major aspects of their life in order to live more closely and more intentionally with others. We also try to give you a glimpse into what living in community together has looked like for our two families (both before and during our grief journey) as well as some practical ways that we hope you can further expand your circle, or deepen the one that you already have.
As you listen, I hope you are reminded that you aren’t meant to walk through life alone - that building a sense of community wherever you are is worth the hard work, the challenging times, and the long-term commitment. Don’t be discouraged if you don't feel like you are a part of a tight knit community yet…it’s not too late. You can start now! Even in the midst of social distancing there are ways to connect and create community. We even share a little bit about that towards the end of our conversation. I hope this episode reminds you, or begins to help you see, that BOTH in good times and bad, living in tight community, and being purposeful about being known and knowing others is such an important, practical, and life-giving tool in the fight for joy.