There are days when every minute seems to hold a different battle. Some of those battles are more significant than others, but each one taxing and heavy. In my fight of battles, I tend to go in alone — army of one. My mindset is either: I am strong enough to win this one on my own OR no one would ever want to fight this with me.
I was recently in one of those seasons where every turn was met by a harder fight and a lower blow. I was left face down every time, and it always seemed a little too late to call in backup. I tried a lot of things to lessen the hurt but all it left me with was a temporary fix at best. Choosing to chase things that would not ultimately satisfy my soul became numbing and completely isolating. When someone would reach out to me or ask me how I was, I would shut down and shut up. I was not even sure what was going on with me, so how could someone else understand? The times I actually tried to share my thoughts and my hurt ended up being a mess of words that didn't accurately describe how I felt. The story always ended up being a little shorter, a little more vague, and a lot less truthful than the dialog taking place in my head.
Believing that you are an army of one may be the biggest lie you’ve ever believed.
God gives us the gift of community; not just for late night hangs or entertainment on the weekends.
He gives us community as a source of healing. In seasons of darkness it is easy to separate ourselves, shut down or blame others for the relational distance we’ve created, but nothing can heal our hearts like raising the white flag to our own army.
My white flag moment was about this time last week. I was hanging out with my regular crew, and the night’s intentions were just to chill and watch a movie. But right before we started the movie, a friend asked if we could take a few moments to each share what God was currently taking us through and teaching us in life. We each took turns sharing while having the room’s attention and full freedom to tell about the victories, challenges, and heartaches we were facing. Anticipating my turn to share, I was tempted to shorten the narrative and spare the ears of the listeners, but when the time came, I grew overwhelmingly inspired by the vulnerability of the people who shared before me. I somehow felt the confidence and courage to let my friends in on the battles I had actually been facing. I was free.
Once everyone shared, we all prayed over one another and our specific needs. It was a very moving and emotional moment for me because that is when I realized I was not alone in this fight. I had an army of people willing and ready to face my battles with me. It was medicine for my soul and turned the lies in my head, into vapor.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is scripture often used in wedding ceremonies, but it also applies towards the power of our Christian community. It talks about faithful accountability and the strength in numbers.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” — Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Establishing a community of warrior Christian friends is a tough thing and it takes time; however, it is crucial for the soul. The power of letting good, quality community love on you, pray for you and fight your battles with you, is healing.
You don’t have to be alone.
If you are struggling to find your army this summer, pray with your eyes open. Trust that God will bring your people in his perfect time, and be ready to accept them with open arms when they arrive.
If you already have your army established, try deepening your relationships as a group. Trust me, no one is going to remember a movie night five years from now, but everyone will remember the night they raised their white flag and asked for help in the battle.
Below are some verses to help encourage you and your walk to healing:
“Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” — Proverbs 12:25
“The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, ‘Destroy.’” — Deuteronomy 33:27
“He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy, from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.” — 2 Samuel 22:17-22
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” — Psalm 34:18
Caroline // @caroline_mitchell