Friday, December 16, 2011

laura on being a redeemed shy girl in community

Good morning! It's Ellen. Y'all. You're going to be blessed by what Laura, the girl behind Along for the Ride, has to say today. She's on a roll with this community thing and as I redeemed shy girl, I love everything she has to say here.

"Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2

Last month on Sashes to the Merchants I did a vlog on finding real life community. About turning off our computers, getting out there and living in community with others. About finding folks that know our heart, see our struggles, and hold us accountable to the things the Lord is calling all of us to run toward.

How did you do? Did you get out there? Did you make yourself vulnerable and let people in?

Is your Tupperware in other people's houses?

[Totally a reference to my vlog where I was so excited because people in our small group were trading meals and bringing dinner to people who were sick and taking our Tupperware. Such good stuff!]

Gosh, I make finding community sound so easy, don't I?!

But I know it's not.

I'm going to let you in on a secret.

*whispers in your ear*

I'm shy.

oh my gosh, don't look at me - source

I get nervous around people I don't know. I clam up and get real sweaty. I think of all the reasons why no one is talking to me and why they shouldn't want to talk to me and why I should probably just go home anyway.

Are you shy, too?

Well living in community is for us introverts, too, you know? But it's hard. Really hard sometimes. But that's not an excuse.

Us quiet types need to be known just as much as anyone else. We need to feel loved and cared for. We need to share and cry and pray and be prayed for.

And we're pretty darn fun, too!

Guess what?

*yells in your ear*

You're exactly the person I want to be in community with!

Yea you. You in the corner with her hands around her waist [I'm not the only one, right?] I want to hear from you! I want to come along side you!

For so long I thought I had little to contribute. That I would just hide behind my keyboard and only post my most perfect pictures and the times when my house was really clean.

But eventually I started to let people in. And they saw who I was. And they came over when my house was really messy and the dirty dishes were everywhere and the cat box maybe smells like poo a little...

And they loved me even more.

In this time of new resolutions, I encourage all you shy gals to make community a priority [trust me, you're not alone!] To let your guard down a little and see what happens.

You may be nervous. You may be soft-spoken and reserved. But you are exactly the women that God made you to be!! And there are communities of folks just waiting for you.

In fact, they need you!

Can I pray for you? As one quiet gal to another, I'd love to pray for you and ask the Lord to remove your fear and help you see all the wonderful ways you can contribute to community. I sure see it. And so does He!

"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then gigenerously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." Romans 12:3-8

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