Or…How I Learned It Takes a Village to Raise Emily Enockson
A few weeks ago I casually mentioned to a friend “You know, I think it takes a village to raise Emily Enockson”. At the time I was making light of a tough situation, but upon further reflection, I realized there was so much truth behind that simple statement.
I have been incredibly blessed by many incredible people who have encouraged and spurred me on over the years. There are the friends who have stuck by my side through awkward middle school years, tumultuous teens and ever evolving young adult years. Mentors who are a few stages ahead provide much-needed encouragement & the occasional kick in the pants. There are like-hearted sisters, both near and far, have shaped me into becoming the women God meant me to be. And an amazing family who love me unconditionally and continually point me towards Christ.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
Community spurs us on towards the work God created us for. A spur is “a device with a small spike or a spiked wheel that is worn on a rider’s heel and used for urging a horse forward.” Using a spur may not be the most comfortable way to guide a house, but boy is it effective. And yet, that is how we are called to encourage one another. Think about for that a second, a true community is not all about comfort, it’s about guiding us in the way we should go. Community reveals our weakness and empowers our strengths.
Building community & pouring into relationships has been one of the most difficult and rewarding experiences. When we invite others into our lives we share the good and bad parts. While I’m in no way advocating that we spill our deepest struggles with everyone in our social network, I often wonder what would happen if we focused more on authenticity and less on being liked. Maybe the sharing of pain & struggles could create room for another to breathe and have hope that they are not alone.
A few weeks ago I sent a note to several friends who are married or in serious relationships. I was reaching out to ask for encouragement, advice, and introductions to godly guys. It was way outside of my comfort zone and I felt a bit awkward hitting the send button. But you know what, it opened the door to some authentic conversations with people I respect.
So friends, my encouragement to you today is this. When it comes to relationships, don’t take the easy route. Chase after friendships that spur you on and encourage you to become the person God created you to be. It will be hard and you will mess up, but have hope that your obedience will bring you closer to a person you were created to be.