“I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock. The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock”
In creating a solid foundation Jeff and I have been revisiting “community.” If you wonder where your starting point should be on your journey, this is a good place to start! It may begin with the following questions…
- Is community important to you?
- What kind of community are you looking for?
- Where can you find community?
Is Community Important to You?
One of the many things I’ve learned and admire about Jeff is his strong sense of community. Early on in our conversations it was pretty evident that Jeff was not only surrounded by a close family, but was surrounded with long term friendships, family friends, church friends, college groups, etc.
Of course, community has been something that I have always admired.. but by comparison has not run as deep as Jeff’s relationships. I think it is important to look at our partner to see and acknowledge their strengths and try to aim toward those too… I haven’t been a believer that in a relationship the other person makes you whole… instead I believe two whole people learn to become one. With this mindset I also believe that self improvement is a requirement and should always exist. Although I will say this has become much enjoyable now that I have a partner who heightens the expectations for myself by leading by example.
What kind of community are you looking for?
In discussions together talking about what we envisioned a successful wedding was and afterward, marriage, would look like we discovered that we both felt our connection with the church and with people our age(s) in the same phase of life has been lacking.
Shortly after discovering this we went to our church, 242 Community Church in Ann Arbor, and was put into contact with a Pre-Marriage Small Group Leader, Albo. We let him know that we were really looking for the following three things: (1) for Jeff and I to become better connected through guided dialog through the church, (2) our interest in becoming connected to the church in a community of people, and (3) the people we are to be connected with to be in similar phases of life with the goal that the relationships built are long-lasting.
Our prayers, were answered! As you may have guessed, the pre-marriage group is now completed with us now married, but truly blessed that we have been in contact with some within the group still and have valued what each couple taught us and continues to teach!
Where can you find community?
You will be shocked, or at least, I was when I was honest in a simple Facebook post that Jeff and I were looking to be more connected and to have a support system during this time of transition… if you’re social maybe that is something that is a place to start. From feedback I’ve gotten, here are other places to find community:
- Be on the look out for people you know who are married and whose relationships you admire
- Outreach to social media outlets that you may already be using; I’ve found it white humbling that when I am vulnerable and posting what is on my mind that people do listen and have genuine interest want to help
- Explore local clubs or organizations that you both would enjoy together (there are apps like MeetUp where you can search “hiking” or “gardening” or whatever and you can see when they meet)
- Try social events or gatherings where you know there are other people that you may be able to join and learn more about (ie: Trivia, Darts, Pool clubs, gym)
If you’re willing to share, feel free to share your story with your story in the comment section, or any ideas for what more we can look into!