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            I just have finished reading a chapter in Max Lucado’s book The Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot about joining God’s family of friends through church community. He emphasizes the importance of each member having a specific role to play, using his gifts, and how we come together as one body to support each other.

            The church as a hospital for hurt people is a common image used for Christians. This chapter demonstrates how the community helps its members by providing physical and emotional needs during difficult times. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m taking a course on healing from past wounds at a nearby church. We have spent the last couple weeks sharing our backgrounds and starting a healing process that begins with forgiving people who have hurt us and relinquishing lies, etc. I have immediately seen a significant difference in how I feel since I’ve had my turn in the “holy seat” on Monday evening. Maybe the true beginning really is as simple as acknowledging that certain people have hurt me and forgiving them as well as acknowledging and renouncing lies or curses I have believed as a result of those situations. Nothing has changed the past, but I have started to loosen its negative grip on me as I live in a healthier present.

            Feeling better has made me feel more equipped to start tackling some of my goals again, big and small. I have shared this readiness and some of the dreams on my heart with my group, and I have received enthusiasm and encouragement. Immediately, one friend wanted to introduce me to a writer at the church who currently seeks young authors. Then the group as a whole is happy to see me healing and reaching out to fulfill God’s calling for me.

            That’s exactly what the church family of friends does for each other. These wonderful women have stood beside me as I have started healing and as I shared my scars. I never once felt judged, rather felt lifted up and seen in a positive light for who I am rather than things I have done or that have been done to me. They are helping me get plugged into the church, eager to see me use my gifts. Each week, I am reminded that there is no such thing as coincidence and that God placed me in this group for a purpose.

            As Max Lucado points out, the church is a family of friends. It can come together to serve each other through sharing burdens as well as connecting people for community and getting people plugged into the right place to use their gifts. I am not a member of a church in my area yet, but I am encouraged to keep getting involved to receive further healing from the church as a hospital as well as use my gifts to lift people higher and bring them closer together in fellowship.