Wired for Community

Christian Living

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A Weak Connection

We are now living in an exciting time where we can instantaneously be linked to the lives of others on a global scale. Through digital technology and virtual encounters, at the click of a button, tap of a screen, swipe left or swipe right, connections are made faster and more readily available than ever before. So why then is it that in “real life” people are experiencing increasing feelings of disconnectedness?

The ability to connect and share through the lens of technology (as we are right now) is an incredible tool in communicating with and to one another and it can be a beautiful bridging between distance, separation and time. But it’s lack in the richness of human interaction, pure sensory experience and direct access to immediate reality, does not qualify it to be a worthy replacement of face to face, real and tangible encounters. It’s only a simulation of the real thing and it cannot equate to the depth of connection we have when we can look into each others eyes, share embrace and breathe the same breath.

Community – God’s Design 

God in himself, from all of eternity, is the original and seamless manifestation of divine community. The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit – three persons perfectly unified as one and the essence and embodiment of perfect relationship. It’s only natural having been made in the image of God, that we have an innate longing and need to belong; to God (our creator), to our truest selves (created in God), and to one another and our world.

At our very core we are wired and created for deep relationship, and to exist harmoniously with God and our neighbour is the ultimate goal of human cohabitation. It’s this beautiful picture of us, as parts of a whole, pursuing an organic and loving integrated life. God himself, saw upon review of all he had made, that is was “not good” for man to be alone.

Having meaningful relationships and the “doing of life” together is [after God] the single most important interaction we could and must ever have in our lifetime. Loving and authentic relationships are imperative for all human enrichment and enhancement. Physically dwelling among, seeing, listening, touching and encountering each other in the flesh, in our day to day existence is necessary in entering into deep connectedness. It’s in the interweaving of our lives and the sharing of our stories – the good and the bad, the calm and the chaotic, the plain and the pain and in celebrating life’s successes with each other, that life becomes more bearable, more meaningful and more deeply bonded to the kind of exchange God intended us to have with one another.

Loving our Neighbour 

The season I’m in right now, is one of unintentional disconnection and [though God has a plan in it) let me tell you, I feel absolutely malnourished being outside of community and I’m glad it’s only for a time, because we just can’t do it alone. We cannot carry the load of life and all that it demands, without the helping hands of our neighbour or the listening ear of our friends. We need to be encouraged and sown into, and vice versa. We weren’t made for individualistic life experiences or shallow, short lived connections inside screens. We need real transparency, we need to put down our devices and disconnect from the busyness of the day to day grind, switch off so that we can be switched on in our real life connections – the ones that matter most.

If we want to build deep and lasting relationships and “love our neighbour” as the Word instructs us to, then we need to actually know who our “neighbour” is. Like really know them. We need to be present without distractions. We need to be available to know what needs they have or what burdens they carry or what good thing to celebrate together. We need to meet without agenda and filters, just as we are and in unhurried set apart time that tells our friend “I love meeting here with you, because you are important to me, and what’s going on in your life, that’s important too.” We need to be there face to face to read that her words say “I’m ok,” while her tears tell a different story, so we can offer a hug and show we cared enough to just be there, in person. And you know, the less concerned we become with ourselves and the looser we are with our own agendas, the more we can impart into the lives of others and the more time we will give to those who need to have that beautiful exchange with us and us with them.

Make the Exchange

So my encouragement to you is this, if there is someone you have had on your heart or in the back of your mind for awhile now and have intended to meet up with but haven’t yet – get in touch today! Maybe you have been sharing and connecting with someone you’ve never met via a social media outlet and would love to know them in person (obviously do this safely, in public and with friends even) – see if they can meet for a coffee! Or maybe you haven’t visited a grandparent or an Aunty or sat down with your kids for more than an hour just playing or reading books – make time now!

Perhaps even one day (when the opportunity presents itself) we can meet in person or as a community in real time and shoulder to shoulder, connecting and speaking into one another and exchanging life. Though I’m incredibly thankful to have access to such amazing means through technology in which I can have a voice and connect with you in cyber community, the end goal and the real desire here at Woven is to cultivate connections and relationships between Christian Women that will eventuate beyond this realm and be thriving and fruitful in the real world ❤️

“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.”‭‭ – Hebrews‬ ‭10:24-25

Kayla H xo

A long awaited purpose.

Christian Living

IMG_5007Expectation

A week ago I turned 28! (Shock right? I don’t look a day older than 21 lol). When you’re younger, birthdays are something to be anticipated and you wait all year for them to come. The celebration, the gifts and the graduation from another year completed which gains you entry to the next one.

When you turn 5 you can go to “big kids” school, at 13 you officially upgrade to teens (shaved legs, bras, boys = life), at 18 you can now access your freedom and hopefully start to “adult” by getting a job, going to Uni or embarking on adventures and travelling abroad to see the world. Your life is up for the taking, ALL THE YEARS ahead of you, ya know the world is your oyster and everything!

(Until 30 starts waving at you from just around the bend. “Hey Kayla, want to come for a cuppa tea, watch Downtown Abby reruns and compare our insurances?” Ha kidding – I hope!)

When you get older, birthdays are no longer anticipated, they are feared! In the beginning our birthdays couldn’t come fast enough, but from the middle onwards they seem to fly past and the excitement of ageing well and truly platos (or maybe that’s just me because I got married and had kids young, so I’m just prematurely old lol).

Our expectations of “things to come” become less and the progression into our adult years can feel like the slamming of doors behind us that we never got to walk through and so we either become panicked about the time that’s left or we just accept that’s how things turned out for us.

Reflection

Every birthday and every new year instigates reflection on how you’ve spent your time thus far and it’s really tempting to shine the spotlight first on all the things in your life or self that seem so unimpressive or didn’t measure up and the number of blanks where it appears you haven’t accomplished much.

And for just a minute this year when I woke up as a 28 year old woman, my mind was flooded with thoughts and emotions that tried to fill me with disappointment, inadequacy and worthlessness, as if to say “Kayla look at the time! You were too late, there’s nothing you can do now. Your value, your purpose, your gifts? They’ve expired.” If I had spent enough time there, looking back on years passed (which by the way would be impossible to alter from the present) and in the midst of lies, I could have become debilitated in the vital act of pressing forward.

Having been a Christian for over half of my life, I was taken back by how vulnerable I felt at quite literally the oldest age I’d ever been. The reality is, the enemy is relentless to disable my purpose and corrupt my perspective and when you take your eyes off Jesus (sometimes even for a moment) you can become lost.

But God intervened and reminded me that morning, even now I must still realign my-self with him-self daily; his ways, his thoughts and his truth because he knows my story from beginning to end, he wrote it after all. My default setting is faulty, my ways and thoughts are flawed and though the world seeks to disarm me in my weakness, I’m grateful that God is strong when I am weak and he never tires to reset me over and over so that I can operate as his original design.

“For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah‬ ‭55:9

God’s perspective

When I re-reflected over my years with new and loving eyes and with the narration of God’s voice, I saw not to despise my humble beginnings and not to be frustrated or discouraged by the fact that it’s seemed God has been pruning and preparing me in plainness for what has felt like literally FOREVER, because in the grand scheme of things, those years will not go to waste.

My limited view has been showing me just a portion of the truth and only a glimpse of the bigger picture, which I know God veils for my benefit because it produces in me the trust I need not in myself but in the God who holds all things together.

God’s birds eye view (which he gave me a glance into the morning of my birthday) revealed that while it appeared I was left with the tedious task of planting and watering seeds over years and years that barely reared their heads, hence the blank pages and perception of minimal achievement and success, the time was coming soon when I would live in the fruits and the harvest of those very moments I had been faithful in the drought.

“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8

Patience

If like me, you identify more with the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son, who remained loyal and stayed by his fathers side, not departing from him and have watched on and celebrated the election of others around you and seen God’s favour pour out on your neighbour, wondering when it will be “your turn” to be called upon? Don’t be dismayed, God is building and producing in you the kind of commitment, obedience, endurance, humility and desire for the things of God that will be sustainable and irrevocable.

Long waiting or long suffering isn’t always a sign of our inability to progress, but it’s sometimes what is required to establish longevity, ensuring we have the capacity to run the whole race and see God’s plan right through to the end. This was not a foreign concept to the biblical greats gone before us, Abraham waited 25 years for a promised son, Joseph waited 13 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Moses waited 40 years in the wilderness, Job waited almost his whole life for God’s justice and Jesus waited 33 years to complete the most important plan in human history. If you are waiting on God, then you are in the company of some of the most monumental world changers – trust the process!

“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” Hebrews‬ ‭10:23‬ ‭

Promise

I feel a real shift is happening in the spirit, God is searching for a loyal people, not spectators or those casual about the state of the world and the work to be done. I believe that these days are the very times we were made for and that God will be calling upon the good and faithful servants who have been trusted for long with very little, to be among those that will be trusted with much in bringing his kingdom to earth! God has not forgotten his daughters, he will not abandon the call he placed on our lives and despite feeling inactive and unused, he will awaken the purposes he had strategically let lay wait for a time such as this! The long servicewomen will be the ones at the forefront of lasting change and will lead the way for the generations to come!

The years are not behind, I believe they are very much ahead! So let’s look upon our years passed with his grace and his measure and let’s be expectant and excited that the best is still to come. No matter how old or how many years have passed or how dormant you may feel, until our very last day, we are not considered to be past our “due by date” or to have surpassed our “best before” and God is not done with us yet! Let’s continue to be patient in the plain, trust his timing, stand firm and be ready to move into the next season so that we can say to the Lord…

“I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”
‭‭John‬ ‭17:4‬ ‭

Kayla xoxo