Aug 25, 2015

Known Community...

We grow up known as someone's daughter, sister, girlfriend, roommate, best friend, wife, mother.
We have tags added to our names, adding up over the years and yet many of us are not known... for who we are, deep inside.
Most will never know our deepest desires, dreams, fears.
It's easy to do, hiding behind our tee shirts with words claiming freedom and love. Keys around our necks holding big words, or beliefs someone has suggested we should claim.

Being known is scary.
What if people reject us once they know us?
Once we shed the layers?

I have had the opportunity a few times to be known.
My hometown, where I was a daughter, sister, wife, mama, young widow. 
 I was only half known. Too young, too broken. Still crawling to freedom.

Then a new town where I grew deep friendships, because I was allowed and challenged by many to be known.
I started to see that my deepest longing was to be known as God's daughter.
My purpose was only fulfilled when I looked upward, not inward.

Words put to music are a flame to my deepest soul craving. 
Sometimes I struggle to find my own words.
When I hear my favorite boy band, Needtobreathe, the words from Brother, More Heart, Less Attack, Multiplied, Washed By The Water, The Heat and so many others... I am gut checked.

These deep truths echoed in gravely voices, cut me... in ways that remind me and point me, to what I am about, what I believe, what I crave.
Relationships that leave me raw, because truth is shared. 
Truth isn't neat and tidy, wrapped in a bow. 

It's not always pretty, yet so much better than lies wrapped in pretty paper. When we open those, they crumble in our hands, like old newspaper, leaving us dirty and smudged from time and wear.

Two more moves for me, the first I liken to my time in the desert. Was it worth the effort to be known? Who cared to know me? Looking back, there are a few sweet ones who did care and were my lifelines. 
God and I grew deep roots, me mostly miserable, Him reminding me of His faithfulness. 
Then the move to Nashville. 
As I took steps into this new chapter I looked up, holding my hands wide open. I knew He was faithful and I was confident He was not done with me.
I claim my confidence in Him. I claim all of it, gifts, wisdom, integrity, passion... all of it is from above. 
None of it from me.

A month later, I remember standing at my sink one morning. I spoke out loud to Him (God) suggesting that we were good, but I needed more. Really. I suggested he bring women into my life, to grow community with.
It was time. The final box of unnecessary, but pretty items I surround myself with had been opened.
Time to move on, to the worthy.

Within days things changed. 
And now, looking back over sixteen months... I am in awe.
Awe of what God is willing to do, desires to do and loves to do, for His daughters.
He has created a beautiful space of love, grace, safety. 
A place where we can be known, because it matters. It matters that we become the sisters, friends, daughters, He has called us to.
To be the leaders, movers, game changers He offers us to be.
When we enter into relationship and become known...
we gain Freedom.
Freedom allows us to do ALL that He calls us to.

I believe this community of #KnownNashville is a pleasing aroma to God.
A community of women from diverse backgrounds, where we share this journey of faith, find our voice and calling.
A place to be known and loved.

To walk this journey together is a gift. 
Each of us has the opportunity to offer this gift to those we walk alongside. 
The truth is...
We all want to be included. 
We all want to be valued.
We all want to be loved.

This moment, this space is a stepping stone into community.
Community being built through monthly gatherings and small organic groups we are already witnessing. 
A place where in the words of Henri Nouwen we believe, "The better we tell our stories, the better we will want to live them." 
The story that God is writing for us.

Friends, you are game changers and this God ordained moment is rich with opportunity and blessings. Don't miss it.
Pass it on.  
Let's be game changers for the women of Nashville.

Friends, thank you for being willing.
Willing to walk in the doors each month. Willing to breath deep and share your wisdom.  
Willing to bring friends who are hungry for this. 
Willing to be known.
You are loved.

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