Friday, April 1, 2011


why does God call us to be in relationship and community with one another? why are we supposed to share life together? i mean, the good times are good, but lets be real, life isn’t always good. its easy to share in the good times. its fun to walk together in life with someone who is experiencing the mountaintops and rose-tinted glasses. sharing in those seasons is seemingly effortless and doesn’t require much dependance on One greater than ourselves. however, it gets tricky when life throws a curveball and all the sudden the sun isn’t as shiny and an ominous dark cloud of reality is looming over head. 
i’d say nine out of ten of us (myself included) have the i want to help you feel better and fix this situation tendencies when faced with challenges and trials. this is where I wonder why we’ve been called to do this life together. wouldn’t it be easier to just hole up, avoid the painful conversations, eliminate the “hands and feet” of Jesus and isolate to a place with just me and Him? there is nothing anyone could do or say that could change the circumstances that have been dealt. ultimately, i am only under the graceful wing of God’s presence while walking though the impossible moments of life. He is God. He sustains. He gives mercy. He completes. 
my fear in doing life together is that others will be tempted to feel the need to make my circumstances better and i will want to fix the unpleasantries in the lives of others. that isn’t my job nor is it the job given to you. we are called only to love one another. sometimes is helpful just to know someone is there, someone is praying, someone cares. sometimes we will have no words, sometimes we will have no actions, always we point each other to Jesus-He is the only one with the authority or qualifications to carry us. 
another fear i have in the vulnerability that comes with being a committed part of the body of Christ is that i will be seen and valued by my story rather than who i am and Christ in me. life is messy (mine in particular). my circumstances may affect my mood or may cause temporary discomfort but i would never ever want my story to define me. i love a God who defies stories and circumstances and does the impossible. i want to be seen as His daughter-not a product of my circumstances.
long in short. i have good days and i have bad days. you have good days and you have bad days. i don’t have the answers. you don’t have the answers. Jesus does. lets point one another to Him and commit to loving each other through the good and the bad.
someone who can be with me through the highlights and through the shit storms is someone who sees me for more than my story and loves me for me and Jesus in me.
approaching someone with my anxieties or excitements before i’ve surrendered it and my heart to Jesus is setting that person up to fail by giving them a job intended for the Creator of the universe.
how much is too much, when are we not being transparent enough, and what are the “rules” of authenticity and vulnerability?


  1. I love you for how honest you are in your thoughts. I know God doesn't want us to walk in life alone. He designed us to fellowship. I think it is important to encourage one another to look to Jesus in times we are struggling. When one is weak the strong can help pull that person up. I think it so valuable for us to not bottle up our feelings and thoughts to ourselves but to open up and share. We can encourage one another in the fact that we can know we are not alone in our struggles. It is comforting knowing we are not the only ones struggling and then we can see how God has brought that person out of that struggle. I love what it says in 2 Cor 1:3-4 "...The God of all comfort who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." God comforts us and we are given the gift to comfort others who are struggling. Anyways, I don't know what real community and fellowship should look like, but I think Circles is a huge step in the right direction. I am so excited to figure this out with all of you. :)

  2. DANNAH! this is so right on! "approaching someone with my anxieties or excitements before i’ve surrendered it and my heart to Jesus is setting that person up to fail by giving them a job intended for the Creator of the universe." these words spoke directly to the season that i'm in. like seriously, i've thought those ideas but could not piece them together like you did... so thank you! it is so important to remember to go to Christ first. if we go to other people we are setting ourselves (and that person) up for heartache. HOWEVER, i really like how you put these two ideas together of dependence on Christ, but then the value in community. how wonderful and important friends are. not only friends, but people who are walking with you and being there no matter what. my prayer is that you have that and that we can all be that to you. my prayer is that circles can be that. you're so darling!

  3. There is really nothing that we can do, but trust God to do his works.

  4. I am excited to have good days and bad days with you. I want to know you for who you are and what God created you to be. I want the same for you to know me. This I think is important because we want to connect on God level and not just people level. That is how we build strong relationships in God with other people who are going through the same and different crap. Lets pray and seek God together in our happiness and struggles. Thanks for sharing, it was really profound. love you!

  5. "we are called only to love one another." I do love you.

    You are not a product of your circumstances. You are a daughter of our Father.

    Corinne would like to know the answer to this too, "how much is too much, when are we not being transparent enough, and what are the “rules” of authenticity and vulnerability?"

    I miss you a lot. I was so sad when Brennan said you weren't sitting with us at Church. But, I hope that you are at Life Group tonight, but if you are not we are having a date before Thursday. Praying for you.

    This blog kinda blew my mind. Super deep, lots to ponder, I think I gasped a few times at things I hadn't considered before. Thank you for making me think. I do love you.


  6. Dannah, I love being in community in the body of Christ with you! I hope you know that we will always be there for you because like you said, we are intended to point each other to Jesus. I love my conversations with you because you have so much wisdom and your heart is so filled with love for Jesus! It's so inspiring! Thank you for writing. Thank you for being in my life.

  7. You are amazing. And I know this is comes right from your heart. I count myself truly blessed to be in the family of Christ with you. Thank you. I'm glad I know you are there and we are Residents of the Real together :)

  8. Reminds me of our last Saturday's table discussion. I know it's hard to let others within your 5 ft bubble, but even through posts it is possible. :) God works through others to show us things we might not have realized. I used to think it was more about me and I could do it all with just God, but through Circles and other things, I have begun to realize the essence and truth community brings and it has been such a blessing. Thanks for sharing

  9. Thanks for your rawness D!
    I was encouraged by your approach to this.

    I think we rarely tap into the true power we have access to in the Body because of a lot of those reasons you mentioned. But I think there is so much refinement that God does/sparks through community, and so we can't all be hermit-crab followers. (I think sometimes we can benefit from hermit crab seasons, though!)

    I really relate to your question of 'how much is too much?'
    I think the boundaries of openness are really challenging and confusing. I get overwhelmed by that idea a lot.

    Don't be discouraged! The answers to all these good questions come from walking and learning!

  10. Isaiah 61. we should never give to others what truly belongs to Jesus! This is what I have learned. : ) and I learned it in hindsight. we set others up for failure (like you said) because we give them what rightfully belongs to Christ. yes, we must focus on loving! not trying to fix or even put our own spiritual journeys on others, assuming that Christ will work it out the same way. we must never limit God, but continually cast all of our cares, worries, angst, anxieties on HIM and then we can truly love and be loved. : ) thanks for your thoughts, dannah!

  11. what a humble and awesome post! its so good how its not anything that we do by living in community, but it's Him living through us all. It's nice to meditate on that and know we don't have pressure on us to say the perfect thing or offer the exact solution, because He will.

  12. d-girl. ah. so beautiful. let us remember that Jesus works through our relationships, that sometimes, all we can do is sit with another person in their pain or our own pain, that we were created for relationships that mimic the one we have with our Father, our Redeemer, our Lover. thank you for being with me tonight and caring about my life. i care about yours too.