This month’s reflection on community comes from our intern Traci Romero. See last month’s blog for the previous in this three-part series.
I have lived in a place where even the idea of community was non-existent, a fairytale perhaps. I would walk into my room and ask how the girls were doing and all I would get were one word answers. I was starving for community with my roommates, my stomach was plagued with hunger pangs, longing for even a hint of community, a sense of belonging. Sadly, I did not ever receive what I longed for then, but now, my community is being built.
Community, what a word, a concept, an idea, a reality, a warm feeling in my soul; something that is crucial to facilitating a healthy life. When it comes to choosing your community, if that’s possible, it is something that should not be taken lightly, because it matters ever so much who and what your community whispers, speaks, or shouts into your life. I never truly realized the value that a healthy community contributed to my life until I did not have one. I moved to Billings knowing no one and knowing nothing about Billings, except that it would be super cold in the winter. Now, as I am settling into life in Billings I am becoming more comfortable in the town, and with the people in it.
As I get into my car and drive to this place, rest swoops me up and welcomes me into its arms. My home is where my community lives, I say this because regardless of the work day at our various locations, we all come home. Home, the place where I can relax. The place where I can kick off my shoes and process the day and its happenings. Home is the place where I get the opportunity to hear about how the day went from my roommates and, thankfully, receive more than one word answers. The home has different rooms, I think there is one in particular that stands out to me. The kitchen, it’s known as the heart of the home. That’s where the most happens, the living room is an artery. The late night giggle sessions, intern assignment cramming, tears trickling down our faces, and the moments of praying. This is where my community happens. I received a built-in community when I moved into the intern house. I was cautiously optimistic when I moved in, having four women in a house worried me some, but thankfully the built-in community has provided me with: alternate perspectives, compassion, and women who are pointing me closer to Christ, and that is something I truly treasure.
One definition of community (there are many) is “similar character, agreement, and identity.” I believe I have this in my community at home. Our similar identity is that of being God’s children, our agreement is that there is one God and it is our job to tell others about Him, and our similar character would be that of a disciple of Christ. The word community has so many definitions, and many different ideas may come to mind, but I am proud to say that my community is in the foundation stage of a building being constructed. And that is the most important stage, because without a solid foundation, the building (community) will not stand. Because of the late night cramming sessions, the times of giggles, and moments of tears I see community in my life happening; I am walking in the fact that my foundation will be solid and that warm idea/feeling of community has begun and I could not be more thankful.