3 Simple Steps for Connection & Fellowship
I love connecting with others. In fact, my passion for connection is what propels me forward in my mission to inspire women in the midst of everyday life. There’s nothing I enjoy more than helping women own their stories. I truly believe when we embrace our journey, we are empowered, and we also encourage other women.
Have you read a wonderful story lately about a remarkable woman who has overcome surmountable odds to fulfill her God-given purpose? I have, and I can say that these women are not only inspirational, but they also offer me the ability to connect with them. I can say, wow, I’m not the only one who has experienced this specific type of challenge or struggle. It’s encouraging to connect with someone who gets us and understands our journey.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What! You too? I thought I was the only one!”” C.S. Lewis
Ladies, we are designed for connection and fellowship. From the moment we are born, we’ve had an innate desire to know and interact with other people through our relationships.
Relationships are key to connection and fellowship!
The Significance of Fellowship
Why do we crave fellowship? Why do we seek connection and conversation with like-minded friends? And why is authentic fellowship so important?
Well, my friends, we were created for fellowship and connection. Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) tells us:
“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.”
We connect with women who “get us,” understand what we are going through, and recognize our current situation because they, too, have been there.
Fellowship also offers us a chance to build friendships and foster relationships based on shared interests. It’s an “aha” moment when we realize we are not alone. When women bond together, we are stronger, as is shared in Ecclesiastes 4:12 (AMP): “And though one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
The Tapestry of Relationships
Using our stories to connect provides us with the opportunity to create beautiful relationships. In a past post, I shared Linda Clark’s book, 5 Leadership Essentials for Women: Developing Your Ability to Make Things Happen, which details the tapestry of relationships:
- We live our lives within the context of relationships
- Relationships come to us in multiple sizes and shapes
- The best relationships are dynamic
- The quality of our relationships changes as our lives change
As I considered Linda’s words about the beautiful tapestry created by our relationships, I thought of my closest friends, my sisters in Christ. Individually, we are much weaker, but when we are woven together, we are much stronger. The threads, hundreds and hundreds of distinct individual threads, are woven together to create a beautiful tapestry just as we were woven together by our Father’s creation.
“I will offer You my grateful heart, for I am Your unique creation, filled with wonder and awe. You have approached even the smallest details with excellence; Your works are wonderful; I carry this knowledge deep within my soul.” Psalm 139:14 (VOICE)
I imagine the back-and-forth motion of movement, harmoniously moving in rhythm to create a beautiful work of art. Isn’t this what our relationships are about: a harmonious rhythm creating friendships that will strengthen us and allow for deeper connections?
So, how do we connect with others and foster relationships as we are called to do? Let’s take a look at a few ways we can build a foundation for connecting with others and cultivating rewarding relationships.
Accept One Another
“Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.” Romans 15:7 (NLT)
Connection begins with acceptance. Just as Christ has accepted each of us, we must accept one another. No judgment, no criteria, no hesitation. Christ welcomed us into His family with all our mistakes, baggage, and weaknesses, so we, too, must reach out and be accepting of one another.
Is there someone God has placed in front of you that you need to welcome? If so, what has stopped you from reaching out and accepting this person? Take a moment to reflect and respond to whoever you believe God is calling you to accept into His family.
Forgive One Another
“Instead, be kind and compassionate. Graciously forgive one another just as God has forgiven you through the Anointed, our Liberating King.” Ephesians 4:32 The Voice
We are forgiven. I am so thankful each and every day because God has forgiven me. I am also blessed when I am forgiven by my friends and family. I am not perfect, and YOU are not perfect – surprise!
Unfortunately, sin exists in the world, and we will be hurt by the people we connect with—sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. In reality, it is sometimes those who are the closest to us that have the potential to hurt us the most. This is why we must graciously forgive those who have hurt us.
Take a moment and ask God if there is any unforgiveness in your heart. Is there someone in your life you need to forgive or show grace to?
Care for One Another
“Get beyond yourselves and protecting your own interests; be sincere, and secure your neighbors’ interests first.” Philippians 2:4 (The Voice)
Caring for others means being intentional about our actions. When we care for others, we genuinely want to serve them out of kindness, goodness, and love. We are accepting and forgiving. We check our motivations to ensure we are reflecting Christ in our actions.
Be the girl who smiles at strangers. Be the girl who invites the excluded one over to her table. Be the girl that sees other girls struggling and is there for them. Be the girl who is safe, who passes no judgment on anyone.
Has God placed someone on your heart that you need to reach out to or call upon? What small step can you take today to make a difference through serving?
It is my hope, certainly in this time of social distancing, that you will take time to reflect upon God’s Word and truth. Let His Words light your way so that you, in turn, will reciprocate and be the light for others. We never know who is in need of a friend. We never know who is in need of encouragement or a kind word.
And, if you are seeking connection, spend time with your Heavenly Father. Read His Word. Listen to His voice. Trust in His love and believe the things He says are true of you.
Then, go and be a friend. Some of you might be thinking, I don’t have any real friends. Who am I going to be a friend to? Please know that you start with just one small gesture – Be the friend you would like to have.
I’m not promising that a deep connection will happen overnight because true friendship takes time. But I truly believe that if we will be accepting, forgiving, and caring towards others, we will create beautiful and lasting friendships.
“We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.” Romans 8:28 (VOICE)
Are you interested in joining a community of like-minded women? Reflecting Life is an online community for just that: a space for sharing stories and experiences, a venue for us to learn from one another through inspired connection and conversation. I hope you’ll join us. I’ll see you on the inside!