Finding Hope in Community

Last time I wrote about how to reign in our emotions through worship. You might find it ironic, then, to learn that when I wrote that post, I was struggling with worry and anxiety.

You see, I was facing a follow-up appointment with my specialist the next day. And let me just say, those are never fun. It seems they never have good news, and even when they do, it’s typically followed by not-so-good news.

So while I wholeheartedly believe what I wrote about worship and emotions, what I really wanted to do last Wednesday evening was crawl in bed and hide under my covers until the nasty appointment went away. Thankfully, that’s not what I did.

hope-in-community

Since it was Wednesday, I pulled myself together and headed to our midweek prayer meeting at church. We call it “the most important service of the week,” and here’s why….

From the moment I walked in, I saw encouraging faces…friends who know what I’m going through and are praying. Before I even reached the auditorium, I was encouraged by smiles, hugs, words of kindness, and confirmation that I am being prayed for by many, many people!

The worship service had begun by the time we reached the auditorium. We walked in to the sound of hundreds of people singing, “Your name is higher; Your name is greater
All my hope is in You..” It was like walking into a spiritual and emotional refuge. I felt the anxiety melt away as I rested in the knowledge that no matter what I faced the next day, God was not worried, and my hope was in Him.

As a sat in the service, I was reminded of the timely messages for our circumstances. Our pastor preaches systematically through passages and entire books of the Bible. We are currently working our way through the Gospel of John. A few weeks before our initial trip to the specialist, we were in John 10 where we learned about God as the Good Shepherd.

The Sunday after learning of our diagnosis, we were at the story of Lazarus, where I was reminded that although Christ was about to perform a miracle He still wept for His friend and the family (John 11:35). Our pastor made the statement: “God is powerful enough to change our situation and personal enough to enter into the emotion of our situation.” If I ever needed to hear that truth, it was then.

It seems a given to suggest that one needs a support group in life, especially when faced with an illness like cancer. However, I think as Christians we need more than a network of well-meaning individuals. We need a community of believers. We need to be connected to a body of believers with whom we can do life…when we are in crisis and when we are not. Because church is not just for the hard times.

If you wait until you are in a crisis to find a community of believers, it may be too late. You may not have the time, energy, or desire to go looking for such a community. However, if you search out such a community before you are in crisis, you will have a support system in place when you need it most. And if you don’t have the emotional strength and energy to reach out to them, let them reach out to you. That’s what the Church (when it’s done well) does best!

Oh, by the way…my appointment with the specialist went really well. The chemo is working; the tumors are shrinking.  Praise God! We are continuing to believe God for complete healing.

 

 

Photo source

hope-cancer-250This post is part of the series, Embracing Hope. In the coming weeks, we’ll look at why we can put our hope in God, how we put our hope in God, and what we can do when it feels all hope is lost. Won’t you come along for the journey? Consider subscribing via e-mail so you can receive new posts delivered directly to your inbox! Simply enter your e-mail address in the box to the right. To view the entire series, click here.

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Plus: Read the full story of my journey through cancer to healing in Unshakable: Finding Faith to Weather the Storm. Available now at Amazon.

12 thoughts on “Finding Hope in Community

  1. Hi Nancy! Thank you for your visit today, it is so good to be here.

    Thank God for the healing treatments! I know your faith is tested in this walk, but you are reaching for that rebound into the Lord’s arms. What a great idea to seek some comfort and support in your church community. I know that God loves us to lean on each other, and your community just loved you back. How wonderful!

    I look forward to getting to know you better! I’ll be your newest follower 🙂
    Ceil
    Ceil recently posted…Brain StrainMy Profile

  2. Dear Nancy
    I am so glad the appointment went well, and I pray that you will be healed completely. Oh, dear friend, fellowship in Jesus is so important, but not always possible to find. I am looking at the moment for a fellowship where love and grace is what is practiced but have found only performance driven congregations so far!
    Blessings XX
    Mia
    Mia recently posted…Courtroom Of DarknessMy Profile

  3. Praise God for your good report. Visiting from W2W and so glad God directed me to your link. I believe this may be my first time visiting. “If you wait until you are in a crisis to find a community of believers, it may be too late.” Amen! I know God led me to my church, my church family, when He did as this family would be needed to help me through an upcoming season with my husband being deployed for the first time. I’m so grateful for the community I now have.
    I truly loved what you shared and praise God not only for your good report but for the community He has given you.
    Many blessings to you.
    Beth recently posted…Three Word Wednesday: Your Great GraceMy Profile

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