Four years ago I asked six people if they would be a prayer support around me. At the time, with the little bit I knew as I looked ahead, I knew I would need others close by. And so with fear and trepidation (and with no one I knew ever having done this), I asked, and they said yes.
What I didn’t know at the time, was how very important it was to set them in place.
For what I couldn’t see were the difficulties to come. Difficulties of the end of my marriage, separation from my church and the dysfunctions there, the stress of moving and of adjustments, and of entering into influence and leadership like never before.
As my personal board of directors, these folks have been the backbone of my own personal growth and stamina. Bringing feedback and perspective that I didn’t have they have made possible forward movement through many difficulties, and have become catalysts for many successes.
The original six individuals have shifted some, four are still alongside, with others still making up the original six, and then some.
What I didn’t understand at the time, was that these amazing individuals would become intimate witness’s to my life and more importantly to who I am and my character.
They have stood and supported and challenged and cautioned every step of the way. Without these ones…
All this to say: Gather people around you. Take a risk and live out loud in the presence of a few key people.
We cannot move forward without support, not without the frank honesty of faithful people, nor without the power of prayer poured out on one’s behalf.
To the team at Capturing Courage I say this again and again, “Get one or two prayer supporters tucked in close.”
It is a hard thing though, I get that. We are not used to being vulnerable, of stating our present realities be them good, bad, or ugly (and trust me, they are just as often bad and ugly as good).
But the power in community cannot be underestimated.
Years back, during some crushing years of addiction I began deliberately building community around me. Somehow, even then, I saw that without people close by, I would be stuck in victimization and less-than living.
We are better together, and we dare not discount the power of others in our lives.
And if there were a strategy, I would say the process of gathering those about us has to do with our Past, our Present and our Futures.
We all have representatives of our past. Those who have known us through many stages and graces. For instance, one on my team has known me since I was eighteen years old. She has seen my youth, and my growth, and my hardships, and my development through and through, and has always affirmed and confirmed and encouraged and challenged my inner person so very deeply.
And for these last four deliberate years, every time she prays over me, anointing is increased. She is God’s heart poured out into my life. Something that cannot be manufactured but simply received.
Our present is about the inner state of now, and what immediately comes to mind when considering the now of my own life are the men. Strong beautiful men in strong beautiful marriages who are not afraid to have tea with me. Who are not afraid to hug and to pray with me and to remind me that I am loved.
And I realize that (generally speaking) I don’t trust the men who cannot give a hug. Thankfully there are many who can. And in the presence of these men my heart has been healed, and expanded and blessed on time and again.
We are better together. Seriously, what would we do without the men?
When it comes to our futures, we must surround ourselves with experts and those farther along in experience and wisdom than ourselves. We only grow as large or healthy as those we hang with, our worlds must expand; keeping in mind that those who grew us out of dysfunction, are not the ones to grow us into success.
At Capturing Courage we have been deliberately looking for and waiting on those who have incredible gifts to bring to the table. People who by their experience and character expand our own and by whom we are richer. Today, the calibre of people coming alongside Capturing Courage astounds me. Simply wow!
Bottom line: community heals us, community expands us, community challenges us and grows us. Community is rich and people in our lives are the only resource that expands and develops and multiplies.
If you do nothing else, grow some community today.