Find Your Tribe — These words were the invitation I accepted last year as I stumbled upon http://oneword365.com/find-your-tribe/ — “a global tribe committed to journeying together and living intentionally.”
Since I had already been living the premise of this challenge to follow the course of one particular word each year long before the founding of this online group of life embracers, throwing my word into the mix of similar-minded folks seemed like a natural thing to do. It would be interesting to connect with others who were pursuing the same goal in life. So, I logged in and typed the word that had been resonating within my heart.
Seems like a pretty inclusive word, doesn’t it? Or so I thought. But apparently, no one else in this online group of nearly two thousand had this same word branded upon their hearts. From January through December of 2017, I remained the lone member of my “tribe.”
Sometimes living out a purpose is a solitary commitment.
Sometimes we have to continue on even when our “tribe” is a tribe of one and there is no support group of fellow sojourners.
Despite my failed efforts to connect to a tribe via online invitation, my 2017 was in no way without people. After all, with the word I was given, how could I possibly end up in solitude?
When I first allowed my mind to mull over the word “gather,” I had my own idea of how things might progress. I envisioned a group of ladies casually seated around my table for meals and conversation. Lunch dates to connect with friends, new and old alike. I was even willing to concede that this gathering might be more spiritual than physical as I “gathered” people in my prayers who were not close in proximity. And while each of those scenarios did happen, it was not the brunt of the path God had in mind.
Folks have, indeed, been gathered into my home and have filled the chairs around my table, but it has not been a group of ladies whose presence has been made known. Instead, my heart has been enlarged to embrace a band of brothers (yes, literal brothers). Three blonde-haired adventurers have joined the ranks of those nearest and dearest to me, young men who have befriended my own kids and have wormed their way into this mama’s heart in the process. For the majority of the past five months, they have lived in our home, sleeping in beds or sprawled across couches and floors. They have worked alongside us and eaten at our table and “crashed” our family vacation and sat around fires with us and sang and laughed and hugged and danced their way completely into our lives.
What a gathering it has been!
This past year has shown me that:
Sometimes God starts us on a journey.
Sometimes He calls us to “find our tribe.”
Sometimes that tribe may seem to be a tribe of one.
Sometimes God turns the tide and brings you a whole new tribe.
In surprising ways.
If you are feeling on the outskirts of community, I invite you to “find your tribe.” You may discover those folks over at http://oneword365.com/find-your-tribe/ or you might walk the whole of 2018 with no online match of fellow travelers. But that doesn’t mean they are not out there.
It may just require you to first venture forth on your own.
It might mean walking a solitary path of obedience for a season.
And it may look very different than your initial expectations.
But in the end, you will find yourself surrounded by a band of brothers or sisters who will inspire and encourage you.
In ways beyond imagining.
Be willing to take the journey and find out.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.” – Isaiah 55:8, NLT
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