I wonder how many of us feel lonely on the of path of life we are walking, either by choice or circumstance? How often do we feel misunderstood? How often do we feel our struggles are unseen? How often do we long to share our ideals/vision/deep held convictions with somebody, but can’t risk having something so precious crumpled up and discarded out of hand?
I’m guessing most of us, at some time or another. Life is so complex; relationships, ill health, kids with additional needs, finances…All these can contribute to making us feel we are alone on our particular journey.
But, we are not. Firstly, for those with a Christian faith, God sees and knows and his ear is always bent towards us.
Secondly, I think that if we are able to be reach out and be vulnerable ourselves, and this can sometimes feel a big ask, we will find there are others who walk similar, if not identical journeys.
Deep within most of us, I believe, there is a yearning for community. To be part of a group of people who do life together; who “get it”, who can empathise with our struggles because they also have them and who can celebrate our joys because they understand how hard won these are. Despite being surrounded by people, home ed can be a lonely journey, because there are still relatively few home educating families around. Add to that adoption and children with additional needs, and I have an individualised training programme for developing perseverance, grace and nerves of steel.
However, last week end I did indeed feel this deep sense of belonging, like a duvet wrapped around me, and it was wonderful! The committee of CHESS (Christian Home Education Support Service) took a leap of faith and decided to put on a virtual conference. There were so many fantastic speakers who encouraged, taught and inspired; and some more ordinary ones like Helen and myself who did a small session addressing new home educators. The platform also allowed for numerous group chats and virtual meet ups. It was this which, I think, allowed us to feel part of a community, spread all across the UK.
So, my somewhat drained cup of belonging has been well and truly filled up. I need to try to ensure it doesn’t get quite so low again. I think isolation is even more prevalent in these covid times, and must seem almost unbearable for some. There are no easy solutions in our disparate world, but I can testify that God does hear the cries of our hearts and, as we reach out, He provides companions to walk along side us.
The photo at the top was taken during the conference. It was a moment of light and beauty in between storms, made all the more stunning because of those storms. The tree, an oak, has deep roots and was quite unshaken. The sun is shining through it.
In your mercy, Lord, may we your people, be a source of strength and hope during these times of storms and shaking . May we be grounded in your good Word and guided by the power of the Holy Spirit. And in your grace, might we have moments of beauty, peace and joy in between the storms.