Our contributor Melissa has graciously allowed us to feature her writing with our readers. Stay tuned for more contributors in the future! This article was originally posted on MLove Life.

One thing is for certain, if you don’t have a strong community, your falls will be harder and trust me you will fall.  Having church, (no I don’t mean a building where people meet) has shown me so much about the love of God.

“If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”-Ecclesiastes 4:10

After years of wondering this earth ‘completely’ alone, a time where I ‘left’ God for this world, I began to return my heart back to Him.   I surrendered on a bed of fear and withdrawals in my dark apartment on the beautiful California Street in San Francisco.  

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.”-Psalm 139:8

I began to do something I thought I would never do again, pray.  I realized I wanted someone who could lead me, someone who had strong family values but more importantly, at least knew Christ.  Two weeks later I met my husband who was living in Huntington Beach at the time.

About four years later after God had started to work on our hearts and minds.  Although it was a time the words ‘thank-you’ were constantly on my lips for all God had done, I began to slip into deeper depression.  God was tapping on my heart to begin to pray for friends even though I didn’t believe we needed them.  My husband and I had each other and that was more than enough.

On a separate note, we had prayed for an animator and editor for this project we had been creating for our passion project, MLoveizm.com.

 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”- 1 John 5:14

About two weeks later I had scheduled to shoot a model and her husband sat in the kitchen talking with my husband about art.   As I was doing her hair and make-up through our conversation I caught her use of the word, blessed.  Come to find out, she was an editor and he was an animator!  My heart burst to know the God of this universe hears and responds to our prayers!!!

Since then life has been so full as we began meeting more and more missing pieces to the puzzle.  I began to truly feel a sense of family and belonging.

“If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each of you is a member of it.”-1 Corinthians 12:26-27

I’ve never felt as though any of them worked on finding fault in me but through their actions presented a way of living that was attractive.  The way they represented Christ shined light on places God was revealing to me that could be sharpened.  From the way I thought to the way I spoke to the way I acted.  God was refining me quicker than could have ever been possible if we were to be on our own island.  I was beginning to experience church the way I had read about it in the Bible.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” -Proverbs 27:17

Every time I fell into depression or began drinking a glass of wine too many or wore something inappropriate, they were there to mourn with me, love me and show undeserved grace.

What I once no longer felt a need for was in fact, what I needed.  I was surprised because of how I had viewed friendship was completely skewed and damaged.

Friendships I can now call family is a kingdom of strong, courageous and faithful sons and daughters of God.  They walk through life with you.  They talk through your deepest thoughts. They show grace by their own words and actions.  They will go out of their way to simply be there for you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  This tribe will protect your dreams, support your goals, celebrate the person God has create you to be, cry for your broken heart, discern when grace and hard truth is needed, lift you up out of depression and call you out when you’ve been living a way that does not honor Him or represent Him well. In the end, they let God take the glory and let His Word be the final authority and truth.

“…so in Christ we who are many are one body, and each member belongs to one another.” -Ephesians 4:12

If you haven’t prayed to be connected, I encourage you to do so.  It is for your benefit and what you have, we all need.

Questions:

What relationship(s) have you prayed for?  How has it helped you in your walk with God?  Comment below!

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 5.03.43 PMHi, I’m Melissa I want you to gain back your confidence & energy in the way you think, speak and act through life-giving decisions.

Health is an excellent way to exercise stewardship for the service of others.

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