Tuesday, September 10, 2013

don't give up. on community.

if you're on instagram, you've seen a project i'm working on with my friends ashley and lindsay(lindsay doesn't blog, but if we shame her enough, maybe she will?)
it's a traveling set of tshirts that say don't give up. you wear a shirt and take a picture in it depicting a hardship and a coordinating verse that you're clinging to.

one thing that i've believed for a very long time is that stories matter.
honestly telling stories matters.

but why?

if you can't be honest and your real self, is it worth it?
to save face but to be alone in your struggles.
to look good but to be in your personal hell of secrets.
to "have it together" but be falling apart on the inside.
to desperately need support, but never receive it because of silence.
to lock up stories, when others need to hear them.

it's so ironic that christians have the idea that we need to have it all together. that people can't know we're depressed, addicted, sad, hurting, struggling, mean, sick, angry.
if you're a believer, it doesn't mean you're supposed to be perfect and good. on the contrary!
it just means you recognize that you need someone to save you from your awful mess.
it's supposed to mean that you can't do it on your own.
Jesus came for those that know their sick, not for those who think they don't need a doctor.
and he made us for community with others. depending on Him, and depending on the body OF christ...
that cliché phrase: the body of Christ?

that's us.
a picture of Christ.

isn't it crazy that he uses broken people to show who He is to other broken people?
He shows Himself when we get the opportunity to act like Jesus' hands and hug you. help you. lift you back up.
when we get to speak the truth into your life, acting like Jesus' mouth and encouraging you. telling what your forget...that it won't be like this forever. Jesus is coming back for you. He didn't leave you alone...He's near to you. 
when we get to be the feet of Jesus and bring you a meal. run your errands. walk with you through the hospital, to the cemetery, from the awful appointments.

this is community.

when you tell the truth about your suffering and hardship, you allow others to be the hands and mouth and feet of God. this is why stories are important and why dealing with hurts and suffering alone is not healing, nor is it beneficial to the body.

(and no, you don't have to tell your hard stuff to the whole world, on social media. but tell someone. a close friend. don't do this alone. )

these are just tshirts. we're just using instagram to remind others that He is near.
i forget it so often and think i am alone.
social media has been a blessing in this, lots of people reminding and encouraging me that God is near. that i need not give up because He is with me, carrying the load.

if you're interested in joining, you can email DGUshirt@gmail.com and it will send you detailed instructions on how to sign up. we would love for you to be a part of it.

14 comments:

  1. It's so easy to fall trap to wanting to appear 'perfect' on the web and in the blogging world. So refreshing and encouraging to be reminded by you today that community is doing it together, the good AND the tough, hard, struggles, etc. Something for me to chew on more today. Thanks Jami!

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  2. beautiful just beautiful....I would love to be part of this...not for me but for my own little girl who struggles with reading I want her voice to be heard!!!! Thank you!

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  3. Sooo excited about being a part of this! Real life.

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  4. ok, this is crazy town! I'm up working on a talk I'm giving to a group of moms tomorrow, kicking off their year with the theme of Connection. I'm doing a 5 week series for them and tomorrow it's about connecting with one another. My point in my talk is vulnerability and how we truly connect to one another is by being vulnerable, sharing our story and our truth. I'm going to share my story of my 2 year struggle with severe anxiety. 2 Cor. 1:3,4 (in the Message version rocks) nails this! I'm sitting here, waiting for my printer to kick out my 100 page talk (I'm a rambler!) and I'm scanning through my fav blogs and read yours!!! You just confirmed all that I'm sharing tomorrow and I just might throw in a quote from your blog! Yep, your name might be mentioned at Bel Air Presbyterian Church in California tomorrow sista!

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  5. I knew this was going to be a good post based on its title. Community is one of the greatest blessings and lessons that I've learned from blogging (a huge lesson to an introvert like me!), Anyway, this is such a fun project! It so brings me back to my Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants days and I know it's going to do great things. :)

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  6. As someone who works in ministry, we feel this. It's hard, really, really hard and lonely. I appreciate your voice of truth and love this idea. It's true...it's not worth it not to be honest and true.

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  7. I love this idea! What a wonderful reminder, so needed in this crazy day and age. I'll definitely be sending an email :)

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  8. LOVE those shirts and what they mean!

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  9. I love this. i think i need to get my hands on one.

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  10. Oh could I use one of these t-shirts. I am struggling with my 10 year and her school work. Actually, struggle is an easy word.

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  11. What a grand idea!! I would LOVE to participate! A great grounding to our rampant thoughts of being inadequate in so many areas of our lives and just wanting to quit. (Jer 29:11) :)

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  12. 2nd of your posts I've read tonight -- what you write is so what I think and feel! So encouraging!! Thank you for being so real.

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