Trusting God for Authentic Community + Lean On Me Book Review

Friendship Finding intentional, vulnerable, and consistent community can be a scary thought. In Florida, I have an authentic Christian community. Most of these friends are from Cru, a college ministry at USF, or my church. But this summer I will be leaving my community in Florida and moving to Pittsburgh to attend Pittsburgh Theological Seminary for my masters degree. I’m incredibly sad to leave the people in Florida who have shown me God’s love, forgiveness, and grace over and over again.

In Lean On Me, Anne Marie Miller describes how important it is to find intentional, vulnerable, and consistent community. Anne was going through a dark time and desperately needed that community. In her book, she shares her story of how community brought her out of darkness and into God’s light. After a year of healing through her community, she moved to another new place where she had to search for authentic friendships all over again.

As sad as I am to leave Florida, I also fear leaving the community that I have formed. I won’t forget the nights my roommate Alex and I sat in her room and laughed, cried, studied scripture, and prayed for each other. I won’t forget the multiple times my friend Becky saw the pains and sins inside my heart and yet still loved me. These are just two of the many friends I have in Florida who know me inside and out, still love me, and always provide Biblical truth in every situation.

I believe one thing makes this community different from any other I’ve experienced – they love Jesus. These friends don’t just go to church on Sunday, they have given Jesus their whole life. Every decision they make revolves around Jesus. They long to obey him because they have fallen in love with him. Because they have experienced Jesus’ love, they can love me. I fear not having these friendships by my side when I move, but reading Lean On Me happened at the perfect time in my life.Each time Anne moved, she trusted that God would bring her more authentic friendships. And God did just that. She found friends in church, school, and at the local coffee shop. They seemed to pop up everywhere.

Lean On Me

I realized that my fear stems from a lack of trusting God. In her book, Anne’s friend suggests that she make a list of everything she fears – the people who hurt her or could hurt her, situations that scare her, the future, anything and everything she feared. I made a list and I suggest you do it too.

My fears revealed the root issue – I don’t trust God. One of my fears was not finding authentic Christian community in Pittsburgh. Now, even though I don’t move for months, I’m starting to pray for friends in my classes who are pursuing Jesus with everything. I’m praying that I find a church near my apartment that is Bible focused and desires to have authentic community within it’s members.

If you are lacking Christian community, join me in praying to God that he would give us these friendships. God never wanted you to be alone. He lives in perfect community with himself, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. If God needed community, then we definitely need community.

We all need a place to belong. Let’s trust God with this desire in our hearts.

Did you feel encouraged or inspired from this post? If you did, share the image below on Pinterest or social media. Thanks for helping this blog grow. xoxo Joy

AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY

 

I received this copy of Lean On Me for free from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for this review.

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6 Comments on Trusting God for Authentic Community + Lean On Me Book Review

  1. Megan Walker
    January 5, 2015 at 8:40 pm (2 years ago)

    I love the idea of praying for your future friends! God has also led me to some incredible people in our move to Florida (by the way, where are you in FL???). If He has led you to friends in Florida, I’m sure he will do the same in Pittsburgh!

    Thanks for sharing on Hump Day Happenings : )

    Reply
    • joypedrow
      January 7, 2015 at 10:19 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Megan! Thanks for checking out the blog. I’m in Tampa! Where are you? How exciting! I love meeting other Florida ladies. =]

      Reply
  2. Julie
    February 3, 2015 at 3:40 pm (2 years ago)

    I read Lean on Me and loved it! 🙂 I started an online community of women because I really wanted a community of women to do ‘life with’. I’m lacking offline community, but I’ve been praying for it. So, you and I are in the same boat. I’m in Georgia. If you’re ever in my neck of the woods, let me know!

    Reply
    • joypedrow
      February 3, 2015 at 5:13 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Julie! Thanks for visiting my blog! What is your online community called? I would love to check it out. Have you found a church near you? That’s the place place to start to find community.

      Reply
      • Julie
        February 3, 2015 at 5:32 pm (2 years ago)

        It’s called Incite Faith Womens Community. There are 17 of us and we’re very transparent with each other. I have yet to find a Church, been looking for one for over a year. Prayers please in this area! 🙂

        Reply
        • joypedrow
          February 3, 2015 at 10:39 pm (2 years ago)

          That is awesome! Community is essential. Transparency is so important and to have friends that you can be honest and loved is so great for growth. I’m so glad you have that community. Have you tried an Acts 29 church? Here are all their churches in Georgia. http://www.acts29network.org/find-churches/#state:Georgia I hope one is near you!

          Reply

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