Have you ever been completely surrounded by people but still feel alone? All of our social media connections should make us feel like we have a huge community around. But truthfully, if you're anything like me, it actually feels more isolating. Sitting in front your technology of choice, ninja stalking real life friends, is that really community? When did we lose the face to face interactions that once existed? Those connections that kept women sane, remembering that they...we...are not alone.
Almost two years ago I was yearning for community. As a teacher in a public school I am surrounded by students constantly, but I'm sorry..6th graders are not my community. My personal community was nearly non existent. Hubs and I moved here when we got married and all of my old friends were 2 hours away. Then I found (in)courage. My sister began working with them on some Facebook groups and so did another friend. I joined up with one of their groups for working moms just to see what it was like. I've been joining and/or leading a group ever since.
(in)courage is hard to explain, because it is still online. Still using social media to connect women. However, the difference, in my opinion, falls in the intent. There is purpose behind the conversations, purpose behind asking for prayer from these women, purpose in getting to know each other, purpose in encouraging and laughing and crying with each other. Yes, they may be from all around the country, but the group you join has something in common with you, and you meet there. You start at that small point, and you talk.
On May 19th (today if you are reading this on a Monday!) we are welcoming women who need community to experience these groups. Please, go to http://www.incourage.me/community and watch my sister's beautiful video. Look through the groups, pray about which one is calling to you, and join. It's an easy commitment for the summer, and a great time to see what it's all about.
Some of our groups will be on Facebook and others will be on a trial site. My particular group (in)couraging educators will be using the test site because we understand that social media and teaching don't always feel comfortable. My awesome co-leader, Joesette (a homeschool mama), will be inviting all educator (definition is broad and all are welcome) to join us. We hope to talk crafts and share ideas (we might even fail and post funny pictures of messed up Pinterest projects..who knows)! Our prayer is that if you are an educator (young, teens, public school, stay at home, adults, college, anything), and you would like a place to come to, to tell your story, to be inspired, to be encouraged, to be heard, that you would find us and you would join us. We are praying for you already and can't wait to meet you.
If you are reading this and know me in real life, please join. You won't regret it.