Let’s Stay Together

togetherJust back from a conference with some wonderful people. It’s been a time of restoration and renewal: it’s reminded me of the joy of fellowship and it has awakened in me a fresh hunger for the Lord.

But I almost didn’t make it.

And here’s what’s scariest: the thing that blessed me most – was also what almost kept me away.

I long to connect with others: to know and be known in return.  But I’m just as frightened they’ll hate what they see.


My greatest hunger – and my biggest fear.  Powerful; but terrifying too.

Driving there, my brain said ‘mistake’.   There was still time to turn back and staying home would be so much easier. Think about it:

The venue: several hours away. A new place, with different routines and communal living – things I often find difficult.

The cost: not enormous, but enough to have a few nights away, just the two of us.

A busy schedule: different (fertility-related appointments), which meant we’d have to arrive late and leave early.

Lovely people but most with children and babies – surely a needless reminder of the family we want.


It would make sense not to bother.  Put if off till next year, when we’re less busy and more emotionally settled. Surely better to be ‘safe’ if lonely – than risk all for the sake of relationship.

But here’s the truth: it was exactly what I needed.

On arrival, I launched into small-talk, expecting a cheery but superficial answer.

‘Hi! Nice to see you. How you doing?’

‘Honestly? A bit broken. Life’s tough sometimes – y’know? But it’s great to be here and to  rest’.

And with these words, my shoulders dropped.  I breathed. And I knew I was in exactly the right place.

Community is not a threat.  It’s a balm. Instead of putting me under more pressure; I felt it lifting off.

Instead of feeling isolated and depressed; I knew myself to be already part of a family.

Instead of turning inwards, I had my eyes lifted again to the Lord.


Comfort, is sitting alone with a flickering TV.  It’s the routines that shrink your world, till it’s only you.  Comfort is the mask that’s offers safety, but smothers you instead.

Comfort isolates, blinds and finally betrays.

But community – gathered around a living Saviour – brings life to the full. It’s not comfortable – but it is LIFE.

Don’t settle for less.








10 thoughts on “Let’s Stay Together

  1. I don’t know how to speak to people openly:( I would have been the hideous person who answered “fine” and made u get straight back into ur van and get the heck outta there..

  2. Anon – we’ve all been there, so don’t beat yourself up: thankfully someone made it easy for me. I think there’s more of us scaredy folks than we realise – but vulnerability is powerful

    Thanks Nicola! x

  3. Isn’t it always like this? What we need most is the very thing we try our best to avoid. We believe the devilish lies about what will happen to us if we reach out and take what God is offering. Fears and pride and shame shroud his good gifts and we tell our selves they are really just dog poo in disguise. We turn up the volume and pretend we can’t hear Him calling to us. So pleased you made the leap of faith and found community, the best kept secret weapon for this life.

  4. This spoke right to my heart, Emma. I’ve been blessed so many times by something – community – that I was afraid of to begin with, that I ask myself why on earth do I still keep clinging to comfort?

  5. So true! I had the same feelings. my friend was pushy enough to make me give in, no matter what excuse I gave, she came up with a solution! (some people just don’t get it!) but I’m glad I went! truely refreshing and encouraging! and the people weren’t so scarey after all, it’s all in my head.

  6. Emma,

    I don’t know how you do it but your blog continues to speak to me each day. I thought I was the only one in the world with this “community” issue – I long for relationship, friendship, company but when it comes to it when we actually meet up with friends in the pub or something I feel so awkward, I feel like everyone thinks I’m this odd ill person who can’t sort thier life out.My friends aren’t that shallow I know they wouldn’t think that but I get so caught up in myself I forget who I’m meant to be looking too.

    Thank you for your words. x

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