by Adrianna Wimmers

Stress is mental or emotional strain caused by demanding or adverse circumstances. Stress can come from many different situations and can be overwhelming, leading oneself to not know where to turn to or what to do about the stress they are experiencing. Balancing school, friends, relationships, extra-curricular activities, jobs and everything in between can add unnecessary and often unwanted stress.

Stress and being overwhelmed can blind us to many things like the people who can and are willing to help us get out of our hole that we have stressed ourselves into. Our stress can also blind us to the other people around us that are stressed too. We become unable to see the world around us; we become too consumed with what we ourselves are dealing with.

We often take stress out on those around us, instead of turning to them for support and comfort. We believe that isolation is what we want, but we do not have to be alone.

Community is the feeling of fellowship with others as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests and goals. Building community is important to do, and a supportive community is helpful in so many ways. God even tells us this in Galatians 6:2 “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” We can share our stress and burdens with our community and turn to them for support and comfort. We can also look around at those in our community and show them our support, show them that they are not alone and that others have felt what they have felt as well.

Community is where you can turn in all circumstances, not just in times of sadness or stress. We can rejoice with our community and celebrate together.

Romans 12 says, “Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble and keep praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other.”  Stressed and overwhelmed or joyful and prepared to celebrate, community is where we can turn to.

Turn to the community, build community and invest in community. Our God did not create us to live in solitude, but with people, who can help, love and support us.

Our God loves us so deeply and will never leave us, he will always give us strength for what we need, whether that be strength found within ourselves or strength gained from the support of our community.

Students this summer are learning and growing in Authentic Community. To find out more about what they’re learning, click here.