Living Together Through The Worst

living together through the worst

[Guest Post by Sarah Markley. I met Sarah a few years ago at a Starbucks in Orange County. She and I both graduated from Biola University and have been blogging for many years. I finally got her to write a piece on community (a topic she is definitely passionate about). I hope you are encouraged!!]

I’ve lived with my husband for almost seventeen years. He’s seen me at my worst (and best) and I have seen him at his.

If you really want a good example of community, look at any married couple. Or any family for that matter.

In any nuclear family there are three, four or ten individuals with absolutely separate thoughts and triggers and sensitivities trying to make it happen together under one roof. Even though there may or may not even be a blood or DNA bond, each person is absolutely created differently.

Sometimes it goes beyond trying to simply live together and bleeds over into let’s-not-kill-one-another.

And sometimes it’s not just everyone else who irritates and grates and grinds on my. last. nerve.

Sometimes is me that is the problem.

There is no community worth being a part of that won’t stay with you through the worst, and the times you do poorly.

We’ve all been here, I think: I’ve had community who has left me hanging during the worst times of me. Because there are those worst times of me that show up when I don’t want them to.

When I argue with my husband or yell at my kids in front of my house mate–this is me at my worst.

When I sob and sob and can’t pull it together–this is me at my worst.

When I can’t make the right boundaries and screw up and have to make it right–this is me at my worst.

When I get selfish and hard to love–this is me at my worst.

I’ve been a part of a community that takes off when things start to get hard. But if community is family, it doesn’t have to be like this.

Your sister doesn’t leave you in the dust when you gain weight and your father doesn’t walk out on you if you come home drunk one night. Or at least they shouldn’t. That’s dysfunction. A functional family or a functional community will actually be there during the weight gain and the drunk curfew-break and all the other muck that a person goes through. A husband or wife stays even during times of anger or selfishness or grief. A family stays together even when it hurts or when one member is making a fool of themselves with bad choices.

A community stays together because a community loves one another and because a community is family.

And I have been a part of the good kind of community too. A community that extends arms and hands of grace and bowls full of salad while hugging my neck as they walk through the door. A community that makes a phone call at the exact-right-moment when my introvert-heart does not want to pick up but I do and her words are like water to my soul. A community that lives life together over and over again, even when we are at our worst.

I always want to be the kind of girl who loves others when they are showing the worst of themselves and who isn’t afraid of the journey.

What about you? Have you been a part of a community that loves even when people are at their worst.

Sarah MarkleySarah Markley is the mother of two daughters and a wife to an amazing husband of almost seventeen years. She’s been writing all her life but has been blogging for the last six. She writes regularly for A Deeper Church, is a staff writer for {in}courage.me and is currently working on her first book. Sarah knows firsthand what it’s like living in a post-crisis marriage and loves extravagant grace, second chances and seeing people become whole. She blogs at www.sarahmarkley.com and has lately been exploring what bravery, honesty and risk-taking mean for us as lovers of Christ and as people who want to build His kingdom.

[Photo: ftwentytwo, Creative Commons]

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