Isolation, not the answer for those with pain. We are called for greater things. And sometimes that means taking a leap of faith and meeting new people; new people that may inspire you, encourage, or show you different paths. The key is that you are out there, purposefully finding or creating community.
Pretty much my entire adult life I have wanted to be included in a book club, but no invitations came. Working for a large university, I signed up for an online book club. We read great books, but it just wasn’t what I was craving. I needed to sit with others and talk about the books. I needed community.
I gave up being invited and created my own club. With the help of our local community library, I was all set. But the intention of reaching out to my lesser-known neighbors was so intimidating. Would they come? And on top of that, we are living during a world pandemic. I’m going to invite virtual strangers into my home? But I did it. I took the step of faith and purposefully created community. And it was fabulous.
Outdoors in the September mild weather was fabulous. Six ladies came. A couple wore masks. We had snacks and wine. We mostly stayed on script, the questions I posed the night before, but it was so lovely. New friends. Neighbors I now know by name with a plan to meet again in six weeks.
Living with pain can be so daunting. Imagining yourself creating community may seem impossible. But asking God for help is essential. On the day of the book club, I worked 10 hours, standing on my feet; the first week returning to longer shifts after Achilles surgery. How could I make it? It seemed like such a good idea at the time. What was I thinking? I wrote in my weekly calendar, “God I’m going to need your help to pull this off”. And you know what, He showed up. I did it.
How to find community when you have chronic pain? There are support groups out there. Most are virtual during these covid days. But they do exist. The US pain Foundation has online groups. Find these at https://uspainfoundation.org/painconnection/. Join a Bible study at a local church. Join a Bible study through Proverbs 31 ministries, https://proverbs31.org/study/online-bible-studies . Or start your own. Invite your neighbors. Set up an Evite account and send the invitation. You got this. You need this. We were created for community. We love God, but He calls us to love others too.