I am an island girl. I love a good book, a beach chair, and silence.
I also love a good hang – but hear me when I say that I am somewhat of a loner. I do not have FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), but instead JOMO (Joy of Missing Out).
Island time is something that I have to actively fight against hoarding. I used to isolate myself a lot more. But I am learning that the gift of being with and for others is always worth the cost to my personal time.
That doesn’t mean the cost is easy to pay. I still sometimes guard myself by caring the least in a relationship. I can try to be as aloof as possible, busy so that when things fall through, I won’t be disappointed. It’s difficult for me to come off the island and hang. I really do like my island.
Have you ever been somewhere where you just knew people were not for you?
Straight out of college, I worked as a temp in a large music industry organization with some great people. Despite my positive interactions with my coworkers, we were all just trying to survive, and I was miserable.
It was almost unfair. The office itself was set up to minimize distraction, increase output and therefore reduce human interaction. The window offices belonged to department heads, and I was one of many corralled in the middle of the room, regularly monitored from all directions under the fluorescent lights.
We had to whisper to each other to ask simple questions like, “How was your weekend?” It was a toxic environment for me.
When I think about where I am now, where we place such a high value on the whole person, I am truly thankful. We actually share life with each other here. Can you even believe that?
Recently, Stephanie and Tim Skipper, a husband and wife worship team, talked about the risk of vulnerability at one of our Sunday gatherings. Their talk centered around the idea that “vulnerability breeds vulnerability.”
I remembered all the times I showed up only to be shot down under the fluorescent lights and hushed whispers.
Not here. Not in this space. At Journey, we ask questions. We can share our hearts, our opinion, our feelings. We can show up exactly as we are and be welcomed into community.
I am so thankful for leaders who set me up to win and who don’t shame me for my shortcomings.
Together, we also see Jesus in new ways. And, we celebrate the grace that He provides to cover all our ridiculous and ignorant shortcomings.
Sometimes, it’s still tough for me, but being vulnerable in community is a profoundly refining process. The richness that comes from investing in a group of people who are for you, for your family, and for your dreams is always worth leaving the island.
About the Author
Samantha joined the Journey staff in the summer of 2017 with a BMin Music Business at Visible Music College and a Master of Nonprofit Management at Lipscomb University. Before starting her role at Journey, she worked with middle-school refugees at Nations Ministry Center in South Nashville. At Journey, Samantha helps to mobilize the visions of our pastoral team for Sundays and special events. She also coordinates all of the volunteers and helps people figure out where to serve that is life-giving for them.
life-giving for them.