Ashlee’ and I met in Auburn, WA, when she was a junior in high school, and I was working for Young Life. Simply put, I love the journey life’s given her, and the unique perspective from which she gets to tell her story. This short snapshot of Sunday Dinners captures what it means to find community when and where we least expect it – and isn’t that the heartbeat of the notion?
When I moved to Seattle I was hoping to find adventure and a community. The only problem is I had only seen a glimpse of what I think community looks like; I had bits and pieces of a puzzle that didn’t fully fit. So began this journey with the few friends I already knew, leaving behind the safety of what I had known.
The first couple weeks were really hard – I honestly thought that I had made the wrong choice by moving to Seattle. Sure, there was lots of adventure, but the community I longed for was a little harder to find.
Then I was dragged to Sunday Dinner by some friends.
I felt like the elephant in the room: I didn’t belong and I was very conscious of that fact.
This dinner was meant for the students of the local college, not a full time worker with no actual ties to the college. Yet I kept going, embracing the awkward that had become Sunday night dinner.
Then one day it just stopped being awkward. I started looking for this community that was out there and I realized that the faces of those around me are exactly what I had been searching for. I eventually started to spend time with some of the people from Sunday night dinner outside of the dinner. Thus I had this community of people, who love me, walk along side me, who laugh over meals, and joke about life. They have shown me what community really means.
Community is showing up, good and bad. I guess I had always expected it to be something so much more. In reality, it’s living life with one another, it’s sharing meals and stories. It’s everything that Sunday Dinner represents.
Tonight I look back on the first day I went to Sunday Dinner, and I’m glad I kept going, because many of the same people I share dinner with every Sunday are the same people who showed up to celebrate my birthday tonight.
Community can be found in the most unlikely places, if we open our hearts to the people around us.
Thank you, Ashlee’. Would you like to write a post about how your community has made the difference in your life? Message Cara today! Otherwise, help Cara’s writing continue to grow by becoming a fan of Be, Mama. Be on Facebook, or by heading the Home page, and clicking on FOLLOW button in the left-hand column.0