Create a Community of Grace

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Who said girls shouldn’t climb trees?

How important is community in the formation of your faith and personality? …very. What many people don’t know about me is that I went to public school for high school and, while I loved my friends so much, I was the one token Christian in my friend group. My faith survived because of youth groups on Sunday and retreat highs. I never really knew Jesus as a best friend because my friends didn’t outwardly reflect His word in their lives. Since coming to Catholic University my faith has progressed so drastically and I have grown so much as a daughter of Chrsit. Even when it isn’t obvious, Jesus has been so present in every aspect of my life since being on this campus and I have fallen so deeply in love with Him. Best of all, I finally dropped the retreat high for a constant fire and adoration of Christ.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this drastic change of heart recently and wondering why my faith has advanced so rapidly and so purely since coming to college. At first I thought it was my own increase in personal prayer time, and while it definitely contributed, I realized that it was actually the result of surrounding myself with beautiful faith-filled people who held themselves to high standards in their relationship with Christ and in turn inspired me to do the same. They were all so happy and welcoming and so alive and by spending time with them I found myself picking up on those traits too. The idea that you aren’t affected by the people around you is such a lie. It’s who you hang out with that decides what is cool, trendy and stylish. It’s how those people treat others that effects how you in turn treat others as well. If you have friends who don’t gossip then you won’t either. It’s in our nature to follow and adapt to the people around us, so, we need to use that to our advantage instead of letting it take advantage of us.

The idea that you aren’t affected by the people around you is such a lie. It’s who you hang out with that decides what is cool, trendy and stylish. It’s how those people treat others that effects how you in turn treat others as well.

I have never been so blessed to be surrounded by the kind of women I am friends with today. I’m surrounded by so many different types of girls from all different backgrounds and each one of them has played a huge role in shaping me these past few months. I have had some of the most fulfilling conversations about everything from Jesus’ awe-inspiring love, to crosses we are struggling with, to overly zealous conversations about the feminine genius. It was actually my good friend Sarah, who I’m featuring this Friday, and our essential coffee dates, who got me so passionate about making sure women know their dignity. Without her, and all the other amazing girls I have had the pleasure of knowing this year, I would never have started this blog. Please, please, take my advice when I say surround yourself with a beautiful, faith-filled, and powerful group of girlfriends. Without mine, and the support they bring me, I wouldn’t be the woman I am today. They are with you through everything and love you so unconditionally even when you are at your worst.

Please, please, take my advice when I say surround yourself with a beautiful, faith-filled, and powerful group of girlfriends.

The greatest life-changing aspect of being in community of women is that you’re never alone but your dependence is not on them. By this I mean that they will be with you through everything and they will always support you but they will also know that they will never be enough. Your friend group should always point you back to Christ, to Him on the cross. If it doesn’t reflect His Divine Mercy, and they aren’t working to get you to heaven, find another group that does. I know that it is easier said than done, but I can tell you from personal experience it is so rewarding and so worth it. I went almost my first four months of college without a solid group of girlfriends because I didn’t want to settle for anything less than what God wanted for me. In prayer Jesus promised He would create a community of women for me to prosper in if only I trusted Him, and more importantly was okay with the cross of loneliness for a while. While at some points it was so hard, in the end when He finally put my girlfriends in my life I knew that they would be the ones who got me into heaven.

The greatest life-changing aspect of being in community of women is that you’re never alone but your dependence is not on them.

We as women were meant to love, and be loved, in abundance and having a Christ-centered community of women that lives this out is so essential in creating a strong foundation of faith it’s insane!

My advice for how to do it… reach out to those women who you see are living their faith in a unique way that you want to experience. Create a community of grace. If you have a friend-crush on someone don’t be afraid to tell them you want to be friends. I can’t tell you the amount of fruitful relationships that have started from me going up to a girl I admire and telling them how badly I want to be their friend. If you are struggling to create this kind of community of girlfriends, please reach out to me! I’d love to chat with you! Also, here are some of my favorite Catholic Women’s Blogs who are creating an amazing community of women:
Blessed Is She
She Reads Truth
Integrity
Reverb Culture

Favorite Outfit of the Week:
Dress – Madewell
Shoes – Zulily

Song Recommendations of the Week:
Changing of the Seasons – Two Door Cinema Club
There Will be Time – Mumford and Sons
Mausoleum – Seryn

What topics do you want to see talked about on this blog? I’ve been focusing on topics that I am passionate about but I’d love to hear what you guys want to read about so I can tailor my site you. If you have any ideas, please leave them here!