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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

our final community night dinner

This week marks our last week living in community.  Our last roommate has taken a job working with the Franciscan Action Network in Washington, D.C. which means when we come back from Europe, we'll be living on our own.  Tonight we're celebrating our final community night dinner with the extended members of our community.   

Tonight brings up lots of mixed feelings.  I still question whether or not we were successful with this community endeavor. I wonder if our community was "good enough."  With the bumps we had a community I wonder if Paul and I were failures as community starters.  I don't know if my heart will ever resolve answers to these questions. 

I do know that I've put my blood, sweat, and tears into this community, and the past two years have taught me a so much about community, myself, my relationships, my marriage, conflict, and commitment.  It would take too long to go through all the ups and downs, joys and challenges of the community so I'll just leave it at this: being in this community has made me a better, more confident, more patient, more loving person.  I'm glad Paul and I had the crazy idea to start this community, and I'm glad we were crazy enough to stick with it this long.  Even though it was difficult to be in community as a married couple, I believe it ultimately brought us closer and made us a better couple.  Living in community as a couple helped me realize the importance of being connected to a community (though not necessarily a live in one) for the continued strength of our marriage - and our growth as individuals.  

It's difficult to know what affect our community had on other people, and ultimately I don't think that's what's really important about a community.  The real secret to community life is that by being in relationship with others, you are transformed and grow to so much more than you could be on your own.  

I'm excited that our extended community will continue even though it will just be Paul and me living in the community space.  We've made some great friends through this community, and I want to continue to grow in our relationships.  We intentionally set up our community to have connections between live-in and live-out members of the community which turned out to be one of the community's greatest strengths.  Now the Casey Sister-Brotherhood will be more of a network of young people which will be a good fit for where Paul and I are right now.  We're ready to step into the next stage of our marriage together, and we are both so excited to be able to focus on each other as the main priorities in our lives.  

Ah the joys and pains of community life.  I have learned so much, and I wouldn't be the person I am today without it.

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