If there is anything that I have learned about walking this dreaming journey, it would be that you MUST have a tribe to help you along the way.
Who is in our Tribe may differ for each of us.
For me, I have found a wonderful support system of women who are also on a similar journey. Brought together initially by the God-sized Dream Team, I found myself surrounded by women who seemed to “get” me.
The only negative? We all live so far away! 🙂
Thankfully we live in an age where technology helps the miles seem less of a hindrance, and things like Google Hangouts and Voxer easily connect us as often as we wish.
We can’t walk this road alone. It is too easy to be discouraged, and we need to surround ourselves with faithful friends who can be honest with us, and yet know just the right ways to encourage us. So how do you go about establishing a tribe?
The first step is often the most scary. Connecting.
I am an introvert through and through. I don’t trust people easily, but once I know you, I am all in. So how does one connect? For me it happened through the online experience of joining a book launch team. I would encourage you to first start in your local community, if you can. One on one time is so valuable, being able to connect with someone in your hometown or at your church is such a gift. At the time in 2012 I was new to my community, and way too scared to reach out in person. That’s why initially the online experience worked for me!
Now, several years later, I am also involved in a local bible study at my church and through that have established some friendships with women I can trust. So know that no way is perfect and you need to find what works best for you. The important point is to look for opportunities to connect.
Second, and also scary, is we need to be willing to be vulnerable.
When I first”met” the women on our book launch team I was cautious. I shared only what was necessary. I didn’t feel safe enough to be vulnerable. But at some point I realized that my need for community was greater than the fear I felt about being “found out.” I wanted everyone to think that I had it all together….but the reality was I didn’t. As we connect with others and begin to build friendships we become ready to drop the facades and start being real.
There is freedom in reaching that point. The place where you can be honest, and you find women who circle around you and encourage you despite your failures.
It didn’t come immediately for me, and it really was a result of my unwillingness to go there. But today I have a group of women that I can be honest with and they love me regardless of my mistakes. What a gift that has proven to be.
So you have found some women to connect with, started to be vulnerable….what’s next? Establish a prayer group.
I can’t emphasize enough how important prayer is in the dreaming journey.
I am reading through the book Fervent again for the 4th time. If you haven’t read it you need to. In the book it outlines ways to be more strategic about your prayer life. There are so many areas that we need prayer in as we chase God’s dreams for our lives. And we can’t do it alone.
I have a group of 3 other women that I have a “Prayer Voxer Chain” with. We mostly share the “big” prayers on this chain. Things that come up that seem extra urgent. When a message comes through we can trust that at least one other woman has seen the vox and will be in immediate prayer over the situation. Often times I don’t talk with these women except to share requests, offer prayer for their requests and celebrate the answered prayers we see as they come, but I would count them as some of my closest friends. We live in all parts of the country, but we unite in a common mission. To support and encourage one another in prayer.
Finally find that one person that you can really be encouraged by and be an encouragement to.
One of the biggest gifts of establishing a tribe has been a friendship that has developed with one of my dreamer sisters. While we live miles apart, we stay connected every day. She is the person that I can go to when life is feeling crazy. When I need advice, she will offer it. But always with the preface that I should pray about it and ultimately seek God’s direction. And she has spoken truth in love over me in those moments when I am choosing a path that isn’t God’s.
We genuinely celebrate each other’s accomplishments and support our respective dreams. She has become a safe place for me and I strive to do the same for her. Her friendship is invaluable to me and has developed over the years because I connected, became willing to be vulnerable and trusted her with my prayer requests. It is one of the many gifts that my tribe has been in my life.
Walking the path of a dreamer can be a lonely place, but it doesn’t have to be. Committing to seeking and finding a tribe that can support you throughout your journey is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success. And the rewards you will gain in the process will be greater than you had ever hoped or imagined.
Shared By: Kristin Smith
Photo Credit: Allume Fun 2013