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Ecosystem of Resilience

Church of the Resurrection Insights Blog

Acts 14: 11-22

I’ve been pondering resilience a lot lately. I’m in one of the most difficult seasons of my life, moving my husband into memory care facility due to his decline with dementia. After years of grief and the always-changing landscape of dementia, I thought I was prepared for this next transition. Instead, I’ve found my well of resilience has gone dry and my own state of fatigue often insurmountable. Where has my resilience gone?

In this difficult time, I’ve again learned that we can’t go it alone. Resilience does not grow in a vacuum. It’s part of an ecosystem of life that includes friends, family, co-workers, health care providers, even unknown strangers who extend kindness. It’s clear to me that my husband and I have been carried by the love and prayers that surround our lives. I’m so grateful.

Paul did not go it alone. Paul had a partner in ministry, Barnabas. Plus the text says the “disciples surrounded him” in his distress, as he lay beaten and left for dead. I can only imagine what it was like for him to lie there, on the ground, dazed, probably in pain, and look up to see his closest friends surrounding him. Only then did he get up and return to his ministry (v. 20). Paul was not resilient all on his own. He had brothers and sisters in Christ, his ecosystem of life that helped to restore him.

None of us is resilient on our own. When we feel lost in our own lives, those who know us well can return us to ourselves. When we are discouraged, those who know our life story remind us that we can make it through this struggle, too. When we are frightened, those who have trod this path before can shine a light to help us take the next step. We can look to the body of Christ to surround us so that we, too, can get back up and return to our path.

Resilience grows in community. Thanks be to God.

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