Walking Each Other Home

Walking Each Other Home

Over the next few weeks, I’ve invited some of my dear blogging friends to share words of encouragement here on the blog while I rock my newborn baby and get some much-needed rest. Today, I’m thrilled to invite Kaitlyn Bouchillon on my virtual back porch to eat some blueberry scones and chat about the beauty of community.

 A handful of weeks ago, I made the mistake of looking up.

The coffee shop was silent, all eyes were on me, and I’m pretty sure you could have heard a pin drop if one actually did, you know, drop.

I held a crisp, white and silver book in my hands as I silently prayed that my voice wouldn’t shake. And it didn’t. I was reading actual words, sounding like a relatively normal person, until I read one particular sentence and dared to look up into the eyes of the ones the words were about.

For the next four minutes, I sat perfectly still on that dark, metal stool. With my legs crossed and my eyes down, I read through a small portion of my book – out loud and in front of my people – for the very first time.

It wasn’t fancy and those particular three pages of words printed in ink won’t change the world, but the moment was much more than a book reading to celebrate the release of my first book, Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between.

See, we all gathered in the coffee shop where those particular words were first written, the words about the city I’ve come to call home and the people who have taught me that community is worth fighting for.We belong to the Kingdom but for now, we are all just walking each other home. #EvenIfNotBook

And those people? They were
all there, sitting in that little coffee shop and cheering me on.

In front of the people who hold my heart, I read the words about how they have mended and molded me, shaped and encouraged me, brought me back into the light when I couldn’t see which way to go.

When I looked up into the eyes of the community that came around a broken girl, I had to quickly look away to prevent a torrent of grateful tears from spilling out. Because the truth is, I didn’t always believe this kind of community could exist. After being burnt by the Church, I didn’t think love on this side of Heaven could hold true. It just seemed so much easier to live life on my own instead of choosing to do life together. But over time, in that slow, gentle way of His, God brought His Bride to me.

free print // community is worth fighting for

It looked like dance parties and road trips, bible studies and babysitting little ones.

It looked like gathering around a table for a meal.

It looked like showing up with french fries and a milkshake after the loss of a family member.

It looked like hard conversations laced with grace and truth.

It looked like handwritten notes and secrets kept and more hugs than I can count.

Community came and showed me that love looks like walking each other home.

Scripture tells us that although we plant our roots and love deeply on this spinning globe, we’re only somewhat home. 1 Peter 2 calls us “temporary residents” of earth and Hebrews 13:14 says it plainly:

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

We’re all living in the in between, trusting that there is purpose in today while looking forward to a glorious tomorrow in the Kingdom. If I’m being honest, most of these in between days find me somewhere in between darkness and light, questions and answers, loneliness and community. I’m holding onto what I believe to be true and I have faith that He will remain faithful, and yet my life often feels chaotic, relationships are difficult, and my to-do list is miles long.

All of us, you and me and the mailman and the Starbucks barista, we’re all learning how to live and love in the in between. We are home and yet we are not. We live in the tension of the Already and the Not Yet. I have been redeemed; I am being redeemed. I am made new; I am being made new. We belong to the Kingdom but for now, we are all just walking each other home.

When I looked up from the page at the ones who have held me in the lows and celebrated with me in the highs, I saw it reflected in their eyes: community can look one hundred different ways, but ultimately it means taking each other’s hands, fixing our eyes upward, and walking one another Home.

The “community is worth fighting for” print is a free download {one of many!} for Kaitlyn’s blog subscribers.



Kaitlyn Bouchillon is an author and blogger who believes every person is a walking story and every story matters. Her first book, Even If Not: Living, Loving, and Learning in the in Between, released in early 2016. She loves writing — blogs, books, and handwritten letters — is addicted to queso, and is crazy about her people. She currently splits her time between Starbucks and her cute little apartment in Birmingham, Alabama