Belonging Day 4: You’re Not the Only One

Hey there friend,

Are you ever lonely? Me, too.

Do you feel like everyone around you has friends—the kind of friendships that you crave? Ones where you go deeper than talking about the weather, the kids and your schedule? Me, too.

Do you stand at the sink in the kitchen and look at the window wondering if anyone out there is thinking about you? Yep, same.

Do you ever leave a session of scrolling Facebook in search of a connection, just to feel more on the outs than ever? Been there as well.

Are you tired of passing people with a “How are you? Fine. How about you? Good.” conversation. I am.

Guess what? We’ve all been there because it is a struggle to find and nurture authentic connectivity in today’s world. I have observed in every age group, in all types of social circles, in women you’d never guess because they’re so involved—a pervasive need for deep friendship with other women. A friend or group to belong to; where we’re known deeply and accepted, faults and all.

We long for connectivity; we want to share our souls but we often let the barriers get in the way.

Maybe sometimes we won’t admit that to ourselves.

Maybe we tell ourselves that the chit chat at  playgroups and the soccer sidelines fill that need.

Maybe we feel like we’re too busy to make time for it.

Maybe our assumption is that everyone else already has it.

A couple of years ago I facilitated a Bible study with the most wonderful bunch of women. A lawyer, pastor’s wife, home schooling moms, a teacher, a computer whiz—they ran the spectrum. But there was a common thread. We were all surprised to figure out that we had a shared desire for friendship and belonging and had assumed that each of the others already had it.

That beautiful, put-together woman at church? She wants a friend.

The wise grandma in the pre-school line? She craves some conversation.

The young widow? She wants to belong even though most of the women she knows are married.

It’s not just you…or me…I suspect that many women have seasons or even lifetimes where they are longing for more than what they currently have. Christian women, too. Jesus is a wonderful friend, but so much of his love is manifested in authentic relationships with other believers.

A couple weeks ago I felt a nudge from the Spirit: Invite her over for lunch, giving me the name of a specific woman I had recently met. I could tell we shared the same Spirit. Our kids aren’t necessarily the same age, I wasn’t sure if she’d think I’m a weirdo and I didn’t know how nap time would go the day I had her over. But guess what?

It was glorious. We had the best conversation, the Lord was present and we swapped kingdom ideas. We both had a shared sense of belonging that day.

One thing I appreciate about having moved often it’s forced me to listen to the Spirit’s prompting, especially when I am recently transplanted and vulnerable. One of my sweet friends in Kalamazoo was a girl who I “friend stalked” at a church we tried out for 6 months. I gave her my number because I noticed she was new and her husband was wearing Chaccos, these outdoorsy sandals that only cool people wear. Another girl was one I judged by externals that “we’d never be friends,” but I felt drawn to her in Christ and now she’s one of my dearest. I can think of countless times other people’s invitations extended to me have resulted in dear connections as well.

Don’t talk yourself out of authentic relationships with other women based on assumptions or fears. Don’t let yourself be o.k. with the loneliness as inevitable, we are created for connection; you’re not the only one longing to belong.

Listen to who God might be nudging you towards. Put yourself out there in faith, knowing that all of us long for friendship and belonging.

Lady at the gym, little do you know it, but you’re next.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Lady at the gym has no idea what’s coming her way! LOVED this! so true. ALL OF IT.

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