About two years ago I started praying earnestly for friends. It was around that time that I found myself at home with two toddlers and two older school children at school, an awesome husband but no soul sisters, no bosom friends with whom I could share my life.
Though I have lived in the same area all my life, I found myself almost feeling like a stranger in my own home town. A few years before some of my close friends moved away to other parts of the country and what with being in school, raising babies, and just trying to survive, it became a challenge to just “meet people”.
Honestly, that’s when I started reading blogs. And I felt like there were actually like-minded women “out there” who got me. Why couldn’t they be here? Why couldn’t I meet friends like that in real life. . .?
Over that time the Lord has amazed me with His grace at answering that longing in my heart. Not only have I been blessed with meeting true sisters here in my city but I can now also say I’ve been able to meet some of my blogging sisters in real life.
This past weekend I felt my cup overflowing. Being an extrovert I love being around people so feeling isolated is particularly devastating for me. But this weekend, I almost thought I might be overdoing the whole extrovert thing.
Friday I started with lunch with one very close friend who I can really open up with and followed with our church women’s ministry conference after which I was able to spend the night (at an actual hotel room) with another bestie.
I awoke on Saturday already feeling beyond blessed at the friendships in my life. The conference continued but I had to leave early, there was another event I needed to get to, and that there was no way I could miss.
This weekend the girls at (in)Courage hosted the inRL conference where women tune into a webcast from home and connect with other InCourage readers right in their home towns. So I headed south to Jennifer’s house where I would meet with five other women.
I had met Jennifer last fall at the Allume Conference (yup, we had to go hundreds of miles away to meet in person though we only live about 30 minutes from each other). She is amazing; her words are like perfect little messages from Jesus that feed my spirit and remind me that He is near.
I was also able to meet Barbie, Dolly, JJ, and Nikki who though I didn’t know in person until then, I can honestly call them “friends” now and after sharing our hearts, probably more like soul sisters.
We shared yummy food, watched the (in)Courage videos that just spoke so much to my heart, and shared stories about community and the challenges of staying when things get hard. We talked about being brave and stepping out even when you’ve been hurt by community.
It was hard to say goodbye when it was over, but I know we will see each other again.
On Sunday I had one more girlfriend date to attend, my sweet friend had invited me to attend a concert with her and though I was on “extrovert overload” I knew we would have a great time. And we did.
But it almost didn’t happen; you see my friend almost didn’t ask me to go. She hesitated for a moment, she thought maybe I would be busy or already have plans or just maybe would politely say no.
But she was brave, I know she was because I’ve been there, I’ve prayed for the Lord to make me brave in friendships and He has and though it’s scary taking those leaps of faith into community it can be so rewarding.
And then my heart felt heavy for those women who maybe wanted to be brave this weekend, they wanted to attend an inRL, they want to send out an email to a potential “friend”, they want to deepen those casual friendships and be real, but the fear is too great still.
God wants us to be in community, He know “two are better than one”, and so today I just want to pray for all of my sisters out there who are feeling alone.
I pray that our heavenly Father would fill you with hope and a spirit of boldness and that you would allow Him to have access to the deep longing of your heart. Your heart’s desire for community, friendship and love. He hears you and He loves you.