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An (in)RL Story

Community

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.

inRL SF Peninsula 2

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.

 

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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.

Love,

001

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13 Comments

  1. Love this! What a great testimony to all the ways we can be in community and you got so much of it in ONE weekend. Awesome! I am jealous that you got to hang out with Jennifer, Dolly and Barbie. But so thankful too! You ROCK!

  2. LOVE this…I always make excuses about hosting things like this and then I read/hear/see other people’s stories and I’m so encouraged and inspired…My due date was Saturday, so I guess that is kind of an excuse…however, I’m still waiting for this little one to show up so I suppose I should have done something!!

    Your blog design looks super great too, by the way!

  3. I am so blessed that we got to meet and share community together. Now, let’s go meet over at Jennifer’s again soon, shall we? Have a lovely week!

    1. Yes, come on over! 🙂 I just love you, two.

      Zohary, I love your heart–your courage, your prayer for us to seek the good that He has . . .despite the risk it feels we need to take to find it. XO

  4. aackkk! you got to meet Dolly!??! I’m jealous! “Met” her through GodsizedDream team… bring her to Allume with you this fall, would you?!??! 🙂

    I’m so glad God gave you some soul sisters this weekend!!

    1. Hi Julie,
      Thanks for stopping by! Yes, Dolly is great, I’ll see if I can try to get her to Allume.
      Next year come to CA for an inRL meet up 🙂

      Love ya!

  5. What a meetup. Zohary!! 4 of you just rock my socks off!! All in one place! Eek, what an amazing day. I know lots of lonely girls living in their home towns. What a beautiful example of being brave. Love it!! I threatened to crash this meetup if I had been in the area. 🙂

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