Friends in New Places
I have an isolating job as an auto damage adjuster. When I am back to work I spend 8-10 hours on the road and may only see 6 customers in that time frame if I am lucky. (Many vehicles are unattended) When you get home everyone needs something and I need something from them. It is dinner, showers, bills etc.
No one tells you that adulting can be lonely. You just want to talk to someone. To see and be seen, to hear and be heard. Recently, I signed up for a connect group at my church for the summer. We only meet every other week, but I so look forward to it. I enjoy the bible study very much; however, the fellowship is what I crave. (That may not be what I am supposed to say, but it is the truth.) Two weeks ago I showed up and no one was there. I was a little early so I waited. I waited a little longer, I was early after all. Finally, the lady who leads our group arrived, much to my relief. She told me no one else was coming. This little panic started to rise in my belly. On the surface I was very calm but on the inside I was screaming, “Please, please, don’t make me leave. Please stay with me.” We had a very pleasant evening of fellowship together.
We all crave connection, some of us more than others. You can be in a room full of people, other parents, your spouse, a loving family and be so lonely you could scream. It is not the abandoned, no one to lean on lonely. It is different. It is that need to have someone you connect with. To quote Grey’s Anatomy…it’s “your person”. A person or group of people that get you. It may be people you have known all your life or someone that you just met and clicked with. When you find them, they are a life line.
Let me explain “your person”. You are completely comfortable with them. You have no compulsion to speed clean your house if they pop by or run to the store for refreshments. They feel no need to do it for you either. It is not because you don’t care, it is because it is much more fun to go play with the toys at the store together while you figure out what you want to eat. There is no need to impress each other, it is all about who you really are to one another. When you ask this person how the dress looks on you…they will tell you the truth. After you gasp in horror, they will make you laugh. We should all have this person. They will go watch the new Disney movie with you and cry at the sappy parts with you. We have the potential to have several of these people in our lives if we are willing to open ourselves up. Being this comfortable with another person makes you vulnerable, but the reward far outweighs the risk.
I thought I had left my two people back in North Carolina, well not left – just increased the distance. Gina and Jennifer are my people. We laugh, eat, cry and everything in between together. We have helped clean each other’s homes. Folder each other’s laundry. Paint each other’s homes. Spent holidays in on another’s’ homes. Gone on road trips. It is more than best friends or family. There is an acceptance of each other and all the baggage that goes with it. We have had our moments, but you get over it.
As I said, I never thought I would find someone I felt that instant comfort with…until last Sunday. I think I found my West Virginia person. We talked and laughed and just enjoyed one another’s company. We go to church with one another and let me tell you a few things came up this week that made me think yup… this has real potential. One in particular takes the cake…
So we are fasting…remember. One of the things we talked about was our love of food on Sunday and how it would be cool if there was a connect group centered around cooking. So she sends me a message this morning saying it came up in conversation for me to do the connect group and she would help. Well we are not going to do this this term. (It would start in like 2-3 weeks and I have to plan and planning involves cooking and eating.) Again, we are 3 days into a fast. A FAST. It is almost 2 and my mouth is watering. I have prayed a lot today. But every time my stomach growls, I smile and think of my new friend and thank God for putting her in my path. I am excited to get to know her better. I am anxious to start planning a connect group with her and share our love of God and food with other people in our church. (She was also warned I would be blogging about her…Erin.)You never know where or how you will meet people. Open yourself up. Push your limits a little. I almost let that unworthiness issue stop me from volunteering with the youth group. Had I let that stop me, I would not have had that conversation with Erin on Sunday. What Erin does not know…I had been wondering if I should volunteer to be connect group leader in the spring. (It was an idea in my head – I just wasn’t sure if it was God’s direction or me just having an idea again.) I could not decide the theme I wanted to work around, I mean the Church provides guidance on the bible study aspect, but the theme of the group…food or not being a Ruth “less” woman. (I’m really hung up on Ruth right now – probably because of the novel.)
Seriously…if you are reading my blog. How can you not see God’s hand?
One last thought for today, remember when you think that you are too random or all over the place. God uses everyone. That is one thing that has really been revealed to me over the last few months. The disciples were a bunch of mixed nuts, I mean those guys were a hot mess. Hello, Peter cut off a soldier’s ear, denied Jesus and he still managed to lead the early church. God uses us. “God is in us, as us.” I have heard this phrase in several movies, books and articles and it used to really freak me out – like it was blasphemy. I no longer believe that. The Holy Spirit lives within us. God is not expecting us to be drones, if he wanted that there would be no free will. So God does live with in us, as us. I am a little goofy, intelligent, my brain jumps all over the place and God uses that.