I spend a lot of time with 5 and 6 year olds, my favorite crowd! One of my favorite things about hanging out with kids this age is that they haven’t quite figured out how to exclude people. In our class, we teach that everyone is friends. Some kids know their classmates from preschool or church or various activities, and gravitate towards those people at first, but after some time, everyone is friends. I wish that could flow into the rest of our lives. Wouldn’t it be so cool if we got along with everyone? Yeah, we have our close friends and those we have the most in common with, but even just to be genuinely friendly when we are in the same place would be so awesome. I moved back to Idaho at the beginning of this year and it has not been fun trying to get to know people.
Amy touched a little bit on this last week, and I want to expand on it. In our younger years, we are often in school, church, sports, or so many other things and it is so easy to meet people our age, with similar interests. As a kid it’s easier: You like blue? So do I (and half the population), let’s be friends! As we get older, we have more specific interests and personalities and start to move towards hanging out with people more in our “bubble”. That’s where we get the cliques in high school (which do exist outside of movies). And it truly isn’t a bad thing at all to hang out with people who have similar interests as us, it helps us grow in our skill or passion. But there is so much more to life than those categories. If I like art and you like sports, there is so much more ground to cover to find commonalities. So as we get older, maybe go to college or work, we are around that same system. If we are both in college, you are likely in my same age group, same phase of life, have some of the same interests, etc. It is incredibly easy to make friends at a place where everyone is like you or going through the same things as you. That changes once college is over, drastically. So for me, moving home, away from everyone I met in college and the little bubble that it was, I had no one. Sure, my family is here and I love that! But you really do need friendships. You need those people that get you, are going through the same things as you, want to have a movie night or go get coffee or drinks and talk about being single or dating or married or whatever! Those relationships are so vital to our well-being. And as Christian women, even more so! We were created for relationship, we know that by looking at Jesus’ life and God’s desire to have a relationship with us! So why is it so hard?
When I moved back, I started going to church and slowly met a couple of people. I met some people my age at work, too! A few reached out to me and we had coffee and those awkward first dates. And that has been awesome for one friendship I’ve had, but the others sort of ditched. Was I that bad that they never wanted to hang out after one coffee date?! Why did they never text me back? It can be hard to not take it personally when that happens… That’s been my battle. And that’s why I wish we could just be like kindergarteners and not make each other feel like we aren’t good enough.
One thing I have learned through this season of what feels so much like loneliness, is that God will put the right people in your life at the right time. It truly sucks to really want to talk to someone in person and have no one to call to meet up. Or to want to have a girls night and make cookies and order pizza but then you realize that you actually only have one friend and they’re busy. It’s tough to be in limbo when it comes to friendships. I feel especially awkward because I am not in college, single, and not really an adult either. I don’t have a go-to group of people and I know I am not the only one there! I just have to be patient that God will bring those people into my life and in the meantime, I lean on Him.
If you’re struggling right now with feeling like you don’t have a good group of friends around you, take heart! It is a really tough season to be in, and often we can start to think that we are the problem. But lean into Jesus and know that when He does bring friends into your life to encourage you, laugh with you, cry with you, it will be at just the right time. Maybe someone else just needs you to go up to them and ask to hangout. And if you’re great at the friends thing and have your crowd, look for that woman at church who doesn’t have anyone to sit by, or ask the girl you just met at work to meet up for coffee. You never know what friendship you could welcome into your life or how you could be helping someone else.
Go and walk in love<3