Community is important. We were created for connection. How can we make friends and grow relationships after we have been hurt and let down? How can we push past offense and disappointment to embrace new opportunities for building a community?
As Mike and I prepare for our cross-country move from West Virginia to Colorado(we’ll already be there by the time you read this.) one of the most significant challenges ahead of us is establishing community and making new friendships.
I have shared before that about a year and a half ago most of my husband, and I’s significant relationships fell apart. We had not done an excellent job of building those relationships healthily so as we began to change as a couple our friendships did not evolve with us.
I do not claim to be an expert in making new friendships at all. Probably the opposite. What I am sharing with you today is what I am sensing the Lord is counseling me on in preparation for this new season ahead. What I am sharing is my game plan moving forward and pushing past the hurts.
Making new connection is going to require a willingness in you to put yourself out there. I totally understand the desire just to hide away, refuse to ever trust again, and be an island all on your own.
Most of the time you can be entirely content all alone. At least I can. I can go quite a while alone and feel totally fine with it. Or that's atleast what I tell myself. Nevertheless, there will be moments of loneliness, stress and overwhelm where you’ll wish you had people to reach out to and really connect with.
When the baby won't sleep, and you just need to hear that you are doing good and that all this is normal. When your husbands being challenging and you just need someone to encourage you to love him anyways.
You need people. Refuse to believe any different.
Expect new connections.
Now that you’ve accepted that you need people and once you’ve admitted that you actually would really like some new friends, you have to believe that God wants that for you too. His heart is for whatever is best for you and community is what is best for you.
You can actually expect people to pop up once you have communicated to the Father that that is your desire. He’ll honor it. I believe He's always leading us to people and family but it takes our desire to partner with Him to discern where He's leading.
Mike and I hit the road full-time shortly after all that loss. His work brought us to Nebraska of all places, and there Mike randomly hit it off with an IT guy on his job site who invited us to dinner at his house the next day.
We went to dinner and met his whole family, and we just fell in love with them. They were the perfect friends for that hard season, and they gave made Nebraska home for us. They are now lifelong friends.
God led us to that family, and He can lead you to yours. Psalm 68:6 says, “He sets the lonely in families.” You can trust Him for deep, meaningful connections.
Now that you know you need friends and you trust that God is leading you to them you have to be ready to do the work necessary. You have to be prepared to be vulnerable. You have to let your guard down and be committed to loving.
This can be challenging after you’ve been hurt and let down. Friendships and community are made up of imperfect people. People will let you down again but choose to stay soft and stay kind and hopeful and decide to keep loving. You can do it though, and the reward will be great. Let people love you. Take a chance. Be brave. You are worthy of community.
That is my game plan moving forward. I hope that if you find yourself in a similar position that this gives you some ideas and hope as well. I would love to hear any advice or suggestions you may have. You can leave those for all of us down in the comments below.
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