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"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house." Matthew 5:14-15

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it." Matthew 13:45-46

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Sense of Belonging

Have you ever struggled with your friendships as a woman and wondering where you fit in? This thought has been heavy on my heart the past week or so. I have been praying and asking God about this very thing. Perhaps I just have been missing my friend that moved to Georgia, but I think it might be more than that. I have many women that I talk to when I am at church, but I really don't have anyone that I am very close to - no confidante. Someone that you can call up and spontaneously do something together.

Most all of my life I have felt like I lived on the fringes. Never one to be in the popular crowd. I have always been shy and quiet, even still to this day. In the majority of friendships I have had through the years I have been more of a listener than a talker. But lately I have been desiring a sense of belonging.

I happen to be a volunteer with Proverbs 31 Ministry in North Carolina. There isn't a whole lot that I can do since I live far away in PA. But I look at these women that are in ministry together and I see that sense of belonging and friendship, and that is something that I desire too. I desire for women to see the need to be counter-cultural and to be excited about their faith in Jesus. Part of me wishes that I lived in North Carolina so I could have more contact with these ladies. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one in my church that has convictions like I do. (No, I'm not saying that I am a perfect person - I am far from it). But I see a lot of people that there every day life doesn't match their Sunday life.

But then I struggle with desiring that sense of belonging. I know women friendships are important, but I can't lose sight that my true worth and value come from the Lord. Only in Him can I find true sense of worth. I pray that I will be able to find that balance and also find a new friend that happens to feel the way I do about spiritual things.

How about you? Do you happen to struggle with this or am I the only one?


The Broken Man said...

I think it is a universal issue - I often feel like that too, and I am a man!

The Broken Man

Anne said...

I think that we all long for that sense of connection to another, which is why so many marry. But having that connection with another woman is truly a gift. It is also one that takes time and nurturing, on both sides. I think too many are afraid of rejection or that they don't make the first step.

So ask someone over for a cup of tea (or coffee), and see if you hit it off. You might find that you do. If not, then ask someone else. Waiting for an invitation might take a long time... so ask! Or if bringing them into your home is too much, then meet at Starbucks or Panera or any other local hang out ...even McDonalds!

But in the end, if you are willing to step out of your comfort zone and risk yourself, God might have a wonderful present for you.... a friend.

Many blessings,

Marilyn said...

Oh 'Pearls'! I can so identify with you in this area! Sometimes I too feel so all alone. I want to write. I want to speak. But I don't know if God wants me to ever do either of these things in any capacity other than "few and far between".....if you know what I mean.

Many years ago I came across a little tract called "Others May, You Cannot" that has helped me so very much in my Christian walk when I become discouraged. I have found it online and hope that it may be an encouragement to you also!

Take courage my friend! You are a blessing.

Marilyn in MS

Amy said...

I can relate well to your struggle. Being the listener and not the talker ... being on the fringe. But I have found that in the moments where I am more involved with the "IN" group several things happen ... I'm more prone to listen to gossip, I'm more prone to feel sorry for my circumstance and I'm less likely to be available to folks in need. Now, my group of friends is about the same whether I'm feeling in or out, but it's the level of investing my self, my time, my energy and my resources that changes. For me, just me, I think the Lord keeps me in check by placing me on the social sidelines sometimes. Learning to be content in that space has been a challenge, but in someways, it is freeing. Blessings!

jesuslegaleagle said...

Woman, you are not alone! In fact, check my blog in a few days and you will see such similar thoughts.

I feel like I'm always the one who is calling to get together, to my post on Lysa's blog today.

I get discouraged, but I asked God today to bring divine appointments in my life today and He has through you! Stay in touch.

God Bless You.

Stephani said...

I've come over from Lysa's blog from the link. Oh, how I can understand what you are saying. This week especially has been this way. I too am in NC, but not in the same area as P31 and have had that desire to find what they seem to have. I am going through a current "friendship breakup" which from what I'm learning is more common than I knew. We had both come to realize that we were doing each other a disservice by trying to be someone other than ourselves in attempt to not acknowledge that we had grown apart. I had read so many of the comments/blogs from the P31 women and LONGED to have that with someone. I know that my husband, family, and the Lord are always there for me, but there is still something in a woman that longs for another woman to take that special "friend" place in their life. I SO get what you are saying!

I don't think that this desire is wrong, nor do I think it will go away. However, I am realizing that as is such with many things in our lives that maybe the Lord is showing me that I am not yet ready for that type of relationship. I can remember about a year before my husband and I were married that we broke up (we dated for MANY long years). It was during this time that the Lord showed me that He needed to work on me ALONE and that I needed to depend on HIM alone before I was ready to love my husband. I didn't like the "wait" answers that I was getting, but now I can look back and see that our marriage would NEVER had worked if I had not first had that time ALONE to grow, mature, and depend on the Lord.

I don't know what the Lord has in store for me, or for you, but I do know that if we cleave to Him that He does give us the desires of our hearts, but that it is in His timing, not ours. I'm trusting this and "trying" to be patient in the meantime.


Stephani in NC

Kay Martin said...

Bless you for having the courage to speak up about friendship and loneliness. It took me years to learn this life be patient. The song Jesus LOves Me opened up me receiving the love and devotion of the Lord into my very heart. Those simple words have been claimed by many famous theologians as descriptive of one of the greatest truths for Christians. Try humming and singing that little song often.

Finally I liked me. Not egotistically, but appreciatively. I enjoy "me." Now the paradoxical truth of this was that I was comfortable in my own skin and I was relaxed around others. I had no need to compare myself with ohters. Trying to win friends was replaced with genuine listening to hear people and care about their needs.

You're on a journey that most of us travel. I pray that you embrace how much God loves and appreciates you....and you enjoy you!!!