So as life has settled down and our new home and town are a starting to feel familiar and less "new," Chris and I are trying to get plugged into some kind of community here.
We have been visiting churches, and even though we haven't found one yet, we are trying our best not to become discouraged.
It takes time to make friends, build community, and cultivate meaningful relationships. And I have to remind myself of that a lot.
I want instant results. I want to move past the awkwardness of visiting a new church every week, or making myself "friendly" to new people when it's not something that comes natural to me.
I am naturally a shy person when I first meet people, and I struggle SO much to think of things to talk about with people I'm not comfortable with. I remember praying back in my single days for a husband who was social and great at conversation...and the Lord answered! Chris makes new friends wherever he goes.
And I just stand there and awkwardly laugh and let every second of silence cut into my soul deeply. (Ha)
But I am learning that fighting through the awkwardness is worth it. I wouldn't have met the awesome people who became dear friends in Clemson if I hadn't put myself out there. I miss them all dearly now, and want so badly to just move them all down here so that I don't have to make new friends! (You think I'm kidding...)
But the seeds I plant now as I meet new friends will eventually grow into deep roots. It just takes time and faithfulness in cultivating those seeds.
Community is worth the fight. It's worth the uncomfortableness and the sweaty palms. It is necessary to our growth as people and as believers.
So I guess I just wanted to share this to remind myself that although this is hard, and I really have to push myself outside of my comfort zone, that one day I will look back at this post and be able to count the friendships that have come out of this "seedling phase."
And I hope that it encourages you too if you are in a place of loneliness or not seeing the fruit of sowing seeds of friendship, don't be disheartened. Keep working at it.
We truly reap what we sow. And I know that's not necessarily what we always want to hear. I want others to take that first step and extend their hand. I don't like going first.
But "a man who has friends must himself be friendly..." (Proverbs 18:24 NKJV)
So let's be brave. Ask that co-worker out for coffee. Make that phone call. Invite them over for lunch or dinner.
Let's open our hearts and our homes to people and watch what the Lord does! Roots only come from seeds being planted.