Me, Myself & I vs. Community

Months ago, I came across two posts from two different ladies examining the idea of Christian community:

Each pushed a button my mind and I found my thoughts centering around the idea that I've always been a gal on the fringe.

I think back to middle & high school, always feeling on the fringe... not fully a part of the band crowd or the smart kids, neither the Valedictorian nor the full-on rebel. College brought more of the same. I counted the hippie poets, preppy sorority girls, expressive music majors, and ambitious political sorts among my friends.

Adult life has brought more of the same.

At no point in my life have I had a female "bestie" with whom every moment was shared. My husband truly is my best friend and I am blessed in that.

But I am friends with the senior crowd (and by that I mean, the people with gray hair, not the ones getting Senior photos & prepping for graduation), with the 50-something nursery workers, with the 20-somethings following God while traversing the world, and yes, with some 30-somethings who have kids roughly my kids' ages.

For my part, as a woman with so many "weird" things about me, I have long had the approach of taking friendship wherever it comes. 

There is no one for whom everything about life is going to line up. Even if I found another Jesus-following large family mom who attended public school but now homeschools who doesn't think homeschooling = salvation who has chickens and has lived a significant portion of her life abroad who has mostly boys who writes books and believes in firm discipline AND great affection with her children who is naturally messy and only occasionally musters the energy to care about aesthetics, you know what? Those are just externals. In some other way, that friend would disappoint me, and I, her.

And ultimately, my hope can't be found in finding a set of friends whose externals (or internals) match mine. My hope can only be in Christ. Then I am free to find friendship (and be truly thankful for it!) in whatever form God gives it.

One final thought:


Waterdeep is one of my long-standing favorite bands. Years ago, they released a song that simply said this:
Though I feel alone
I am never alone 
You are with me
Oh, my Lord

(vs.1) In the nighttime while I'm on my bed,
I will let every thought be of You
For You are good
You take all those who will come to You

(vs.2) In the morning as I face the day
I will let every thought be of You
For You are good
You take all those who will come to You


Joy said...

There is so much amazing blessing to be gotten from taking friendship where it comes. There is definitely a level of friendship to be had with those with whom we share things in common, but I've found my deepest friendships have often been with those who aren't necessarily in the same circumstances but are a stage (or stages) ahead or behind me, e.g. my nieces who are 8-15 years younger than me up to my mother who is 40 + years older than me and a myriad of lovelies who come between. They all speak into my life and I hope that I can speak into theirs as well.

Elspeth said...


Elspeth said...

Turns out that you posted about something that I am posting about as well, albeit from a slightly different angle.

I'm going to link to this.

Anonymous said...

Perfectly said. This is what I try to teach my young adult daughters, as well. Only Jesus is the PERFECT friend. Everyone else will, at some time, disappoint. Be a friend to have a friend. Look for those who need a human friend and love them with Jesus' love. Jennifer

Hearth said...

Thank you for the link. Chatting on this a bit over at E's place.

FWIW, my BFF and I don't cookie-cutter match, nor do most of my friends and I.

But I'll take over her thread... lol. Poor E. She's so sweet to put up with me.

Hannah said...

Thought-provoking. After living abroad in a very remote area for three years, I missed community, even as a decided introvert. Now that we're back in the States, I realize that my idea of community is being around people once or twice a week and spending most of my time at home with my kids. Other people, however, think of it as putting in a lot of concentrated time with others. I can't do that. I feel a little guilty about it because the church body can make you feel bad if you're not there every time the doors are open. You start to feel like you aren't being "in community" enough. But then that becomes its own form of legalism and can be a burden. No easy answers, I guess, and a lot of our ideas are culturally informed, I suspect.

Rebekah said...

I enjoy reading your blog and 'found' you in 2008 and bonded with you over music then (Tenth Ave. North/Revelation song). I enjoy the worship circle series too...
Even though I have never met you, you write what I would write if I made the time and was more organized with homeschooling/life in general. I am an introvert who approaches friendship the same way and I married my best friend.
I am an avid follower of your gleaned wisdom and I just want to say thank you, my sister in cyberspace.... You encourage me greatly.

My favorite posts are your perspective/exhortations on loving your husband and your children.