There’s so much going on in life today. We rush here and there and never really stop in one place for too long. It’s easy to feel disconnected, to hide from people, either intentionally or not so much.
I read the above quote today, and I was thinking how true it was. Busy-ness is one of the tools I think Satan uses the most to get us. Sometimes we’re busy for no good reason and sometimes it’s for very good reason, maybe even for a God reason. But without taking the time for important things like rest and time with God, none of it matters. Without taking time to find and connect to “your people”, you’ve left a weak spot for the enemy.
I didn’t always think I needed people. I’ve had the same best friend for 41 years (Yes, I’m 41…we’ve always been together since church nursery. There was 3 of us for a while but one was a boy and society doesn’t let that stick forever…however it did last for a good 18 years or so.). That best friend has always been “my people”. But life, college, adulting means we don’t get to see each other all the time. Our lives took different paths. We love each other 100% of the time, but life got in the way. Busy-ness meant we didn’t connect as often.
I use the phrase “my people” a lot. When I say this, I’m referring to the core group of people who I know without a doubt I can count on always. Whenever I need a person, I can choose one or all of them and they’ll be there as much as they can. And I would do the same for them. I have other people I love, people who have a special place in my heart and life, but the status of “my people” is reserved for the few, the ones who stick by regardless. The ones who God told me I could always trust and rely on. (Yup, we had that conversation one night.)
I’m relatively new at having “people”. My core person, my bestie of 41 years, I’ve just always had, and probably often took for granted (sorry friend). But in this season, God knew I was going to need more. So He sent me people.
At the start of this journey this year, I was doing life fairly alone. I was always busy; it was one of the ways I made sure I didn’t have to feel things or deal with things…the bandaid of busy-ness. I went to church regularly, in fact I served in the preschool, but I got to the point where I’d duck out after serving because really no one knew (or cared in my opinion) if I was there or not. And since Sunday was one of my only free days, I justified it.
That was one of the challenges of moving here. I left a church where everyone knew me, for better or for worse, a church where I grew up all my life, a church where I worked for 5 summers as an intern, a church I loved. I moved to a church where I knew 3 people, and they were all related to me (one was a baby). This wasn’t a church that looked like my church, so I didn’t know how to serve for a while. There wasn’t a choir. I wasn’t sure where youth was. None of the things I normally did could be found. All I knew was my little friend loved The Castle and I loved the stage, so I went there, a mini-stage to pacify my deep longing to be back on the community theatre stage. And that’s the life I lived for 5 1/2 years. An unconnected life.
But God knew I was about to need people in a big way. I went to the If: Gathering because it’s always good but I went alone basically because I’m an introverted extrovert and I’m socially awkward a lot of times, I didn’t know how to jump in with people. I always worried that people were tolerating me to be nice. (See above quote. Satan had me alone believing all kinds of things about myself.)
At If I happened to sit in front of some people, in a row by myself. I put stuff on either side of me, you know a “buffer zone” for the introvert. People think you’re saving seats; you’re not. It just keeps people from getting too close. At the breaks, they have you get in groups and answer If questions. Well I didn’t have a group and I didn’t really want one, so I was trying to decide if I looked sufficiently busy or if I needed to go to the bathroom when I felt a tap on my shoulder.
“You can be in our group!”
(Oh good…I sarcastically thought. I’ve been found.). But I’m polite, generally, so I turned around. I remember the question, oddly enough, probably because it has a lot to do with the title of this blog. The question was: “what season of life are you in?”
That sounds harmless, right? It’s not. I have no idea what anyone else said because in my mind I’m trying to spin my answer into making me not sound like the huge loser I am. I thought, maybe they won’t make me answer at all. But no such luck.
“What about you?”
Um…(shoot)…I don’t know. I’m not in a season, or I made my own season I guess. I mean I’m not married, I’m not even cool enough to be divorced, I don’t have kids…I guess I’m seasonless…or I made my own season. I don’t know. (Great; you’re rambling. That makes you sound impressive.)
And they called a break. (Thank goodness.). I turned back around to recover from yet another socially awkward interaction where I proved what a loser I was. Then all of the sudden the girl, the one who had tapped me on the shoulder, was next to me, in my row, in my buffer zone. (Oh good. Now she’s taking pity on me.). I braced myself for more polite social interaction. (Y’all introverting is mentally exhausting.)
“Do you have a community group,” she asked.
(Great. Now I get to prove that I stink at life there too.). No. No I don’t but let me tell you. There’s not a community group for people like me. Plus I’m by myself. I’m not walking up to a random house alone. I might get shot. (Good job. You’re rambling again.)
She mercifully stops me, “no I get it. I don’t have a community group either because there isn’t a community group for people like us.”
(Wait. When did we become an us? There’s more than one of me?)
“You know. Never married, never had children, in their 30s”. (2 out of 3. Guess it’s good I look young). “But my friend and I have felt led to start a community group for people like us.”
Then God had her ask me the question I don’t say no to. (Background: enneagram 2, compulsive helper. I will put my entire life on hold to help anyone. It’s a sickness sometimes)
She said, “do you want to help us start the group?”
Yes. Yes I do. I think that’s great. I would love to help you!
And she took my information. She didn’t need my help but she used the help word so I would freely give her any contact information she needed to allow me to help her. (She also didn’t need my help, nor ever ask for it again. God just knows my trigger words).
Several months later, when I had surgery, I was contacted again by this person. She said, “hey we’re starting that group I told you about. The one for single, no kids women.” After several weeks of trying to avoid it, I finally went. I was in the worst place of my life spiritually (and emotionally) but these people felt healing to me. I didn’t tell them much; I still don’t sometimes. But, they get me anyway, most of the time. (I mean sometimes I don’t even get me.)
I thank God for my community group that He made just for me and started at a time when I needed it, when I wasn’t allowed, medically, to be too busy for it. When I needed the support of people and the encouragement of Christians. These people hold me up when I can’t. Just by being there. They might not even know it.
There’s so much more to the story. It’s still being written. Just know that you need people. Don’t buy Satan’s lies that you can do just fine on your own. You need to find someone you can do life with. And if you don’t find them yourself, or if you’re like me and don’t know how to, God will find them for you and send them to you.
Out of this weird and crazy interaction, I eventually found my people (or my people found me). I’m not always good at knowing what to do with people, and like with everything, I overanalyze it sometimes and make it weird. But my people know that and they still love me. When Satan tries to get me to believe they are just tolerating me (the old lie that used to work), I can say nope. No sir. They are my people. There may be times they don’t like me too much, but they always love me. And I can always count on them. And I hope they can say the same for me.
Get you some people. You may not know what to do with them at first. Heck, it’s still hard for me sometimes to not push them away. But life is better together. You weren’t meant to try to do this alone. It’s easier to fight with an army.