Have you ever felt like you were so unsafe with the majority of a group of people that you couldn't really be yourself? That you couldn't share your thoughts, feelings, insights, opinions, and interests because you would be condemned, judged, despised, passively rejected for them? That you are so "odd" that even after a long, long time, you still just don't quite fit?
This is how we feel after five years.
Nich and I had a hard conversation tonight about our hearts' desires and needs. As we talked, I came to the realization that I have no - I'm not exaggerating here - friends through our church with whom I feel completely safe being me.
Not only that, I don't know anyone I can call up and say, "Hey, did you hear what happened in Norway? Isn't that awful? Can we pray for the country?" I don't know anyone who would be aware of anything going on outside of this nation's borders and really care.
I hurt thinking of this.
And I want to be a part of a body of Christ that is safe for us ... even though we don't look like everyone else, even though we come from completely different places and cultures, even though we may think differently ... I want to be loved, accepted, and valued as a part of God's family.
Never before in my life have I had such a hard time finding friends. Some days, I'm so lonely, I just cry out to God for just one friend. I'm starting to feel like He's not hearing me; maybe I'm not hearing Him?
We ask for prayer, for discernment, for wisdom. Neither Nich nor I have been advocates of the church-hopping mentality, but I'm getting desperate for friendship.
"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner