Friday, February 7, 2014

In which you were a stranger and now you're my friend and confessions

So my life is feeling a bit more honest than usual lately so I thought I'd share a few confessions. Here's a sneak peek into my world. Maybe just maybe, stranger-friend, you'll stick around.

Confession: Sometimes I struggle with feeling like I have strong community even though I don't struggle with making friends.

I've been thinking about community more lately. As followers of Christ, this is important anyway, but it's something that I value a ton, so it comes up a lot for me. I'm built extremely relationally so lots of my stories relate to community in some form. But I've noticed that when community seems 'off' in some way in my life, instead of showing up, I want to back away.

Sometimes you have to do the opposite of what you want to do.

Tonight. Was the night I attended a new gathering at my church that I wasn't super thrilled about, even during part of the time I was there. Everything sounded oversimplified and I thought I'd just listen.

Listening is good. And needed. But people also need our words, our voices matter, and at times it takes more courage to speak when you'd rather be silent than to be silent when you want to speak.

Confession: When I meet people, I can get a little excited and forget that we are still basically strangers.

Like tonight. Found out some new (now) friends just came from living in the Congo. They don't know a lot of people here yet. They were surprised to know I knew so much about those countries until I told them I once went out with someone from the Congo. Of course.

I am pretty sure I told a couple stories at the table and there were a few blank stares. I need to remember if I don't know you, you are a stranger. You might not get my stories. Repeat.

Confession: After this happened and I told some random stories to strangers, I called a friend I've known for no more than two weeks and met the exact same way to tell her what happened. Her voicemail came on. I left a message.

I didn't describe in detail what happened. But we became friends after we had an unusual meeting. So I'm hopeful about these new friends. Sometimes you just need to shake it up a little.

Confession: I miss my faraway friends, I just do.

I'm so thankful for my friends here, my close friends who I have in my everyday life now. They have been a blessing and God's gift. But I also realize that friendships make up a great deal of my community, and it's hard when people move away, even if normal. I know that the people I'm closest to have represented God to me and walked with me. Been a friend at all times.

Because the Cayman Islands are too far I'm starting a save the fish fundraiser.

I must admit it's just a cover for me to get over there to visit my friend, but I will do my best to help the fish if you help me, or at least to conserve them.

Confession: Sometimes blogging feels like talking to strangers at a round table who are starring at me blankly. Only I can't see your faces. I'm not sure if that's better or worse.

Technically, I can see your faces, when you comment. I'm getting better at creating real community in blog world and I get excited every time I make a connection that becomes real and you know me and I know you, and I like to suppose the faces cease from their blankness,  a little bit at least.

What is the hardest thing for you about community, about friendships, about online world?

linking with Lisa-Jo for five minute friday and emily for imperfect prose


  1. Hi Julie! Alas, so we meet again, even after #RiskRejection. I am your neighbor over at Lisa-Jo's so thought I would stop by.

    Love your post and I totally identify with not getting super pumped about meeting people... Then realizing I have created awkward moments because I didn't engage my filter ;-) Thanks for your transparency!

    1. PS: Not that you have to... But if you are looking for another link-up and place of online community (it's only awkward some of the time) swing by my place www.7daystime. Got a little #EverydayJesus going on each Thursday, one currently in progress :-)

    2. Well, isn't this a treat? :)
      Thanks for the heads up on your link-ups -- I hope I can come by, I enjoyed our #riskrejection group a lot and would love to continue to see folks.

  2. One thing that's super weird about blogging is that, after awhile, I got the sense that some of the people who know me best are the ones who bother to read me, as opposed to, say, people in my family? I think it's good to be as authentic as one can be without embarrassing someone else. Like, sometimes, I'll have a really good story to tell, but I won't because it's really not my story to put out there, and I feel the need to protect others, especially those closest to me.

    1. I think about that stuff a lot, Brandee. I'm glad to hear you talk about it. Blogging is weird like that and as you said, it's good to be as real as possible but it's also hard, for some of the reasons you mentioned. I guess it's a learning/growing process...

  3. The easiest way to tell who God is pulling you into community with is to just be yourself - tell your stories - the one's God sends as friends and encourages will get it:)

  4. I love hearing stories. I love telling stories. That is why I write. For me!

    1. I love stories, too, Paula.
      You bring up a good point. We write for so many different reasons and I often think I have to write for encouragement purposes or whatnot, and I think and outward focus is good, but there are times that God uses writing as a healing instrument or something He is doing in my life, or even just as a gift to me because I love it. Glad to hear you are able to embrace your gift!

  5. for me the hardest thing about friendships and community is the need to keep showing up and trying... sometimes i just don't feel like trying, sometimes i just want to nap, or eat, or watch tv or make things instead of talking and sharing with others. i think that's why i stink at talking on the phone... hrm....

    1. I'm weird and love the phone. My friends can't understand me for it. I totally get you though. There are times I just want to back away. And then the phone rings....and I hate that I'm known for liking the phone.