I will start off by saying, I am shy, which makes me terrible at being social and I feel uncomfortable in most interpersonal situations. It takes me a long time to open up and make friends I haven’t shared this blog with anyone except my husband because even that is too vulnerable for me. All of that is to say, the past few months have been a growing experience for me in the way of friendships and community.
We moved our church membership about a year ago, in part, because we had not been very successful at becoming part of a community at our old church. We tried several different avenues, but just didn’t “click” with any groups there. I absolutely do not think that church is for socialization, but fellowship is one of the five purposes of the church and I think some of the other purposes can be more effective if you have good fellowship. (The five purposes are worship, instruction, fellowship, evangelism and ministry.) Our new church does “Life Groups” and we joined one shortly after joining the church. It took us a while to break into the group, at no fault of the other group members. We had other activities sometimes on the night the group meets and had other things going on.
I think it was just before Little Man was born that we started getting more involved and bonding with the group. Hubby has especially been instrumental in this. He is much more social than I am and started making friends with some of the men in the group. In the past few months, we have started going out to dinner or doing other activities with different couples in the group. outside of our normal Life Group meeting. For the first time since college, I feel like I am actually making friends. I really feel like part of a community. It is awesome! I know that I can lean on any of the other small group members and would love to be there for any of them. It is also so much fun to see them love Little Man and get excited about watching him grow up. Our Life Group members are becoming family, like church members should be! My family lives in other towns. Hubby’s family lives here, but it is fun growing our family to include our church friends.
I have both had tough experiences with friends in the past, which is why it is hard for me to be vulnerable. (If you don’t have friends, they can’t hurt you.) But I am slowly letting down the walls and opening up. And it is so worth it!