I have felt God preparing me for the people I’m going to meet at our next location. He keeps reminding me the basics of growing relationships with people. In particular, how some of my best friendships began in New Jersey.
It took a couple of years at our last location to find those sweet friends, who weren’t just co-workers. I got busy working and didn’t really want to be a part of spouse groups due to some hurt I had seen happen first and secondhand. This put up a barrier between myself and future friendships.
I know from talking to several women that this fear of hurt and rejection from other women is common. But I’ve also learned if I’m not careful this fear can cripple me into being a recluse.
We were created for relationships with God and with others.
A big part of relationships and creating your community is investing the time and effort into those relationships. They don’t happen out of sheer will. They take effort. They take me going outside of my home and myself to find people I can relate to.
No matter what type of community we find ourselves in, there’s always a bit of intentionality required. We have to show up. We have to step outside the comfortable. This can be hard for me because I don’t mind the alone time, even though I know life is better when in community.
Being a part of community also involves vulnerability and letting down the walls we’ve built up around areas of our hearts based on past hurts.
Without a bit of vulnerability, without reaching outside of myself, I can never have the relationships my soul was so deeply created for.
This also applies to my relationship with God. I must put the time in if I truly want to trust him, especially if I want my relationship to grow.
Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you.”
To know God is to know his character. And the best place to learn his character is through His Word and through experiences with him.
As I read Scripture and begin picking up pieces of his character, I also start trusting him more. I am reminded of his faithfulness to his people, his unfailing love even when I reject him, and other attributes that go beyond human capabilities.
Even as I write this I struggle with the choice of reading a single verse or reading through another complete Bible reading plan. At this point, I don’t think one is better than the other. Both are beneficial.
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.Isaiah 55:11 ESV
In a similar fashion to our relationships with other people, no matter where we are in our relationship with God, a little effort to grow the relationship can make a big difference.
Some of my best friendships have started awkwardly at first, but as we became intentional in meeting together and learning about each other, we began to do life together, trusting each other with even the harder parts of who we are. Sometimes our communication may have been lacking and then other times it flowed every day.
I think the same can be said of my relationship with God. Different seasons cause me to create distance or cling closer. I tend to forget and my focus shifts to only what I can see in front of me. It’s a roller coaster ride, but then so are most long term relationships. That doesn’t mean they’re over, or God has forgotten about me, maybe I’m the one who hasn’t put in the effort in a while.
Wherever you are today, don’t be discouraged and don’t be distracted. Pick up a verse, start a reading plan, or find a bible study app. Make that one step closer to knowing God and trusting him. Find out who he is for yourself.