We like to forget, but the truth is that the best stories don’t start with the happy endings. They start with honest moments, usually filled with hurt, longing, or pain. We have to start there, because only through that lens does redemption feel significant.
In one such honest moment, my story of community began.
When I think of lonely days, this moment is a core memory, and, without it, I wouldn’t be cheering you on for initiating a play date or showing up to a small group or championing the pursuit of authentic community in your life.
My life changed because… 1. a regular girl like you and me shared her story, and 2. because I asked my mighty and kind Father to save me, and 3. because he did.
So friend, please forgive me, I want to tell a little story, 'Cause often my heart will speak clearly Only through the form of poetry... So, have you done this lately? Walked into a full room, unsure if you belonged? I've done it more times than I can count, and I'll bet you've also seen how this plays out. It was Christmas, 2015, I think, and I chose to bravely show up at my church's women's ministry retreat... Christmas gathering/party/extravaganza - I don't remember how it was branded. But, showing up - this is the first brave step. I found a seat around a circular folding table with decor - maybe a candle? But a friend I knew was sitting there - whew. Choosing a seat is the second brave step, you see, when walking into a full room. She was just what I needed then - Loud and wild, and she drew me in with her goofy, infectious grin. She made way for the third brave step, relaxing your shoulders a bit, laughing, letting someone in. Then it was time for the speaker. She wasn't a teacher, just a girl like you, like me. Lonely - that was her story. She told us how she, in lonesome misery had started praying fervently for just one 2a.m. friend. And I thought in my head, Well, shoot. That's what I need, too. She was on the answered side, had seen God faithfully provide, so I figured, I too should try. So I started brave step four, asking God for more, for people, belonging, and community. And wouldn't you know it, he sent them to me. So here's what you must remember When life's so lonely it's unbearable: The enemy of your soul wants you isolated, without hope that things could ever change, that someone would care for more than just your name, that you'd find a friend safe enough to share your pain. He likes you living lonely, You're vulnerable there, with only your own fears in your ears. Listen, my dear, you don't have to live this way. Today could be the day you start praying for a 2 a.m. friend. Because your Father knows your heart, And community is such a vital part of its health. He knows it, let him show it by asking him to send you a friend. That's where the bravery comes in, Asking him to come through for you once again. Showing up, and sitting down, letting your guard slowly come down. Listening, leaning in. Being honest, confessing struggle, even sin. Letting the light of others trickle in through your cracks. Exposure can feel threatening, but what if you're just letting the broken shell fall away to finally live once more today - Not lonely, but known, cared for, seen, never alone. Ask - I really believe he'll come through When you pray for just one 2a.m. friend.
Here’s a couple things of which I’m certain:
1. God wants community for you. The story of Scripture, from it isn’t good for man to be alone to by this they will know you’re my disciples, if you love one another, tells me so (Gen. 2:18, John 13:35).
2. God is moved to action by the prayers of his people. Again, from Abraham negotiating for Sodom to be saved, to the prayer of a person right with God is a powerful force to be reckoned with, I’m sure of it (Gen. 18, James 5:16)
So let’s ask him for it, friends. I challenge you to pray fervently for just one authentic, 2a.m. friend for the next month, and see what he does in your life.
- What opportunities does he provide?
- What surprising people does he bring into your life?
- How is he prompting you to take a step of obedience and faith in this area of your life?
Someday, I hope I’ll get to hear your story, too.
Love ya, friend.
Your Sister, Kimber
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