Sarah Henry sat on my bed and watched me pack for a trip. She was impatient that I was leaving. I was one of her only friends because she had recently moved to Austin. She wondered out loud if she would ever have friends like she had in college. I looked at her and said,
“Quit waiting for people to pursue you. They won’t. Pursue them.”
Five years later outside of the ICU, while Sarah was facing death because of massive strokes, waiting rooms could not contain us all. Somewhere in the midst of three kids and a busy, full life over those years, she pursued. She asked great questions and risked vulnerable pieces of herself and spoke about her God to us. She loved well, and many, many people called Sarah friend.
Are you lonely?
It seems if the answer is yes – you are far from alone. Every one of us has people in our lives whom we need, and people who need us. Are we intentionally spending our time in those two categories? Or are we casually bumping up against each other with no real purpose to receive or give love?
If we are honest, it is costly to love people. So you know what we do instead of doing the difficult work of loving them? We piddle. We waste the precious time we have. In case you’re unfamiliar with the term:
1. To waste time or spend one’s time idly or inefficiently
It easier to survive this life on the surface, brushing up against people gently, rather than doing the mess of intentionally loving them. Love takes risk. Love takes forgiveness and grace. Love takes effort, time, and commitment. You commit not to bolt when it gets hard, because it will get hard.
And if this is the cost of deep relationship, we just don’t have capacity and space to go deep with everyone. So we have to become intentional.
We don’t just need people; we need the right people. Sometimes finding the right people takes discipline and effort. And then when we find them, we have to fight for them. We have to prioritize time and issue grace over and over, because even the best human on this earth will disappoint us. And when that happens, you love and fight for that person even harder.
Seek risks and uncomfortable things. You do not risk like a fool; you are wisely investing in the only two things that will not die: God and people’s souls.
But if we keep piddling, we will miss it all.
In the months that followed as many watched Sarah fight for her life and begin the long journey to walk and speak again – the most common thing I heard from onlookers was this…
“If something like this happened to me, I pray I would have as many friends around me as Sarah does.”
But Sarah isn’t “lucky” to have deep friends like this. Sarah intentionally loved and pursued each one of us. She can’t shake us, even now, a year later without her words yet.
(in)RL is an incredible opportunity to pursue – to take a risk, to not piddle. Will you join us this year as we gather together, intentionally?
Head here to register free for (in)RL and then find – or start – a Meetup in your town. We need you – your story, your bravery, your willingness to pursue! And if you’re wondering what this (in)RL thing is all about and would love to meet some other ladies who are attending, join us tonight for a Twitter party at 9pm EST (there will be giveaways and a special announcement, just for you!).
How to join in:
- If you don’t already have one, sign up for a free Twitter account
- Follow (in)courage on Twitter
- Invite friends: I’m hanging out with my friends at @incourage tonight at 9pm EST to chat about #inRL & you’re invited too! –> Click to Tweet
- Sites like TweetChat make it easy to follow along – just enter the hashtag #inRL
- And for a super helpful guide, read How To Successfully Navigate a Twitter Party
Can’t wait to see you there. Come just as you are.
9pm EST/8pm CST/ 6pm PST