I recently turned 30 years old. A birthday is not typically very significant for me. Honestly 30 doesn’t feel different from 29, no more than 29 differed from 28. Nothing changes because I’m 30. I’ve been a wife for several years and a mother for longer.
More than this.
My time on this earth doesn’t seem to appropriately reflect my days in this world.
I’m not sure I understand why people treat 30 like a huge milestone. At 30 I have not suddenly grasped the importance of, well, anything! Life will for the most part remain the same and I am NOT complaining! Although if the amount of dishes I wash or dirty clothes I turn inside out begins to diminish I shall not complain about that either! Maybe at 45 I will understand the significance.
Much like the years before, as my birthday approaches I am forced to look at my self, my life, my accomplishments and hopes and suddenly I am measuring the fullness of the last 29 years.
Some things I can recall, leave me in a heap of aching tears. I confess, I’ve cried so much this last month that I forgot my how-to-hold-back-the-tears techniques. And other memories bring a refreshing satisfaction over triumphs and losses, and often times knee slapping laughter considering the stubbornness of me. I’ll borrow from the saying and agree, every year I realize how stupid I was the year before.
All this recent reflecting has exposed a deeply terrifying, God given NEED in me. Friendship. Sharing and giving and knowing myself within the realms of community.
I didn’t realize how much it hurts to be void of friendship, until recently.
What is it like to really know someone. To let down the walls and embrace another kind. I desire to know her, this woman called friendship. I long to be a part of this idea of community. God created me with a need for fellowship and my life is lacking… dry… thirsty…
I am community starved.
This is one of the thoughts that leaves my heart aching. It draws my hands to my face. And before I realize it I’m silently, violently crying out, pondering thoughts of rejection and feelings of inadequacies. Am I loveable. Am I desirable. Where can I be wanted. I have so much love to share. Who will have me.
I don’t want to be judged for the education that I lack or resented because of my small frame. I won’t be jealous of your financial stability or covet your talents.
Is there one woman, some women willing to break down the walls of fear and comparison, reach beyond the barriers of assumption and false self sufficiency. Brave enough to embrace and be embraced in real. live. fellowship.
Talking out our ideas. Laughing through our pain. Sharing war stories and recipes and secrets and revelations. Crying when it hurts. Openly stumbling, standing, crawling and running in this journey of womanhood. Genuinely living out the stories of our lives together.
Not just church cliques. Green girl clubs. Home school moms. PTA groupies. Neighborhood wives clubs. Hard working mamas or SAHMs. I’m not looking to get in where I “fit in“. Truly I don’t want to try to “fit in” anywhere.
Just me, as I am. You, as you are. Sharing our lives together in true fellowship, sincere friendship, genuine community…
So this day, I choose to embrace my need for friendship. I trust that God will bless my willing heart as I step out into the personally uncharted territory of searching for community.
By RLynne, http://pursuedwithgladness.blogspot.com/Leave a Comment
Jeri @godsdreamsforme says
This is an amazing writing. So honest, vulnerable, and very courageous. This is such a beautiful post. So many women feel the same way. I felt this way once too. God will honor it in his timing and His way.
Thank you. Your words are encouraging to me. ~Blessings~
Beth Werner Lee says
Hi friend! I like how Ann Voskamp says ” in heaven we’ll talk long” and isn’t that woman friendship what (in)courage is all about?
You mention maybe figuring it out at 45, well I am turning that in a couple Mondays!
I want to tell you I miss my mom. She died of breast cancer 4 years ago. God reassured me though that her love came from him and that he has many other people to send me his love through, just not the same package. How true I have found that. I think again and again about “those who do the will of my Father are my mothers and brothers.”
May God bring hugs to you today…live, and online!
This is a truly beautiful testimony! I miss my mom too. We do have a family in the Kingdom!
P.S. Have you figured the significance of 30 out yet? Teehee 🙂
You speak the heart of many. It is an ache within our society and you have captured it well. How can we be that community to each other as we pass on the street, in the market, in the church aisle? An important question. A challenge for us all.
I think it starts with owning our loneliness, embracing, as you say, our need.
Thank You Marilyn. 🙂
I Live in an Antbed says
Our lives have become so very segmented. Your heart for community is the same reason we are all here at this place at this time. Dear Sister, you are a treasure so worth the “uncovering”. I would LOVE to know you!!!! 🙂
Aw, thank you!!! I would LOVE to know you too sister, really!
Holley Gerth says
Just as I am, just as you are…just as He wants us to be. Yes, let’s share life together. Thank you for the reminder of how much we need each other!
Lexi MacKinnon says
Thank you for being so open and vulnerable with your pain concerning this. It is not easy and know that you are not alone. I promise, dear sister, ask and you shall receive. This is one prayer I believe that God is faithful in answering. Praying for you!
You are right. Since I originally wrote this post (back in July) God has certainly been faithful in answering this prayer and filling this need. I am overwhelmed with His love and faithfulness as I reread it today.
Thank you for your encouragement Lexi! ~Blessings~
Teresa Neal says
Thank you for writing this! This is also where I am. And as I am approaching my 39th birthday in the next couple of days, I am on the roller coaster as well. But the hard part is the alone-ness I feel for a woman that gets me and listens and cares.
Teresa, thank you for sharing your heart with me! Yes, I think we all desire to be understood… the one who ‘gets’ and ‘listens’ and ‘cares’. God is certainly that One. He is the only one that totally ‘gets’ us!
I pray that He fills your need and overflows your life with genuine community and the sincere friendship you long for. And Happy Birthday (early), I hope and will be praying that your heart is FULL on your special day, my friend! ~Blessings~
Patty Coleman says
I pray that you find your community! Your post was so honest and courageous. I feel your want, your need, your loneliness. I have lived in a self-imposed, no-friend zone for over 14 years. I finally joined a church a year ago and do feel that the women their are my sisters in Christ and they would do anything for me. But have I opened up the brokenness of my heart to them, the brokenness of my every day, or let them “in”? Sadly, no. The stakes are too high. I have been there, and actually am there everyday in a marriage to a man who was supposed to be my best friend, but sadly has broken my heart to the point is too broken…for 32 years now. I will follow your blog to see how you do, and I have prayed for you to find that precious place called “friendship”.
For along time I was ‘surrounded’ by women, who I am certain loved and cared for me. But I did not truly let them in either. Sometimes the wounds run so deep and it keeps us from showing ourselves. I am praying now for your broken heart… remember friend, it is never too broken for God to heal. And I’m praying also, that God fills your life with some ‘sister hearts’ because we all have that need. ((Hugs)) to you my friend!
Patty Coleman says
I tried to get to your blog, but when I put the link in, it says its not there. Here is the link I put in http://pursuedwithgladness.blogspot.com/
Patty Coleman says
I found your blog…love the song that plays!
I’m glad you found it!
I hear you…I too am desire more and more of late, friendships that are more than saying hello at church and eating at the fellowships together. I know God will bless your desire! 🙂
Thanks April! I checked out your blog btw. Love it! And I love love love the design! Wish I was so tech savvy…
Lisa-Jo @thegypsymama says
The most wonderful timely post for this time of year. Thank you!
Leslie Knight says
My husband and I talk about this constantly. We attend a community group through our church and have attended the same group for several months. We also co-lead the youth group at our church and lead a community group for the youth kids. And still we feel starved of authentic relationships. It’s our prayer to find those relationships as well. Thank you so much for sharing this!
Thank you so much for your post…honestly I cried as I sat and read it. I recently moved from one coast to the other, not knowing anyone in our new home. A new place, a husband learning a new job, 2 kids and a very lonely, homesick mom…
Unfortunately before we moved we had a huge nasty split in our church and all the community that I had known was gone. Sadly those that I called my friends and sisters walked away and never looked back. Now when I am trying to find a place to safely be who I am…that fear creeps in…they’ll just reject you like all the rest.
But your post reminds me God has put that need in me for friendship and need of community and I need to step out and be a friend without fear because just like me…there are others who need the same as I do. They need a safe place to be themselves.
((Hugs, hugs and more HUGS)) to you Mandy. What a difficult process you’ve described. My heart hurt for you as I read your comment. You are in my prayers friend. I am trusting God will send you community to help fill your life and comfort and bless you and your family. Love to you girl!
Elizabeth Laryn says
Your voice is the voice of so many people. We sit upright in the pews and put on our face of happiness. We look as though everything is good–on the surface. But, we ache inside. We long for deep, meaningful, relationships. It takes time and energy and more hurt to find it. And, I sometimes wonder if it is worth it. But, when the loneliness hurts more than the fear of being vulnerable and open, then I’m willing to trust God to help me through. Praying for a loving community for you; grateful for your heartfelt words.
“when the loneliness hurts more than the fear of being vulnerable and open, then I’m willing to trust God to help me through.”
That’s exactly where I was when I originally wrote this post! Thanks for your comment Elizabeth! ~Blessings~
Gosh, that 1st step is so incredibly hard, isn’t it?- “THE INVITE” Sometimes we have to be the invitee. Chances are that woman is feeling the exact fear we are feeling…so, the invite doesn’t come, and never will, unless one of us jumps over the fear hurdle in the pit of our stomach….
My humble prayer is to walk alongside my homegirl’s, in life; not just meet to check off items in a bible study workbook. (BTW, Bible Study’s are wonderful- I just want more than that.:)
Mel's Goin Goin Gone says
Very beautifully written! If we only realized how much we all ache to belong and be loved! Thank you for sharing! ♥
I can relate to you COMPLETELY. I have kids and a husband to keep me busy, but at coming up on 29 in a week, I am longing for deep, meaningful, be-there-for-each-other-through-the-mountains-and-valleys friendship. I want a heart to heart friend. A woman to walk life with, share God with, share coffee with…to laugh, cry and just do it all together. I’m SO lacking that in this season. and even more than lacking it, I am DESPERATELY craving it. Praying for you and me that God grants us the desires of our hearts. HE is the one who created us for relationship. 🙂
Ahhh… a sister heart… I am still waiting for her too. I will be praying with and for you as well Jackie. Thanks for your comment! <3 to you
I am so moved as I’ve read through these comments. Wow. The need for genuine friendship is no respecter of persons. Women from all walks and stages of life understand this longing. I feel so understood and glad God gave me the courage and (in)courage gave me the opportunity to share my heart here. Love and blessings to all of you! 🙂
This was one of my all time favorite posts of yours – so honest and pure. I’m so glad I know you irl and I’d really like to get together SOON!
Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience says
Oh this: “All this recent reflecting has exposed a deeply terrifying, God given NEED in me.”
Friendship is exactly how you beautifully expressed it — deeply terrifying. And a need.
We were made for community — and God will tenderly lead us higher up, deeper in, especially when we are afraid.
Your post is beautiful and *feeds* me — thank you…
Thank you for this lovely writing. It reminds me that I need to reconnect with my girlfriends and that I cannot go through this life alone. As much as I don’t want people to know the hurt and suffering I am going through, I know I am only going to make it when I stop being afraid, and start opening up.
It also reminds me of how my pastor keeps reiterating that you cannot be alone on your path with God. You must develop relationships with others and share that journey, share what you’ve learned, and tackle the hurdles. I am very fortunate to have found a great small group to do this. It has made all the difference to me in the last few months. I smile more, laugh more, and just feel more alive.
Welcome to your 30s! It’s going to be great!
Robin ~ PENSIEVE says
Your honesty and transparency are refreshing, oh, how I hear your heart in this! And I love that you honor this truth in all of our lives–we need community and without it we starve!
I’m praying for you in this moment, and also for myself. Satan loves to thwart relationships; I’m praying for wisdom in seeking and finding true friendship and for protection against the enemy in this pursuit.
Thank you for this post! I also choose to embrace my need for friendship. I trust that God will bless my willing heart as I step out into the personally uncharted territory of searching for community.
I too share you feelings about community and wonder how I could be a better person that people would seek me out to be part of their community. I feel that I have made efforts but I am disappointed that I waste so much time feeling left out as I know there are much better ways I could use my time. My feelings are so strong about this but just come out cold on this note. I hope you find your community. God bless you.
The only reason 30 is significant is fear! Women fear being rejected. Are we “old” now? Does our man still think we’re pretty? And as much as I wish it wasn’t so — does the rest of the world still think we’re pretty? (I know all this because I just turned 30 in October!) We crave acceptance and love. And so, the real, terrifying, desperate need you describe for real, raw friendship! If we have people that love our scars and shame and sinful human flesh, God is there and beauty happens. 30 is just another year — a stepping-stone to something even MORE beautiful — if we are secure in our relationships!