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That’s What Friends Are For!

August 16, 2010

We went to church yesterday – picked a pew and sat down. A bit early (which is great; since it’s a 45 minute drive we’re usually barely on time or not quite.) At the other end of the pew was a woman about my age, sitting with her husband. She smiled and said hello. After the service she did what most people don’t do. She took the time to come over, and introduce herself. As we talked she told me a little about herself, her situation, then told us what Sunday School class she and her husband were attending. It’s the one we’d already chosen to start attending this fall. One familiar face when we walk in the door – priceless.

Then she invited me to be her guest at the upcoming Newcomer’s Club meeting in our town. Took my phone number, introduced her husband to my husband, chatted a bit more then we headed out of the sanctuary.

So I have a friend lunch scheduled! You have to have moved, live with that feeling of being anonymous for awhile, to understand what that ‘having a friend lunch scheduled’ means. The hope it holds for connection, especially when you make a move but the kids are grown, there are no ballgames or parent teacher conferences or such to attend. I’m bloggy friends with a lovely lady named Becky, (Keys to the Cottage) who moved to North Carolina 8 months ago, and is right now in the process of moving to the Chicago area. She shared in this post that she’d spent 8 months in NC and did not make a single friend, except for a toddler named Boo. So Becky knows.

I’m pretty sure Peggy has no idea how much she brightened my day. But I’ll remember, the next time someone moves to our neighborhood, or a new face sits next to me in the pew at church. I’ll be the one reaching out, offering connection to someone else who might be greatly encouraged by it. Maybe you have a new neighbor, or someone on the bleacher cheering for their kid, or new to the school co-op, who needs you to be friendly? Who needs you to be a conduit for connection? Just food for thought.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 6:15 pm

    Having moved to our current small town, after my husbands retirement, I understand completely what you are saying. We have been welcomed into this very stable community where a lot of the families have been here for generations. It’s so wonderful to be welcomed. I’m glad you have been, and will soon have MANY friends as we have been blessed to have.

    • August 17, 2010 9:43 am

      Susan, one thing I really got from “After the Boxes are Unpacked” is that we have to be friendly, not just wait for others to reach out. This woman smiled at me and if I had not been warm in return I’m pretty sure she would have left that day without reaching out to us. Don and I have been praying for months ahead, for the right friends for each of us and both of us together. Glad to hear that your experience has been so positive.

  2. August 17, 2010 8:28 am

    As you can imagine, I completely understand what you are talking about, and I am thrilled that you have a new friend!! As the preacher’s wife, you would think built-in friends come with the deal–definitely not so. Sometimes I think making friends is even harder as the preacher’s wife…anyway, I’m thanking God today for Peggy on your behalf. He made us girls for connections, and when they aren’t there, you just don’t feel complete. Here’s to your new friendship!!

    Love and blessings, Karen

    • August 17, 2010 9:42 am

      Karen, from my experiences at church, I’d expect pastors’ wives have an immediate ‘in’ but not necessarily a true connect. I’m sure you have to be so careful to protect your husband, your privacy, etc. and it must be hard to walk into a church, everyone’s friendly but you aren’t sure who the ‘safe people’ (Cloud and Townsend term) are.

      • August 17, 2010 11:17 am

        Bev–that’s a good way to put it: an immediate ‘in’ but not a true connect. And if you don’t find that connect, just like anyone else, it can be lonely. I’m assuming ‘safe people’ is from their book “Boundaries”?

  3. August 17, 2010 12:33 pm

    I am starting to REALLY miss “girlfriends” terribly too so I hear what you are saying!!! I am on the search for a friend now with everyone I meet but people just seem so busy……… It has been a year since we have moved and we have been gone alot but it is time for lunches and shopping trips!!
    Blessings, xo

    • August 17, 2010 5:06 pm

      Karen, you were such a blessing to me, back in our ND days. I still remember you having me over for lunch, serving me oyster stew on a cold, wintry day (weren’t they all?!). I’ll be praying that God puts some dear women in your path too. They would be blessed, as I was and am.

  4. gayle permalink
    August 17, 2010 4:40 pm

    Monday I had a scrapbooking day for girls I met at Newcomers! We talked about the loneliness of moving and being friendless. You are a lovely woman and will find the right people for you. Newcomers club is a great resource.

    • August 17, 2010 5:04 pm

      Thank you, Gayle, for the words of encouragement. I’d so love to find a group to knit with, or scrapbook, and had not even thought of that connection. Someone who has been knitting longer than me would be a blessing! Maybe a bit down the road I can host something at my home for a group of women I’ve connected with!

  5. August 18, 2010 6:15 am

    If I lived near you, you wouldn’t be able to get rid of me! 🙂

    You bless everyone you’re around…I feel so blessed to have a mom who’s also such a very dear friend.

    Praying for you Mama, and love you noodles,

  6. August 22, 2010 6:42 pm

    Ahhh … I am SO happy for your planned “girlfriend lunch”. It will be so fun to get to know another friend. Hopefully a real soulmate for your new home.

    I’m working on it. We went to church today and liked it. And the neighbor in our apartment next door left vineripened tomatoes in a bag on our door knob. How sweet!!

    I am feeling at home here already. I have no idea how a place can do that to a person, but it does. I have sensed this to be a move “home” and I have not yet been disappointed.

    Can’t wait to see what God has in store for us both. Just wishing we were in the same neighborhood to be those two gals going to lunch together. I’d love that so much.

    Have a great week Bev … I’m back and raring to go.

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