After the church that my husband and I got saved in folded--we tried to find another one and tried a few that we didn't feel were like a home church. I tried to get connected through a ladies group (very large group) at a very large church that we tried to settle down at. I never could get connected to even a very small group of ladies-nothing clicked with any of them. So, we moved to another church that was meeting on a local university campus. We were familiar with the name of the denomination which I think was non-denominational, if that makes any sense. After about 2 years, the pastor felt like he was no longer called to be a pastor. So, that church closed. I found out from a friend about the church we've been attending now since January of 2010. She had asked me what we were looking for. So I reeled off all the things I knew my husband and I would want and she gave me 2 choices. I picked one and that's the church we're at now. I have to say I do not like church shopping. And I even hate to say that word, "shopping" but you kinda feel like you are, but we as believers are called to go where we are led by the Holy Spirit. We had our 'feelers' out for anything that seemed 'off' and nothing did. I am an introvert so it is not easy for me to meet a bunch of new people at surface level. It totally drains me of energy (but, get this--I really appreciate it when people I don't know come up and introduce themselves). And I had gone so long without any women friends that I got used to it which wasn't good. I knew I needed to put myself out there and get involved whether, or not it was uncomfortable. So, I found out who was leading a Bible study and joined up. That truly is about the best way to get to know other people in a church, whether you are a man or woman--is through a Bible study.
Sometimes, I still catch myself depending on just me rather than reminding myself I have these great friends I can call up and talk to. I see them so often that I usually bear my soul lots of times at the Bible studies than talking on the phone. Which brings me to the next point about friendships and is riskier still yet. I've mentioned before in this blog that God had brought me to a place before I started writing the blog and worked it through me at the beginning stages of writing it--to not care what people thought about my experiences and if I was being judged by believers, etc. I just knew that God had and still does have my back. That was not an easy place to come to and it took a lot of time. But I feel freedom from that experience. Another way to get to know people is to be vulnerable around them. I don't mean to spill your guts the first meeting of a Bible study. But as you get to know people in the group and get to know their personalities--see what their struggles are that maybe you had struggles with also at one time--that's when sharing those struggles can help other people and make them feel better about sharing it with others. By sharing what this blog is about, people have shared with me their struggles with depression. People need to talk about their hurts and you might be the one to lead them to the right moment where they feel safe enough to do that. That is how bonds form between people--sharing struggles. Just like the body of Christ and how it is designed to meet people's needs within the body, to come along side each other as we all walk this journey that is sometimes very hard. Be that need to someone and you could find the same thing for yourself in someone else. God bless!