There have been a handful of moments in my life where I truly felt lonely. That deep, depressed, alone feeling that shakes your soul. Yeah, if you know what I mean, you know it is not fun! A year ago when Adam selected that he wanted to study at the Savannah campus for medical school, my first prayer was for God to prepare community for us.
I was recently reading Jen Hatmakers new book called ‘Fierce, Free, Fire’ and she had a line that says, “Two scenarios where loneliness seems to spike are: 1) in transition, and 2) in young motherhood, and sometimes these overlap.” Now slow your thinking. We are going to focus on the first point she mentions- transitions. Not the motherhood part! One of the times I really felt loneliness was when I transitioned from college to career. After talking to A LOT of other college graduates, I discovered that this is a huge time of loneliness for many young adults. I was in the same town, but with a new last name and all of my college friends where in new towns. Even though I had thrived in college I was in a whole new season and didn’t have a community of my own. I let loneliness and depression overcome me until I did something to change it. We got plugged into to a church and I started a book club. Those two things helped me beat the loneliness and thrive during that season of life.
Through that experience I found out how crazy important community is. So knowing that I was about to make a huge life transition, I was so deeply craving for community to be easily made. This is what I thought it would look like: 1. find a church 2. join a small group 3. invite new neighbors over for dinner 4. have a community and thrive…. But little did I prepare for or think about finding a community during the middle of a pandemic. Meeting friends as young adults is one thing. Meeting friends when everyone is hyper concerned about germs is another thing.
Once we settled down and was ready to intentional find community we had to get creative! Where Adam knew he would organically meet friends during class I did not have that option. I live and work in different towns so that gave me the little extra challenge to be very intentional. While I continued to pray for God to open the right doors at the right time I also had to put on my big girl pants and send the first message. Where it has been so hard to meet new friends I have enjoyed reaching out with old friends who happen to be in the same town as me!
God has provided every single week! Where I start off a week with no intentions of growing community, God has opened a door to provide it. Every. Single. Week! Fighting the feeling of lonely to grow a community where we are planted has looked so different than I planned but I am so thankful for it! The first week I was in Savannah I reached out to a highschool friend that we used to play each other in volleyball. She invited me to brunch with her and her friends! I enjoyed spending time with other strong independent females who where thriving in their careers. I also got to hang out with one of my best college friends and met her long time best friend who happens to live very close to Savannah! Now she has become a part of community just by meeting a close friend of a close friend. I got to reconnect with a friend from 4-H who has known me since high school and she has done a great job reaching out to invite me to things with her friends.
While trying to build community in the new town, I took a weekend break to go on a girls trip with Valdosta friends to a baby shower in Florida! It was great break of finding community and I was able to enjoy people who know me really well. Once I got back to Savannah from girls trip, I was able to meet with two different strong females I looked up to in college and discuss our lives, marriages, dreams and goals!
I prayed so hard for new community and God has answered in the middle of a pandemic by simply allowing me to reconnect with wonderful people I already know! It is not the way I expected to find community but I am so thankful that I have been able to fight the lonely feeling of being in a new town with all of these beautiful souls. I even have some friends in Savannah that I have not been able to connect with due to different schedules but they still reach out and invite me to stuff!
Over Labor Day weekend Adam went to dinner and drinks with two guys who are second years! While he was there I reached out to one of the significant others of one of the guys to see if she was in town over the weekend. She was and invited us to go to the beach with them for a double date. We agreed and had a wonderful time getting to know them! When we parted ways after the beach day, my soul was filled with so much joy and happiness at how God has provided community.
I didn’t think building community would look like this. I have learned so much about myself, my relationship with Adam and God through these past three months of living in Savannah. I have been constantly praying for community for a whole year now because I so desperately did not want to be overtaken by the feeling of loneliness. God has taught me that He will continue to open relationships through me spending a simple message.
This is not the end of building a community, but just the start. God hears our prayers, He cares about community, and I believe He gives us the understanding of loneliness to draw us closer to Him.
Much love, from your favorite thriving millennial couple!
p.s. I have to mention, that while I was finishing up this blog, a friend that I have been able to reconnect with took the time to text me and ask to join her and her friends for dinner! God is so good!
p.s.s. Another old friend just called to ask if we could hang out and him and his roommates! God really is so good!