Recently, you read stories of a Midwest Tribe of friends who were part of a winter survival strategy. They sounded amazing, right?
When we moved to California I knew I would miss my friends, but assumed establishing a West Coast Tribe would happen easily.
The assumption was finding folks to settle into doing life with its mess, mistakes, and bad choices would arrive with the furniture truck.
The furniture truck arrived into an area of the country filled with eight foot high fences. Every house has a fence. Don’t believe me? Do a google earth image of Silicon Valley. Every. House.
It was clear this new West Coast Tribe was going to operate a bit differently. The situation would not be to show up unannounced and open the fridge for a diet coke. No biggie. I would just bring my own soda until they were broken in. I assumed that our lives would be entwined in no time.
The phone was as silent as the doorbell for several months. Despite multiple conversation attempts at school pick up, no one seemed interested in linking into a friendship. This stunk.
A member of the Midwest Tribe was consulted and gave solid council. She asked if I was still going braless and wearing capris. At first this seemed to be a silly question. Of all places, my assumption was that California was were I could get away with not wearing a bra, and of corse I was still wearing capris. It was too hot for long pants and there was too much cellulite on my thighs for shorts. Fair enough, but she pointed out these new friends I was stalking would have no opinion other than what they saw. Perhaps spending a bit more time separating bust line from hem line would be helpful.
Heeding this solid piece of advice, I returned to the playground in a new maxi dress from Target with underwire tossed in for good measure. I continued trying to strike up conversations and still…cold shoulders all around.
After many failed attempts I just started to feel lonely.
Going from day to day life with the The Midwest Tribe to day after day being brushed off was a big sad bummer. I wanted to know these people. I wanted to be known by these people.
It was also around this time a lot of really tough stuff started happening. Life took a baseball bat and started swinging. Now that I was wearing maxi dresses and bras, it felt even harder to play.
I was lonely. I wanted my capris. I wanted friends and I wanted to be a friend.
One day, God knocked on my heart and asked, “What about me?”
He flat out invited Himself over and plopped down on the couch. He kept showing up day after day. It was this period of time our relationship went to a new place.
Never before had God been the door I knocked on first. It had always been The Tribe. Not only was The Tribe my go to, but I had not even created much time for God.
As it turns out, He can do all the things The Tribe did and has a much more open schedule. We have coffee and conversation almost every morning. We go on hikes. He drags me to volunteer and I drag Him to hunt sea glass. He drags me into theology conversations and I drag Him into car concerts.
God has been there all along just waiting to be invited in.
The last five years taught me while relationship with a tribe of friends is incredible, relationship with God is beyond explanation. If time with a friend is a cupcake, then time with God is the entire sheet cake. There is more of Him than we could ever need. I am so appreciative of the lonely years spent in a maxi dress.
The irony is while I was pursuing friends, God was pursuing me.
Thankfully, He caught me and now I can’t fathom a day with out Him. I was lonely and wanted a friend. God asked, “What about me?”
Where else could He be asking the same question?
We want to be romanced. God says, “What about me?” and paints a sunset.
We want a father. God says, “What about me?” and speaks truth with grace.
We want to be content with what we have. God says, “What about me?” and fills the gaps with an abundance of Him.
The list is endless.
God gives us the desires of our heart. However, where we get confused is failing to recognize God is the desire of our heart. Desiring Him over anything else yields an overflow of more than we need. Even harder to comprehend is that He, likewise, desires us.
He is there. He is knocking. He is asking, “What about me?” Let’s allow Him into our circle like a good friend in a pair of capris.