“The times that I’ve grown the most–as a mother, a wife, a friend, a child of God–have all happened as a result of doing something new and trusting God to equip me to do the work He’s called me to do.” – Pg. 11
Walking into the church service, the semi-dark, intimate room might as well been a concert that held 30,000 people. I chewed on my lower lip, tightened my grip on my purse straps, and found a seat in the back. People knew me here. I knew them. Still, I could not break into their tight groups when service was over. Forced conversation, awkward silences, and even more awkward excuses to move on made for uncomfortable situations. I’m not alone to have encountered cliques or to face inward anxiety on making connections.
Friends over the years have confided in me how they feel alone at church, whether that church is in a city or a small town. Some of us are just meant to always invite, but rarely be invited. It’s not intentional, and with what I do with WorldVenture, I am more aware than ever of those that linger on the outside. Women crave connection. “He (God) had to first take me through a season of removing the old, hardened pieces I’d built up like a wall,” writes Crystal Stine on page 11 of, Craving Connection: 30 Challenges for Real Life Engagement. Sometimes, it’s our own walls that keep people away.
The first page immediately caused me to do a Facebook Live review of this book. The book brings in technology with face-to-face engagement. Some books I’ve read reluctantly bring up technology as a point of connection almost like the author doesn’t like technology, but brings it up because it is our reality. Rather than fight technology, Christians can use the practical applications in this book to create those much needed connections.
Page 167 encourages women to host a book club. Chandler Bible has a women’s book club. You can have a book club online and face-to-face. To do one online, you can use Skype for a group call. For an area like mine where getting women together is almost impossible because we’re over-scheduled or not interested in meeting, online groups are wonderful ways to work at those connections. This book has much to offer.
It starts with a thought to consider, a piece of Scripture, and practical application. This is helpful for the introvert. Let me encourage those of you who always feel as if you are always inviting, but never being invited. God may have a different plan for you. We can resent our situation or give ourselves as an offering to those who need a good friend.
On this Valentines Day, think and pray for those who lost their spouses, are single and do or don’t want to get married (and have families that wish they were married), and the single Christians who are trying to live holy lives. Let’s celebrate healthy families who work at their marriages and folks who have been married over fifty years. Let’s thank God for them and celebrate the good and lovely things on this day.
Can I pray for you?