Raw. No Filter.

PREFACE:

I just wrote this post tonight to vent my feelings – without a lot of editing … Feelings, which are swirling around in my brain and beg to be written down & sorted out.  This is a true story … and I don’t really need sympathy.  I’m just making a point … and yes, we probably need to find a new church soon (it may make sense after you read this?), but we are somewhat obligated to stay right now.  While life is mostly blessed and okay here in the Arkansas, some nights, it just isn’t.  Just for a little while …

And in CONCLUSION:  God is always kind … after I left the meeting tonight, a friend called me – a far-away friend, someone from my past – and she was having a bad day, too.  And so, we mutually cheered each other up.  See, there is a happy ending!

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Usually I’m pretty proud of being independent.  I was expertly making my way through international airports at age 13, as soon as they’d let me fly from America to Frankfurt without a stewardess assigned to me for my yearly summer trips across the Atlantic to see my German grandparents.  I’ve planned out trips, coordinated bus and train schedules, and managed money at an early age.  I went to college at age 17, and when I turned 18, my parents moved an ocean away from me.  And that was the last time I ever lived near them.

When I got married, we moved 3,000 miles from “home” … just about as far as you could get – to the other ocean, the Pacific!  And we moved a lot after that, always an exciting adventure.  It was sometimes hard to explain where I was from because we’d moved several times while I was growing up as well.  But I made friends who also weren’t really sure where they were from either … and I met people who had half and step siblings just like me!  And I met those who knew exactly where they haled and who came from intact families … but really, that didn’t even matter.

While we were in the military, our friends often became our family and were the ones we relied on.  After all, we were in the same boat – far from home, no one else to call in the middle of a crisis, the new kid on the block.

And I was okay with that too.  Usually.

Then I had kids … and my kids had no close grandparents or family to spoil them, to babysit so we could go away, or to give us a break when we were sick.  Again, often friends would step in and do that for us.  We always managed.

Even now, I rarely ask for help, and when I do, I really hate it and preface my request with all kinds of excuses for the person I’m asking to have an out from the obligation.

I was strong … I am strong!  I’ve moved entire households across town with just my minivan and my teenage son.  I’ve coordinated more trips and address changes and vehicle repairs and school meetings and family calendars … without any help.  I can do it.

But sometimes … especially now a days … I just want my mom.  I want someone to talk to who KNOWS ME, who knows my past, and who is interested in what is going on in my life.

Sure, I have a caring husband and I have 3 great kids … but sometimes, I’ll admit, I am lonely.

We left a lot behind when we moved to Arkansas almost 2 years ago … and I’ve rehashed it and grieved over the loss and came to grips with it … several times over.  But now I realize I have very few local, real-life friends, ironically at the crux of beginning a home business that focuses on FRIENDS and HOSPITALITY.

And maybe, I don’t even know how to make friends any more.  I don’t trust just anyone with my stories and my heart.

And ironically, right now, no one (local) cares about my stories and my heart … seemingly.  Perhaps I’ve pushed people away … or perhaps the few people I have met here actually don’t need me.  They have all grown up together, one big happy family.

Really, I think they just never had to go away and be “the new kid,” and they always had family close by to help them through any situation they were going through.  The kids they went to high school with are the friends they are raising their children to be friends with.

I don’t think they know what to do with me.  I have no history with them … I am the great unknown as well.

Tonight – for the first time – I went to a church ladies’ meeting… and I prayed that I’d be able to get past my fears and to open up my heart just a crack.   And I tried!  I really did.

I said “hi” and smiled at everyone who dared make eye contact with me when I came in the room.  I made polite conversation about the food spread on the buffet, and when I didn’t find someone to chat with there, I moved into the kitchen to ask to help.  But they were busy – in a familiar pattern of preparing food that only people have who have worked together for many years have.  I stood in the corner and observed – as introverts tend to do – but I tried to fix a pleasant look on my face.  I said “hello” to those who walked by me.  I tilted my head toward the group that was engaged in conversation right by me.

And I wilted just a little.  I felt a little awkward after a while of standing alone, so I moved into another room, but there was nowhere to sit and no one motioned me over to talk to them or sit by them.  I didn’t really know what to do with myself … this “ladies meeting”, I suppose was just a gathering of friends, old friends.  And so, I left.

That’s right.  I left.  I picked up my purse and walked down the foyer and out the front door.  And I don’t think anyone even noticed.

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Let this be a lesson for me … always talk to the “new girl” – seek out the wall hugger – make room for someone who seems out of place.  No matter if you have known them since kindergarten or have never seen them before.  (Believe me, I would have done this tonight, if I wasn’t the only one!)

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13 Responses to Raw. No Filter.

  1. Pingback: Weekend Catch-Up | An Ordinary Hausfrau

  2. Pingback: “Really, I’m Fine” | An Ordinary Hausfrau

  3. melanie says:

    Oh Conny… what to say?? While I can prattle on to excess very well {or say something totally stupid, usually loudly}, sometimes/OFTEN I am chicken to begin with someone I don’t know, or think I have nothing in common with. My bad.
    But, dear me, those many ladies must have been/are clueless to their exclusive attitudes. So sorry – what a difficult spot to find yourself in. Once again, I wish you’d bought that property down the road from us. Hugs from Iowa! ❤

  4. Charla says:

    I love this. Talk about something that needs to go viral! Hugs to you, and thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Ruth says:

    Just makes me realize again how important it is to show yourself friendly. I went through a spell at our current assembly when I felt alienated, but that soon ended when I decided to come out of my own shell a bit. I’m praying that either you will find a more congenial place to get good fellowship, or that this current assembly gets its act together.

    Love ya! Would have given you a hug if I were there.

  6. Tanya says:

    Truly your words are a stark reminder to ALL of us!!! As you know, I have been in the same town/church for oh-so-many years, but I, too, am going through a dry patch — it seems. I often feel embarassed that I have said too much (opposite of introvert but just as damaging in my own mind, I think, as standing off to the side…..YIKES!! MY mouth!!!). Thank you for “speaking” with no filter. A reminder to get out there and seek out someone new. She might need it as much as I do.

    • melanie says:

      Oh Tanya – I can relate only too well to the thought, What just came out of my mouth?!? 😮 I used to have the verse on my fridge about asking the Lord to set a watch before my mouth — and it wasn’t in regard to the food I overeat! ha ha :-/

  7. Amy says:

    Ouch! After many moves, I’ve decided that there are some groups that have been in existence for so long that they don’t have room for a new person. That is very sad…especially in a church. When we moved here and I thought of joining a ladies group at our church, I was asking someone about the two different ladies groups (so that I could choose). One of the two she told me “she did not recommend” for me. I later found out that she was the leader of that group!! I’ve never gone to either one.
    Perhaps you will meet someone at work, or at a church function, that you just “click” with. I know that with my introverted self, that has to happen. It seems the harder I try and the deeper my resolve to make a friend, the harder it becomes.
    I’ll pray that a friend finds you….soon. ❤

  8. angiemart says:

    One more thought, even my extrovert mom-in-law, who lives with us feels like this. Many people know her name, but no one seems to need a new friend. We’re hungry for friendship, not just acknowledgement. I, too, have determined to try to be more aware of who needs a friend in the room.

  9. angiemart says:

    Ha, things not thongs! 😊

  10. angiemart says:

    I completely understand! Our move to Charlotte leaves me feeling like that every Sunday. The first year is tough. The second year is only marginally better. It usually takes 3-5 years before I can say I have friends where I live. Two things seem to help: volunteering (working alongside someone) and inviting people over for dinner. I have a lot of stress in my life at the moment and often feel in survival mode so those thongs have been nearly impossible for me to do. There are moments every week I just wish someone cared. Hang in there!

  11. babstig says:

    Yes friend exactly. You know we have been there and done that.
    People who never leave their town have NO CLUE!!
    I pray Dan lets you guys leave this church. They remind me of maranatha friend.
    I am so so sorry.
    Not excited about the church here HOWEVER they are a friendly bunch and hence we stay.
    I am thankful for the church we found in MO while they all knew each other, grew up together their pastor has taught them to reach out, be friendly, loving and friendly!!!!
    Goodnight Christians SUCK.
    I PRAY we set a better example for Jesus than the rest of those crazies. I am so upset for you however God will use this to help get you out of there. My heart rate is up! Lol
    Good for you for leaving!
    So proud.
    So sad for them because they are missing out on a wonderful friendship!!

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • Amy says:

      I don’t know you, friend of Conny, but I laughed out loud at your
      “Goodnight Christians SUCK.” comment! I work in a church that is great in a lot of ways, but we often find ourselves saying, “This church would be so much better if it weren’t for the PEOPLE here!” LOL
      People like this are why Christianity gets a bad rap. I hope I’m never the person who is too busy to welcome a stranger to our church.

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