*It's Day 5 of the 31 Day Writing Challenge, which is why I'm still talking about intentional community. (-; If you're interested in reading previous posts and maybe even following along for the rest of the series, check that out here: 31 Days of Intentional Community *
Once upon a time, I was young and fancy-free and lived in Nashville. I moved there after college for a job that turned out to be a really strange three months of my life that felt more like three years. But, despite a weird start, I moved on to other things and built a life in Music City for four years that changed me in about a million ways. Mostly good.
When I was twenty-four, I moved into a house with a friend whose other roommate was about to move out to get married. She was ten years older than I was and owned her own graphic design company, which was beyond my early twenties' comprehension. Her husband-to-be and she had met at a wedding where she was a bridesmaid and he a groomsman, which was basically one of my top five dream ways to meet the love of my life. Anyway, I thought she was the coolest.
I remember one evening coming home from a huge party of some sort with a myriad of singles from the super hip church I attended. There was a big group of single people between twenty-two and thirty who hung out all the time, and it was very much like a large youth group full of young adults, many of whom were connected to or trying to be connected to the music machine that is Nashville. Anyway, I came home from this event I'd attended, heavy with twenties' angst and wondering why I felt so alone after having spent time with about fifty of my closest friends that night.
My roommate was there doing something wedding-related and I stopped to chat with her before heading to bed. I think she must have recognized something in my mood that she had experienced when she was in the same season of life I was in at that point. I don't remember how the conversation came about, but I do remember her telling me that when she turned twenty-five, she realized she was over the "youth group" hang outs (which seem to be a weird phenomenon in urban cities among large groups of young single Christians, and I feel warrants a sociological study.) She told me that at twenty-five, she thought through which friendships in her life were most significant and decided she was going to focus on that handful of friendships and stop feeling the pressure to be friends with fifty people she wasn't even close to.
She moved out that fall to get married and it wasn't long after when a friend and I started a Bible study with ten girls who became like family to me. That Bible study and those friendships were a significant part of my experience in Nashville as I struggled to determine who I was exactly and what it was that mattered to me. (The twenties are hard, y'all, especially for a girl who was sure she'd get her MRS. degree the day after college wrapped up.)
Jesus had twelve. That's probably a good indication that we should keep things small. Community isn't about how wide your social network extends. It's about how deep your relationships go with a few people whose lives intersect with yours.
Who are those people in your life?
|The Bible Study girls (minus one). Note: I'm wearing athletic wear, but without any actual athletic purpose).|