I’m not sure what was causing me to feel detached and disconnected from the Body of Christ, but I’ve felt this way for the majority of my walk with Jesus. Yet, when I read the scriptures I can’t help but scratch my head and think, “How do I get connected to the Body? To community? To other Christ-followers like what I read in the Bible?”
I quickly do a mental check list to make sure I’m doing my part.
- Faithfully attend church on a weekly basis. Check.
- Attend Bible studies. Check.
- Serve in numerous ministries. Check.
- Interact with other Christian women. Check.
All of the above should equate to feeling connected, right? Well, not for this gal. I feel like a detached arm thrown by the side of the road while the rest of the Body remains intact. I can’t help but wonder what is it that I’m doing wrong.
These aren’t new thoughts. I’ve carried these feelings for almost two decades now, but recently the Lord has been bringing them to the forefront of my mind.
Not too long ago I was thinking about how I felt so isolated in ministry and in life. And seeing how I write from time to time, solitude is a natural by-product of this pursuit. I know the enemy loves to isolate the Christian because that is when he can discourage us. But I had one problem. The ministry that the Lord called me to was in a sense, isolating. It’s just me, the computer screen, and the Holy Spirit. There is no in-real life interaction with the Body of Christ.
- No facial expressions.
- No laughter or tears.
- No hugs.
- Nothing but a comment from time to time that I read on my computer screen.
It’s been 5 years of this kind of service unto the Lord and the sense of loneliness still hasn’t escaped me. I haven’t gotten used to it at all. So, I prayed again like I’ve prayed over all these years and just minutes later I get a phone call from an old friend.
“I’ve been thinking about you,” she said. “The Lord has been putting you and your ministry on my heart.”
Tears welled up in my eyes when I heard her words. I was in disbelief of what the Lord had just done. Within minutes, my prayer had been answered. Now don’t go thinking that I’m some prayer warrior with an awesome war room, prayer closet, because that’s not the case. All I did was say a simple prayer.
After chatting with my friend, praying, and then spending a few days pondering all that the Lord was doing, I couldn’t help but think there may be other women who feel the same way I do…detached from the Body of Christ. And my heart broke for them because I understood their desire for deep relationships with other Christian women.
And then I heard the Lord’s gentle whisper…
Daughter, (that’s what He calls me) what are you going to do about this?
“Um, nothing Lord. Send someone else, I said. And by the way, I’m not sure that I’m really hearing Your voice. Oh, and here’s my list of excuses just in case it is You.”
- I’m too busy.
- I’m not healthy enough.
- People will reject me.
- No one will show up because they all have friends.
- And I don’t have a plan!
Yeah, I was running from God. 🙂
But my Lord’s gentle whispers were persistent…
Gather up some women in real life and get together with them.
And then I asked Him, “Are you really sure you’re calling me to do this? Don’t you have someone better in mind?”
Nope. You’re my gal, He said. You know what it feels like to be detached and lonely, which means you can relate to other women.
Walk with them. Draw them closer to Me and to others.
So, I stepped out of my emotional comfort zone that day and said yes to God as I sent out the invites. It’s been a couple of months now since this all went down and I’m amazed at what God is doing in the hearts of His daughters, especially this one!
Women I know, some I barely know, and some I don’t know at all are showing up because they too, want to get closer to Christ and the sisterhood. We’re designed for community and we’re not meant to walk the Christian life alone. Sure, there might be seasons we go through where it’s just us and the Lord. I’ve had many seasons like this. But, we need to reach out to others and go through life with them.
I love these verses in Ecclesiastes chapter 4. Usually I think of these verses in regards to marriage, but it applies to the sisterhood as well.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up. Ecc. 4:9,10
Life becomes a little easier with a friend!
4 Steps to Cultivating Friendships with the Sisterhood
Ask God to shape you into a faithful friend and ask Him to bring a faithful friend into your life. The Lord knows what you need and His timing is always perfect.
2. Step out in faith (especially if you’ve been wounded).
Ask her to join you for coffee. If you have littles, try the park. Face the possible rejection head on. Yeah, she might say no to you, but she might say yes!
3. Be intentional to make time with your friend.
As my life gets fuller with responsibilities with my husband, my kids, the home, and ministry, cultivating friendships never seem to land on my to-do list! But with a little bit of intentionality and some planning you can make it work. When we’re motivated to do something, we’ll make time for it! Deep relationships take time, but in the end, they’re worth the effort.
4. Learn to be a good friend.
Be the kind of woman who seeks to know about your friend rather than her just knowing about you. Ask her questions about her and her family. How she came to know the Lord. What she’s passionate about. What’s her favorite dessert or coffee/tea drink. 🙂 (And then one day you can surprise her with it. It’s a simple, yet very thoughtful gesture.) When the Lord brings her to your mind, pray for her. Then take one more step and let her know just that. This little act will start to knit your hearts closer to one another and closer to Christ.
What holds you back from cultivating friendships with the sisterhood?
- Fear of rejection?
- No one will like you?
- Or they won’t understand you?
- Not enough time?
- You’ve been wounded in the past and you don’t want to open yourself up again?
I can say a resounding yes to all of the above.
But…I want to be a woman who walks in the Word and one who applies it to my life. I don’t want to be a mere hearer of it!
So I became a doer. I mustered up all the faith I could and stepped outside of my emotional comfort zone to connect with the sisterhood. And I can honestly tell you that the blessings from above have been as sweet as honey! And I want this for you, too. So, I’m cheering you on to be brave!
Walk in Wisdom:
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. Hebrews 10:22
Live a poured out life for Christ,