The Need for Community

This blog is entitled “Talking Among Friends” for a reason.  I want it to be a safe place to talk about friendships, relationships and life in general.  Originally, this blog started out as “Rebecca’s Journey,” where I wrote about my experience with cancer.Friends Silhouette

After a while, I didn’t want to talk about cancer any more.  Life started again, and I wanted to break away from that dreadful disease.  Relationships are what matter in this life, whether it’s your relationship with God, your family, and your spouse and kids.

Sadly, cancer is still a fact of life for friends around me.  It’s much too prevalent in this world, and I’m sure we all know someone who has had cancer or even passed away from this awful disease.

A friend of mine is recovering now, and has finished all of her treatments of chemotherapy and radiation.  She’s finding her way back.  At a recent gathering of friends, her first in a long time, she said something that struck me.  In the midst of her treatment, all she could do was sleep and focus on getting through it day-by-day. During that time, she said she couldn’t even pray.

For those of us who can’t get through the day without praying, even sending up the so-called “arrow prayers,” then we know what a dark place she was in.

As her friends, we had been rallying around her as best we could, in whatever way we could. Mostly, by prayer, emails and phone calls.

She also said something else.  She said, “Others held me up when I couldn’t.”

Talk about the power of community and friendship!  She could feel our support for her.  When I was fighting cancer, I could also feel the prayers of many.   What a comfort that was and how helpful it was in my own recovery.

Can you imagine not having friends or any type of community around you?

When life throws us curve balls, or when you’re celebrating a joyous occasion, how would it feel to celebrate alone?  Or to face the darkness alone?

We all get busy with our own families and careers, but it is so important to take the time to find that community, that fellowship and friendships in which to share your life.

We all need to make the effort, me included, to reach out more or deepen the friendships with those already in our lives.

What are you doing to take the time for friends? To find that community?

 

Friendship and the movie "The Four Seasons"

I’m dating myself, but one of my favorite movies is “The Four Seasons” from 1981 with Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, Rita Moreno and more. The movie is about three couples, all in their 40s with college-aged kids, who vacation together and share their lives together.

My favorite line in the movie, which strikes me every time I hear it, comes towards the end, where Carol Burnett’s character, Kate, says “I don’t want to be one of two people alone in the world at the end of my life. I want to have friends.”

Isn’t that how we all feel? We don’t want to be alone, we want to have friends…meaningful friends.

I grew up as the daughter of an Air Force officer. If you know anything about the military life, you know we moved around a lot. So, there were friends who came and went, like the seasons. And thankfully, there were other friends, who despite the years and the distance, have remained close, lifelong friends.

We all have seasons with friendships. In high school, you never imagine life without your friends that you met then. Some of us are still close with those high school friends. But more often than not, I would guess, we did not maintain most of those relationships.

College might be a different story. I would think that a lot of us maintain at least some of the friends we had in college. My husband’s freshman class from Texas A&M’s Corps of Cadets is one great example. More on that unit in an upcoming blog post.

Other friends we meet through church, or when we’re going through similar circumstances, like mommy groups and school functions.

Our church encourages “Life Groups,” which are meant to be a safe place to go deeper with friendship and truly fellowship together in faith and life.

But how do you maintain friendships when that season in time has passed? Do you even want to?

What is that special bond that brings friends together and holds them together?

I know we need to be intentional with friendships….with any relationship.

I need to be intentional, because it would be way too easy to focus just on my husband and not make an effort with outside friends.

But as the movie says, “I don’t want to be one of two people alone in the world at the end of my life. I want to have friends.”

Do you agree?