I’ve heard it said that good friends are hard to find. So much so, that I’m actually doing a Girl Talk panel on this very topic (shameless plug). But why is it that too often we spend a lot of time yearning, desiring and longing for this deep connection with others, only to come up empty?
I’ve been pretty vocal on this little blog about my own journey of creating sustainable, life giving friendships. I’ve played both teams of the social game that consist of either loitering on the outskirts of a click, or being safely tucked inside. It’s always nicer to be tucked inside.
Driving home the other day I had an epiphany and heard that still small voice stitched into the crevices of our souls.
“Nicole, it’s not that you were rejected. It’s just that you had to find your tribe.”
And the eyes of my heart were opened.
I could see that all these moments of rejection/abandonment, even starting from my mother’s womb, were never meant to be defining, although the enemy wanted them to be. I know this because I also had so many moments of acceptance.
It was while driving from a really good workout class where I was beautifully accepted that I finally understood. The people who rejected me in prior experiences did not “get” me and they were not supposed to because they were not my tribe.
They were not mine.
Have you ever seen that movie “Divergent”? I enjoyed that movie a lot (although not as much as Hunger Games, LOL) as well as the book for a variety of reasons. I just love a good bad a$$ heroine who overcomes all odds.
The way Divergent begins is that everyone lives in a faction. Once you’re born, you grow up in this faction until you’re of age. You may stay in the faction you grew up in but you may not. It’s all based on how your characteristics align with the needs of the community. Isn’t that deep?
Let’s take a minute to just meditate on that.
[Tweet “Your characteristics set you in a place within the community that allows you to best serve the community.”]
In other words, you are created for a purpose and have all these traits/characteristics that make you unique to serve a very distinct purpose and that purpose is ultimately to meet the needs of your community. So that ultimately the community can grow and flourish and be all that it’s meant to be.
In Divergent there are five factions and depending on which of your characteristics are most dominant (intellect, bravery, servanthood, honesty or amicability) you will fall into one of these five.
Now, since this is a man-made system, it is of course flawed and no one completely fits into these factions and the one who identifies as a divergent definitely doesn’t. The divergent has all of the characteristics of each sector and struggles with stuffing themselves into just one. So, the system fails.
But guess what? God’s system doesn’t fail. He perfectly designed it so that you would be the very thing that is needed for your community. Needed for your tribe.
I know in our westernized view of things we default to an independent mindset. I am a single woman who has been single and functioning all of her adult life. I definitely default to an independent mindset!
But thankfully, ever since I had a spiritual encounter some 20 years ago, God gave me community. He gave me a tribe.
In other countries and in some of our ancestral histories, tribes are a thing and are very normal. Even biblically speaking, people were grouped into tribes. I think tribes are great because they consist of people who have similar gifts, talents, beliefs, etc…
My good friend and I are hosting these open mics in CLE called Mic’d Up! (another shameless plug) and while we were hosting last night, she affirmed our friendship. We’ve gotten super close in this season and are being even more tightly knit together. After thanking her for affirming me I shared that I am able to give this type of friendship and care because I’ve been the recipient of it for so many years. And looking out at the audience of people who went out of their way to attend our event on a Tuesday night, the week that most kids went back to school (such a sacrifice), I invited them to receive what it is I have been given.
We are building a community with these Mic’d Ups and it is the first time that I realize I am in this position to build community (at least physically, because I have been digitally through this little blog).
It is truly an honor to curate a safe space for artists and dreamers in my city and I can’t wait to see who else the Father brings to our tribe.
Now I want to take a moment to honor a woman who was a part of my tribe during my high school years. I was incredibly hurt when I heard the news this weekend that she had passed, leaving her two beautiful babies behind.
I’m deeply thankful for her sweet spirit, needed friendship, and constant support even after our teen years.
Thank you Lorren for always being a light and a smile wherever you went. Thank you for reminding me of the need to be intentional with every moment we are given here on earth. We honor you.