About the Author

Deidra is a national speaker and the author of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are, and One: Unity in a Divided World. Follow Deidra on Instagram @deidrariggs

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  1. Deidra!

    ” .. . having that someone lean over and whisper in your ear, “I’m so glad you’re here! I saved this place at the table just for you.” That’s something you do so well. That’s what you’ve done for me. And I am so grateful.

  2. Deidra!!! Know one way I’ve felt this love? Right now…with y’all letting me photobomb your piccha.

    You have me wondering, though, has EVERYONE at least once in their life felt like community eluded them? That everyone else had it except for you (me)? I’ve spent too much time seeing void, giving up rather than being a friend to the friendless. I wanted someone else to be a friend to MY friendlessness.

    Through people I love shooting straight with me, God is gently reminding me to l.o.v.e. others and make myself available to them, for them. That’s part of my adventure this year.

    xo

      • Kristen, I think of you and that sign you almost posted in your front yard. 🙂 Yes. We’ve all known that desperate loneliness, haven’t we?

  3. I am with Robin, I feel eluded and excluded. I don’t belong or fit in anywhere and I’ve lived here in this same area, same church, same community for over 19 years. I feel like the circle has been drawn and I’m on the outside always looking in. If it weren’t for my 2 daughters i wouldn’t have any friends. I am an introvert and not good at making small talk (especially since I’m unaware of whats going on with anyone since I don’t have any outside contact other than blogs like this). The only time anyone calls from church is with a prayer chain request. But when you show up on Sunday they are all laughing and sharing the past week spent together. I’ve had parties and lunches at my home where everyone says they are looking foreward to it then no show. So I quit going to all their jewelry-cookware-candle parties too. How can I make friends with other women and not get disappointed again?

    • oh, honey do I feel this! I get a pain in my gut when I think of trying to be engaging with people I don’t know, even if in *real* life I am outgoing and you can’t get me to stop talking… I too have felt the world go past me, and I so want what is described here, just to feel as wanted as I do want. For me, this is happening by letting go of where I thought I should find community. I’m not candle party girl. I don’t cut cupons…, even when I see NOTHING wrong with this, I just don’t have a voice to bring to that discussion. But when I’m actively looking, and bold enough to put myself out there {for instance, this is against my grain to be apart of a blog community, but I do it, because I do desire relationships with other woman}, you can find yourself loved, even if it looks a little different than you expected. So, while I can’t walk into church every sunday by your side, it is my honor to talk with you and DO church together. xoxo

      • Your comment about not being a candle party girl really sticks out to me. Whenever I get invited to these kinds of things, I shy away, party because of my introverted self and partly because I just don’t enjoy that kind of thing. In the end, I feel lonely and left out, and nothing ever changes. I desire relationships and connections, but it seems that everyone around me is busy with everyone else. Ok, now I sound like I’m whining. But it seems like I might not be the only one?

    • Pam, I am with you and Robin. It’s an ironic feeling of relief to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way. I have reached out to several different sisters in Christ I’ve known for years, just trying to have that fellowship, only to receive absolutely no response. It’s hard to keep putting yourself “out there” when it seems no one wants to be part of your life or make themselves part of your life. It is a very lonely, dark time. I am trying to trust God even though I don’t understand. And I am trying to rest in the head knowledge (not always the heart knowledge) that sometimes God allows us to go through these desert times to force us to lean only on Him. Right now, He’s all I have, but I am trying to remember that He is enough.

      • I would love to get your ladies info so we could keep in contact. With all 3 of us {or any others, that I’m sure have this too} feeling the desire and not seeing fully the fruit, we can encourage each other along the way 🙂

        • Oh, yes! Community unfolding! Right here in the comments! What a great idea, Tara! This. This is community…reaching out a hand to our sisters who carry heavy loads, and cheering one another on! Oh, yes! And amen!

  4. What a wonderful note of encouragement, I would love to sit next to you and enjoy a cup of hot coffee and good fellowship. Perhaps someday…

  5. Last year I was ask to a “coffee visit” with a new friendship I had been working on, and this other lady who I knew from 15 years ago. Truth was, I avoided this lady…she had this strong personality that rubbed me the wrong way. But I went, and I was so glad I did. The three of us now get together for coffee and a visit once a month. When I really got to know the lady with the strong personality, I found out while she a strong and opinionated person, she is so funny, and real. All three of us take care of our aging mothers and have grown children we are concerned about at times. We all love the Lord. We have more in common than we have differences, including opinions! So I guess I am trying to say, is sometimes someone you thought you would never want to sit at the table with, may be the glue that holds the community together. And once you get to know them, you love them just as they are.

  6. Wow!@ You’ve hit a nerve. Although I do have a semi-small circle of bible study friends. Going to a small church does help in that when you don’t show for a week or so people will call & see if you’re ok.

    My hubby has a super hard time making friends. He is an introvert & has “geeky” hobbies: low frequency radio, video games–especially World War II type. He is not into hunting, fishing, or sports of any kind, which makes it hard to talk to most people at church.

    You are soo right on target when you say that WE sometimes have to get out there & befriend others to make friends.

    Thanks for a great post!

  7. Love this post, thanks! I have long been the girl that ‘doesn’t need anyone’… But as we moved to this new place two years ago, suddenly I found myself craving community and God placed some amazing sisters in my lap. We laugh, cry, text long into the night, and my heart has been healing from long years of loneliness that I didn’t know where it was coming from. God is so good~ thanks for sharing this!

  8. Yesterday… walked in to the new session of Bible study… the one I’d left 3 years ago… my small group suggested I rejoin them… entered the room… met with smiles and warm hugs and I’ve missed you… community is there… I am the one that left… the warmth has returned… my heart is full again…

    • I’m singing and dancing, reading this story, Carol! My goodness! What a sweet story you’ve shared here. What a big risk you took…stepping back in to that circle. And that just happened yesterday? Yesterday?!?! God has such perfect timing!

  9. I’ve lived for seven years in my current town (the longest I’ve ever lived in one place), and just in the last couple of years have I finally felt that kind of community. Though there were times of agonizing emotional pain along the way, everything was worth it. : )

  10. Oh, Deidra, only you could write this loveliness. Community is a huge part of life and sometimes it is in very short supply. Even as a pastor (maybe especially as a pastor?) I’ve felt this hole, this standing-on-the-outside-looking-in-at-the-fun loneliness. So I tend to look for people on the edges, others who have that slight look of longing and then I talk a little, send a note or two, suggest tea together… It helps to fill that gap a bit. I’ve been grateful this year for virtual community through this wild and crazy place called the internet. And some of that virtual turned into more when opportunity for face-to-face showed up. Thanks for your encouragement to keep looking, to keep reaching out. Puttin’ down the trowel.

    • Don’t you just love this virtual community?!?! It always amazes me – the way God shows up on the internet! And then…from time to time…He lets us meet each other (in)RL! I’m so glad you’re putting down that trowel! You can throw it in the bucket – right next to mine!

  11. I have spent too long avoiding others in case I am not ‘good enough’.
    This is my year for saying ‘yes, I am flawed and full of mistakes, and that makes me human, and I am not going to let my feelings of shame stop me from connecting with people. ‘ Or something like that. I’m going to give it a go, anyway.

    Thank you for the encouragement X

    • You go, girl! And I will be your cheerleader! But my cheers will be drowned out by all the cheering God’s got going on for you!

  12. After the church service on Sunday I made my way around the room of people, several times, saying hi here and there, trying to join in on conversations that didn’t even begin to include me and then found my self sitting, watching all these groups of people conversing and I sat there talking with my best friend, Jesus… asking Him where do I belong?
    Community has eluded me, disappointments aren’t the norm anymore because my hopes aren’t up, easier not to get dashed that way.
    As a 7 year old girl diagnosed with rhumatic fever I learned quickly that people could be harsh. Parents, stopped letting their girls play with me out of fear that they too would get what I got (or that was my conclusion). Truth is, it’s not contagious. Despite the lonliness and isolation I have felt, I am grateful that God brought me through that as a child because I have the best friend ever, my Lord!
    Thank you for your post and for the encouragement that there is community out there. I have found that the words of the {in}courgae women have created a place of community for me, a place where I feel I belong and where I am not alone.

  13. I love this, Deidra. YOU beautifully show why community is always, always worth the effort.

    I fervently pray *this* (in)courage community here knows and feels there is always room for every member at the table. You are so loved!

  14. I think as women get older, the ease at which we used to make friends decreases and we try hard to hold on to the ones we have. I too, at times have felt lost and I think it is so important for women to support one another and definitely share that sense of community.

  15. For only the second time in my life, I have that community! I was on the outside in every way possible growing up, and made to feel it very much. Then at the age of 21, two of the most popular girls decided that I was alright, and I was suddenly let in… it was like a miracle. For 2yrs it was great, and then I had to leave that place and was on my own again. It took another 11yrs, but I am back in community again, and it’s lovely. After such long stretches of loneliness, having friends is SUCH a blessing!

    • Maybe we all think everyone else has community, and we’re the only ones who don’t? But I think the truth is that it comes and goes for all of us. So, when we find it, it really is a treasure, isn’t it?

  16. Wow, thanks for the comfy chair and the fellowship. I have so enjoyed meeting you in community. Although, we are miles apart geographically I have felt so connected in this place. Thanks for making me feel right at home…

  17. Deidra, you sound like so much fun! I think you know my Aunt and I am hoping to meet you someday. Maybe at (in)RL!!

  18. Beautifully said, Deidra. I think this is what every human, at least every woman, is secretly longing for. I know I am. Thanks for the encouragement to hold off on building the wall!

  19. Yes! You have hit it. Community is what I’ve been yearning for but had not been able to put that into words. I am enjoying my blogging community.

    Thanks Deidra

  20. I want that “waving wildly” friendship and community. I know that it’s out there just waiting to be found. Being in a new town, I often feel lonely and friendless, yet, I’m really not alone.

    I’m hoping that I will find the joy as I embark on this adventure. Thank you, my friend. I’m waving wildly at you!