I moved to Nashville four years ago and when I moved, I knew approximately four people.
In the whole city.
For a massive extrovert like me, that was hard. Like whoa hard. Like how am I ever going to survive this hard.
Because I wanted friends. I wanted people who knew me, really knew me, and I wanted history and I wanted someone to laugh with.
So I had to find friends.
I know, sounds miserable, right? It was awful some days. And terribly hard.
But it was totally worth it. My friends in Nashville love me really well and are a gift from God. I’m grateful for each of them.
There were a few tips I lived by when I was finding friends. In a world where “community” is more an overused word than a reality, I knew it was going to take a little work to build a life in a new city where I was all alone.
Listen, I don’t know everything about everything, I don’t know everything about anything, so these are just some ideas that I’ve seen work in my life and the lives of the people around me. I’m not giving you rules- don’t feel pressure. I’m just sharing.
Now I’ve over explained. You’re welcome.
Some tips for finding friends….
1. Ask God. Just plain pray and ask God to provide people for you. He is Jehovah Jireh, your provider.
2. Be true to yourself– to what you love and what matters to you. You love cats? Great. You love running? Super. You love scrapbooking? Call Jessica Turner. When we were teenagers, we decided to like things often because our friends liked them. Guess what? You don’t have to do that anymore. Decide what YOU really like and then you can find people who share those interests.
3. Use the internet to help. I think of sweet Sara and how, because she couldn’t leave her home, her community, her best friends, she knew through the computer and that often translated into real life. If you are homebound, God bless the internet for giving you a way to have real friendships around the world. But if you aren’t homebound, the internet should be your help, not your only.
Search through meet-ups and facebook events and online book clubs. Use the internet as a tool to help you find real life community.
4. Say yes. For the first five months that I lived in Nashville, I made myself say yes. If someone asked me to come to the park, yes. If someone asked me to go to a movie or a church or coffee or dinner, yes. Always yes. Even when it would have been easier to stay home and watch reruns of Reba or get Taco Bell for dinner or get in my car and drive to Atlanta to see my family, I said yes.
5. Attend that group at church that you keep rolling your eyes about. Oh, I know, you’re cooler than those other singles. I know, you and your husband won’t mesh well with the Sunday School class. I know, that women’s group doesn’t look fun at all. But go. Just a few times. Make yourself go. If you don’t like it, no one is gonna make you go back. But if you do like it, boom. Friends.
If we were sitting at a coffee shop together, I would look you in the face and, with my fingers wrapped around a soy chai, I would say, “be brave.”
You want to find friends?
. . . . .
How would you encourage other women to find friends? How did you make your friends? In the neighborhood? At church? Online?
by Annie Downs // AnnieBlogs
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