Last night Lisa and I went to a party. There were tons of people there. Many of them were from the last church I pastored.
Lisa and I agreed that it was awkward at moments, uncomfortable almost always, and strange to say the least.
But the one thing we did agree on is how it amplified how shallow relationships can be and how thankful we are that we have at least a few good friends.
I’ve talked about this before because one of the most felt consequences of deconstruction, changing our beliefs, and changing or even ending our relationship with the church, is loneliness.
It’s been seven years since Lisa and I left the church, and we are finally starting to feel like we have some significant friendships that we can count on.
Listen guys: It’s hard work to start from scratch and build friendships. Some of these friendships we have now are from our former church life… relationships we’ve salvaged with people who never broke our trust and remained decent with us. Others, however, are brand new post-church friendships that we’ve been trying to build.
Last night reminded me of the church days when we would have such parties and they were crowded, loud, and fun. But in the end we discovered it didn’t mean much. Last night was the same. Crowded, loud, with lots of talk, but in the end it didn’t really mean much. Yes, there was a connection with one or two people. But when it comes down to it what we really need and want is significant and meaningful relationships with people we can call real friends.
In other words, I think this is normal. I bet almost everyone skated on the surface last night. That’s the nature of such parties and we shouldn’t expect more from them. But I bet almost everyone there, even though they might enjoy such gatherings, really do need real friendships more.
So tonight we’re going to see some friends. We’ve worked to make this friendship work. And it’s so satisfying to know that they’re trying to make it work to. And it is working.
These things don’t just happen. It takes intention.
I hope that if you guys don’t have close friends yet that you will soon.