Laura drove an Audi with leather seats. They were the first leather seats I had ever encountered. Laura wore all the right labels. She was everything that I was not. I was awkward, middle class, and self-conscious about how I looked in shorts. Note to my 10th-grade self, this is the best your legs will look, so start enjoying it!
It’s been over twenty-five years…but I’ll never forget how Laura noticed my sweater that day. It was from my mom’s closet—from her college years. I think it was technically a tennis sweater, but it looked more like a polo shirt. I thought it was close enough to the fine gauge knits everyone else was wearing.
Laura’s keen eyes caught that the collar was a little too long and pointy. In a sea of people, she laughed at me and pointed, “Where did you get THAT sweater?”
As an aside, have you heard of Korah, the Levite? He led a revolt against Moses and Aaron in Numbers 16. The insurrection failed miserably because—HELLO—God was with Moses and Aaron. It ended like this for the rebels: the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, and their households, and all the men who belonged to Korah with their possessions (Numbers 16:32, ESV). Poof. They were gone.
When Laura ridiculed me, I hoped to go the way of Korah—I wanted the earth to open its mouth and swallow me up—but that didn’t happen.
Out of my dry mouth and stammering lips came the truth, “It’s my mom’s.”
The laugh got bigger. The truth made me more ridiculous than the sweater did. That’s when I learned that it wasn’t cool to borrow clothes from your mom, at least not in Laura’s eyes.
That feeling. I still know it. The hot cheeks. The sick stomach. The eyes darting, with no escape.
That’s the feeling that swells up when I see certain people at the grocery store. That’s the feeling I can get when walking into an enormous ballroom at a blogging conference. That’s the feeling that sometimes assaults me for no apparent reason.
Thankfully, my real life is better than my feelings. God has abundantly blessed me with Christian fellowship. And because we love Jesus, as we gather together, He is in our midst. What a powerful truth.
I have blogging friends, homeschool friends, and church friends. Now, for the first time, I have fitness buddies who hold me accountable. You can read about my dieting woes here. Lately there’s a bit of improvement in that area (more in October when I write for 31 days about Abundant Living).
In our friendships, the Lord calls us to be brave, swallow our pride, stay reconciled…these actions are humbling. God’s plan is that, through loving others, we grow to be more like Him. Every relationship provides us with that opportunity, but a shared faith can create a closer bond with Jesus in the midst.
Is God showering you with Christian fellowship? Or are you in a dry spell? What can you do to create or nurture connection?