Sunday, October 20, 2013

Little.Fish. swimming in a school

I love watching fish at the aquarium who demonstrate the 'school'.  A school of fish is a noun but also a verb, as you watch these fish turn & move in unison as they 'school'.

I've had some strange reflections as a post-college-newly-married-and-relocated person.  Why didn't my friendships from college seem to persist?  I had known that every summer break, I'd gone the whole time without hardly hearing from friends, but for some reason I was really heart broken that I ended up with no close friends at the end of my college career, outside of my best friend, my husband.

This conclusion led me down an interesting stretch of questions: was I a bad friend?  Did I know how to be a good one?  How could I change & be a friend worth having?

I've wrestled with those questions for years now, as a no-longer-post-college-or-newly-married person. I'm now a mom of 3, 3 years & under.  And I can exist on an island, so to speak.  But my life is just.plain.better. when I let people in it.

I look back at college & before.  When I was growing up, I thought that I needed to become independent, to be able to stand on my own two feet, to be ok on my own.  (this has never been a reality for me, I'm certainly BLESSED to say the least).  We moved often when I was little, and it became very easy for me to make new friends, but I didn't keep friends for more than a year or so, before another move necessitated new ones.  My high school years were divided between two different cities as well.  On to college.  I saw others & how they existed in groups.  I saw that as weakness.  I didn't 'need' someone else to go with me to eat; I was very capable to go alone.  I didn't need anyone to help me do almost anything.  I wanted friendship, but I missed the blessing of 'swimming in a school' with those around me.

Our church has a really beautiful vision statement.  I love our church.

"Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you 
not only the gospel of God but our lives as well."  
1 Thessalonians 2:8 NIV

How strange that the answer to my questions from college hits me: I didn't need anyone, & in turn I wasn't needed.  No give, and no take.  I was closed off to really building friendship because I wasn't participating in community.  and what a beautiful picture of the church, the body, the bride of Christ, as a group of schooling fish - reactive, responsive to one another.

I think swimming in a school is hard.  I think the vulnerability of 'needing' others is hard.  I NEED OTHERS!  I need to share my life with others, and I need them to share with me.  It is really easy to see on a day when I'm just about to be crushed by the weight of my day, and my sweet neighbor stops by, on a whim, and just the friendship & relief from my circumstance is healing.  

The instagrams, the cell phone chats, the rushed-2-sec conversation.  All so good & encouraging for me.  But, TIME & FACE to FACE just cannot be replaced.

Thank you Lord for teaching me & showing me the strength in weakness, the value of needing others, and how you minister to me even in stay-at-home-toddler-isolation.  Thank you.


  1. love your honesty here... thank you

    1. haha, I laugh because I feel like it only took me 7 years to figure out... ;-)