No Greater Feeling In The World…

It’s sore-ab-laughter.

It’s revealing-your-age TV references.

It’s TMI storytelling and sincere prayer warriors meeting.

It’s #FMFparty.

     The precursor to this lovely event known as Five Minute Friday. Lisa-Jo gives us tools and sets us free in the wild world of writing without hinderance.

Sometimes I have more to say before diving in. But tonight, I’m still basking in the glow of hilarious connections, intentional exchanges, thoughtful prayers and pieces of shared life.

So I’ll keep up my glow and I’ll just dive right in to the word of the week:

Welcome

Funnily enough, for an extrovert (ENFJ), I certainly find that I can have a habit of mentally setting myself up for failure.

Usually making friends is as natural as breathing for me.       Check that….     meeting people is that natural.     Making friends – diving deeper than the shiny surface layer – walking life through, letting barriers down, trusting enough to be             me.
      That takes more time.
And as I get older…I realize…I’m more shy about the whole process.

Maybe experiences in the recent years have halted my forthcoming, outgoing approach. Rejection is never easy. Even if the reason given is as understandably explained away as “cultural differences”,

it still stings.


Even so….the feeling of welcome….well there’s no greater experience is there?
Songs are written about it.
Poems are penned after it. 
Anguish is poured out over the absence of it. It is powerful.
As Bruce Willis once perfectly said in The Story of Us: “There’s no greater feeling in the world than of “got me”.”
   So when city limits, never meeting face-to-face, ages, backgrounds, experiences…when these don’t stop the gift of welcome from happening…well then there’s really no excuse that can ever make sense or stand up against, can it? When women from anywhere can make women from everywhere feel at home – that’s not magical, that’s Spirit-full. That’s God working in ways mightier than human notion. 
Yet that’s what organizations like (in)courage are doing. Even churches who are getting it right – community – they promote how it should be. No blocks of “you belong here more than here”. It’s “you belong here. Yes, right here“. They make ‘here’ anywhere two or more are gathered in His name. That is welcome. 
That is hallelujah lovely.
~~~~~~~~~~

    Well ladies, that’s it for me tonight!!! I had such an amazing time at our party-gathering. 
Love that we got this gal to be shushed by her daughter. That’s my goal for next week. The same end! 🙂 She is a terrific sharer of all He is doing in her life. I cherish that.
Love that she is healing after surgery. Praise God for bringing her through and removing sickness from her body. 
Love that she was here. She is fast becoming someone I can relate to on many levels – and I met here there. She boosts me every week.
I am blessed. There are far more of you women who gift me with happiness and wisdom. Encouragement and the love of the Body. Not seeing your face first isn’t as important as seeing you heart right away. What honor!

And I cannot cease from praising the community I have who IS face-to-face, walking life every day with me. The women who have been my rock for years. In some small cases, decades. I am who I am…I am still here because of you. And you. And you. And you. And…seriously…God is THAT grand that I’m given this family?? Oh yes. My God – your God – He is that grand. 

Goodnight friends. May you hold fast to the truth that real community is yours for the having. Keep it. You belong.

20 Comments on “No Greater Feeling In The World…

  1. Stopping by from FMF. I enjoyed reading your post. Being the introvert that I am, I always envy you extroverts who have no problems chatting it up in a room full of people. It makes me feel better to know that even social butterflies have to work at making deep, meaningful connections.

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  2. You are SO right! There is no greater feeling than finding real relationships, real fellowship, real FAMILY. So grateful God has granted that to me after so many years of trying to fit in with the opposite. It is amazing!

    BTW, I'm an ENFJ, too!

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  3. Lovely, fun post to read and how true (for me too) about being more shy as I age about being more shy of the process.

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  4. #FMFParty was the way for this INFJ to meet you, sweet friend! And I'm so thankful. Because you bring light into any room. even when that room is on a screen. You shine His grace. So blessed by you!

    and That is hallelujah lovely…..if that doesn't say it all.

    side note: I dreamed of Blossom. Oh yes I did. my hubby asked why I said whoa in my sleep. 😉

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  5. Kacey – welcome!! I am so happy you stopped by. And oh, yes…I'm here to confirm that even us butterflies have some ups and downs in search for authentic community. I'm a person who doesn't want surface for long. Be it from my Texas/Southern roots, be it from my talk, talk, talk nature…but I long to go further. To truly get to know others. My favorite way to spend time is using it in conversation with another. Learning about them and their story.
    It's just not easy all the time. For varying reasons. As I know you know.

    So yes Kacey – you are not alone! 🙂 And you've helped me feel less isolate as well in that. Thank you so much.

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  6. Nancy you get it! So true. 🙂 And I love finding out another's personality match-up. I got truly into it with the people I met while living in MA. It was so neat to see descriptions that matched up with the person. There's something to that test. People are more than a page, and no pigeon-holds can box someone in and their individuality. I firmly believe that. However, having the foundation through a complex system like Myers-Briggs…it's pretty neat.

    Welcome over Nancy! So glad to “see” you.

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  7. You too Andrea? Isn't that odd? Not quite sure what it is, about getting older and more introverted. Or more specifically, I suppose I'm becoming more even-keeled in that aspect. I'm still extroverted at my core, but I've learned the deep value of alone time. I used to never want to be away from others – always enjoying company and shared experiences. Yet in the passing years, I gain so much reconditioning in the quiet times. Just me. I'm actually thankful I can appreciate both.

    Thank you Andrea for coming by and sharing how you can relate. 🙂

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  8. Um, Nikki…I just BURST out laughing at your side note. Are you serious?? That is so completely fantastic!! Hahahaha I seriously laughed so loud, my sister didn't know what was going on. Way to dream sister. 😉

    And you are so wonderful. I am humbled by your sweet words. Thank you for them, because I take them to heart. And that's not always easy for me to do – let compliments sink in and accept them. Usually I sluff them off (at least internally, sometimes sadly, not even that conspicuously) unable to take them in.

    You are terrific and I am so truly enriched by getting to know you. We are so similar you know. I'm creeping closer to the “I” side of the “NFJ” and I'm pretty close to the ENFP combo too. We're ever-changing aren't we. I find that kind of exciting. Have a wonderful day!

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  9. It's as if we're in a sorority that I didn't have to pledge for. I love how He unites us.

    Since we are all so different yet the same in that we are who we are because of His grace, grace that unifies. Reflecting on Romans 5 today:
    3 I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

    4-6 In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn't amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.

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  10. Your words were singing “Hallelujah lovely” as I read them…sounds like you had a lot of fun…I am definitely an introvert, but w/ extroverted leanings…Thank you for your sweet tweet; you brightened my day 🙂 …my woman's group at church started Thurs am so I'm excited to get to know them all better…Likewise, I look forward to getting to know you better, dear Leigh 🙂

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  11. You enlarge my happiness Diana. You're openness, wisdom, realness…I am just so thankful to have crossed paths. I don't have much more words I can add, except a gigantic “THANK YOU”. My cup is full.

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  12. Leigh!

    Oh this ENFJ understands the shyness, the shrinking in at times. I think it is because it means SO much for us…and when hurt in the past, we gulp deep, breathe hard, remember the pain…and struggle to go there. Oh the “got me” thing…yes! yes! and yes! Being understood is paramount to me almost above every other emotion!! Seriously!

    And thank you for you kind word love to me! It means much to this Words of Affirmation girl!

    I cherish our budding friendship!

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  13. YES! I think it is an ENFJ thing…to want deep. Was just talking to a friend about this recently and she was saying how another friend had told her that when you have that in some relationships it may not be possible or realistic to have that in every one and that helped her. And I told her that in a group of people if I do not have one or two REAL connections, it almost feels like I wasted my time so I cannot be satisfied to just have my “close” friends and stay surface in other groups if it is in anyway up to me!!

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  14. “and when hurt in the past, we gulp deep, breathe hard, remember the pain…and struggle to go there.” Oh my…you could not have said it better. It's as if you wrote a symphony to describe the process. So, so beautifully spoken Lindsey. I will remember that sentence for always. Relating exactly.

    I too am so delighted to see this meet grow into understanding and friendship. You are someone I am so thankful to get to know. Truly!

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  15. It's so true! A necessary lesson. Not all friendship can be similar, nor can they even be the same depth-level as another. It's unfair to expect it to be so – and to think I had to realize this! That it wasn't pre-understood truth in my thought process. It saves me from more unnecessary frustration to know this, and to see each relationship as individual. And to see each one as valuable in its entirety, and as an opportunity for me to learn something new, and grow better as a person, friend, daughter and Body-member-fellow.

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  16. So loved this post friend! I enjoy every minute we all spend together on Thursday nights! It's like being in a room with friends so excited to see each other that we all talk at once. I feel God in those moments where someone shares a prayer request or concern and we all surround them in prayers and love. I am just so thankful for each and every one. Thanks for sharing! Blessings!

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  17. Wendy!!! Good morning! 🙂 I agree, Thursday nights are so joyful, I get excited just thinking about them. 🙂 Thank you for coming by!

    Like

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