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A year ago I stayed put.

Unbeknownst to most reading this blog last year around this time I had done some pretty extensive interviewing for jobs in Alaska. I was ready to get out of here and find some adventure. I am young, unattached, had very few true ties to this place so why not just get the heck out of Dodge?

Just as I was ready to make that decision I caught a glimmer of hope that Dallas really did have what I had been looking for all along – community.

Don’t get me wrong here – I love Texas. I have always loved Texas. It is my stateside home.I have the accent, boots and love of country music, longhorns, and cowboys to prove it. But while I enjoyed living here I just could never seem to find the right group of people that worked for me.

Part of the reason for my discontent was self imposed. I moved to Dallas with a pretty unhealthy outlook on my life. My world was full of co-dependent relationships where people sucked the life out of me like a vampire does its prey, then moved on when I had nothing left to give. The cycle continued as when I found a healthy friendship I had no idea how to handle it but to cling to it for all I was worth. I found my identity in who liked me that day and what group I hung out with.

The problem was, I was always in the outer circle. No matter how badly I wanted in, I found myself constantly left out. And I tried, believe me I tried. My heart aches at all of the silly, insincere, prideful ways that I tried.

When I finally saw the cycle of unhealthy for what it was I once and for all put a stop to it. I got rid of some friendships. Shut them down pretty solid. I found my true identity in Christ and anything else outside of that identity had no influence on my self worth. Yet still I struggled for community. Due to how I had been wounded before, I was gun shy. While still outgoing in personality, I was guarded in Spirit.

Then a funny thing happened. The more genuine I became, the more I began to make genuine friends. Funny how that happens, huh? The less I tried to impress people with my “godliness” and instead I showed my weakness and flaws the more that they surrounded me, became my friends, and loved on me. Not one of them was sucking the life out of me…rather they were giving life too me…and I, in turn, had life to give back!

Tonight as I sat in church, I reflected back on this past year and all that has changed. Instead of selling it all and moving, I bought a home and settled in. Instead of trying to fit in, hoping to have friends, I am surrounded by sweet friends…..brothers and sisters that truly love me and care about my life, my soul and my walk with Christ. They call me out on my stuff and put me in my place, and they hold me in their arms and pray with me when my insecurities overwhelm me. And I do the same for them. We do life together (I’d heard about this for so long but so did not understand what it really meant.) We laugh, we cry, we tell stories, we cook each other dinner, and help provide for each others needs.

When I travel (as I will always be wont to do) I get to come home to them.

A year ago I stayed put. I’m so glad I did.

My answers to prayer

My answers to prayer

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