Aspects of Indiana are great. The wildlife I’ve encountered. Cooler weather than Missouri. A lake that’s like an ocean.
Something is missing though. Friends. The place is teeming with potential friends, but I’m still working on making them.
Tuesday night, I went to a “20-somethings” Bible study group at the church we’ve been attending. I was in a bad mood and needed some self-coaxing to go hang out with a bunch of people I’ve never met. They were really great though. Everyone was friendly. We played charades before the Bible study. Charades is really a jump-right-in way to get to know new people. It’s a good thing I’m outgoing and love the spotlight. A shy person would have died in that situation. The group is studying the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). This week’s theme was goodness. After the study, we went to Tequila’s Restaurant for Taco Tuesday.
I enjoyed the group. Only one problem – the church is in Crown Point. Crown Point is a small town about 40 minutes from where I live. At that distance, I’m worried that it will be hard for me to get connected. I want people I can call up on a whim and hang out with. Things are still up in the air. We love this church and all of the people I’ve met there so far are great. Pastor Kipp has made me feel welcome since the first Sunday, when I showed up 10 minutes late and sat in the back row. They have all kinds of awesome ministries going, including lots of practical hands-on service to the community. I just wish it was the community that we live in. I want a church that is home. I want to really get plugged in and be actively involved in what they’re doing. When I’m honest with myself, the distance is a big roadblock to my overall involvement. It’s something I’m still praying about.
Wednesday night Michael and I went out with another couple. Nathan was the one ready-made friend who came with Valpo. We went to school together preschool through high school (adding Michael in junior high), and he has just finished his Master’s at Valparaiso University here in town. He and Michael got especially close during our engagement while Michael was in Valpo, I was still in Missouri, and Nathan’s girlfriend was (and still is) living in Ohio.
This was the first time I met Nathan’s girlfriend Amanda. We had a great time eating pizza and ice cream, walking around downtown and hanging out at Nathan’s apartment. The sad news is that Nathan is moving back to Missouri on Friday. So much for ready-made friends.
I have a couple camp friends in Indiana, but none of them are particularly close to Valparaiso. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for kids whose families move a lot. I lived in the same city for the first 23 1/2 years of my life. I have a picture from my wedding reception of 9 people who all went to grade school together.
Some of them I’ve known since I was 3 years old. Now we’re all scattered. My best friend who I met in college lives in Boston.
All of my family is still in Missouri, too. Growing up takes you away from some of the people you most want to be near.
I’ve sometimes imagined that I don’t need friends as long as I have the wilderness. A hike can clear my mind, cheer me up and make me feel alive. But the truth is that there’s really no substitute for friends. I miss mine. If my husband wasn’t one of my best friends, I would be completely out of my mind by now. And a rabbit, though adorable and sometimes affectionate, is not an acceptable replacement for human interaction.
This blog may be really disjointed and poorly written. I don’t really know. It’s 4 in the morning. All I know is that I miss my friends. And I hope I meet some more soon.