Building your tribe

Building your tribe

written by Ashley April 27, 2019

“Hi ma’am, how many will be dining tonight?” “Oh, umm, just one…just me”.  Have you ever found yourself in that situation?  Or perhaps you just did not even try going out to eat because you were embarrassed to be that party of one.  I was that party of one…sadly, not so long ago.

Growing up

You see, I grew up in a small town, everyone knew everybody and if they did not know you, they sure knew about you.  I made my way through grade school, graduated from the only high school in the county, and I went on to fulfill my dreams of being a collegiate athlete at the Division One level.  I was blessed beyond measure and I did not even know how good I really had it.  I had my tribe of friends from grade school, I was a part of a collegiate team which was more like a family—but you know how it is, you graduate high school and you promise those grade school girlfriends that you will stay in touch and every chance you got you would come home and you would for sure reunite and spend time together.

However, that is not exactly how things played out.  Maybe it was different for you, perhaps you did come home every chance you got and reunited with your tribe.  My situation didn’t play out exactly how I thought it would.

“In his heart a man plans his course but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 

All the members of my tribe went in different directions…and you guessed it, we grew apart.  It wasn’t that we didn’t miss each other or that we didn’t get along anymore, it was simply just the fact that life happened, and life took most of us in different directions.  But, that’s just it…life happened.  I remember as a child I used to say, “I can’t wait till I become an adult.”  Well now, I find myself telling my children, don’t ever grow up, stay little as long as you can.  You know it is true, adulting is not always fun and games.

Something still was missing

As the years were quickly passing by, I found myself going thru the motions of every day living.  I even reunited with some of my high school tribe members and we picked up right where we left off all those years ago.  Even though I was happy and had members of my tribe back something was missing. I still felt like I was a party of one.

Finally, I cried out.  “Lord, I am surrounded by loving family, friends, but why is it I still feel so very much alone?”  It took several attempts for me to listen.  But, God!  He led me to a church and a congregation that instantly turned my “party of one” into “how many can you seat”.  I found myself in a sea of people whose souls were on fire for God.  Although I am an only child, suddenly I had more brothers and sisters than I could even keep up with! 

“A sweet friendship refreshes the soul” Proverbs 27:9 

God was refreshing my soul by colliding me with the sparks I needed to start my fire.

My point is, don’t get wrapped up just in the tribe you are comfortable with, follow God, allow Him to lead you into unknown waters.  Surround yourself with people who support you, love you, and set your soul on fire.  Build a new tribe if you need too, combine your new tribe with your old tribe because YOU deserve it.

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Proverbs 27:17


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