“It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends.” –Brothers Grimm, Snow White
My junior year at college was a mixed bag of lots of good community but, little connection. If you saw me around campus, you probably thought: “That girl has it together.”
I was in a popular sorority,
led multiple small groups,
had a supportive roommate
and worked at the best place on campus…
but I was incredibly LONELY.
My loneliness made me feel like there was something wrong with me. How could I possibly not be enjoying all these wonderful things? Why do I feel like a stranger amongst friends? If my social calendar is so busy why is it not life-giving?
I held onto this shame of disconnection, believing it was MY inability to have good friendships—no, quality friendships.
For the first time, I doubted my value. Perhaps, I wasn’t worthy of the community I desired.
But that was all about to change. One Friday evening, an epic dance party for the entire junior class was happening on-campus. (Side note: If there is music, you will catch me dancing. I’m usually the first one on the floor and the last one to leave.) When I heard there would be glow-in-the-dark paint, I couldn’t miss it.
I arrived ready to have the best night of my life, only to have a flood of sadness envelop me. This was unlike anything I had experienced. Month and months of loneliness took hold of my emotions, and it didn’t feel right to be there.
I walked back up to my dorm, collapsed on the grass, and sobbed. I prayed asking God, “What is happening? What are you doing to me? Why do I feel like I’ve lost myself?” A few moments later, a girl I barely knew walked by. She wasn’t at the dance party either? That was weird.
She stopped and asked me how my evening was, and I lied: “It’s good, just busy with some homework. How is your night?”
She sat down next to me and responded, “You know, it’s been hard. I’ve felt really lonely this entire year and tonight is another night where I feel like I have no one.”
You can imagine my shock! Here was someone finally admitting that she was lonely, a little lost, and looking for someone to connect with. Her honesty opened the doors for me to confess that I felt the same. We weren’t alone.
Right then and there, we made a pack to always call each other when we began to feel sad. We made plans to spend the next few Friday nights together exploring the city and being honest with each other.
This was the beginning of friendship—connection.
If you experience loneliness or lack of connection, I encourage you to share with someone. You’d be surprised how many women are feeling EXACTLY the same. Why? Because God wired us to connect. It’s natural. It’s human–that’s why it’s hard.
But, we don’t have to hide our need for friendship any longer. Sometimes you do find your truest friends when you get brave enough to admit you need them. May God give you the boldness, like my friend, to reach out and say: “Community has been tough, but we can change that.”