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We Were Made for Community

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I knew that when I stepped onto the campus of what would become my college, it was going to be something special. God brought so many amazing people into my life during my four years there {including my husband}. Today I want to introduce you not to someone I went to college with, but his wife. How awesome is that?! I love how God has weaved the stories of our lives together for His glory. Without further ado, dear friends, this is Ashley. Thank you, sweet sister, for sharing your heart with us today.

The unity of the hands

This week my family and I are moving for the fourth time in 2 years. This definitely wasn’t in our plans. We are the type of people who like to settle down and make deep, lasting, authentic friendships. So the past year or so has been pretty rough on us. God has provided every step of the way and we do believe this all has been God’s plan, even if it wasn’t what we would have chosen for ourselves.

What do you do when you feel like your life is constantly being uprooted? How do you discern which friendships in the place you’re leaving are lifelong and which ones might just be limited to Facebook? How does one find her “tribe” in a new city? What if I don’t ever find mine? These are some of the questions that keep rolling around in my mind.

I never really felt that I fit in anywhere growing up. When I was a pre-teen I always found adults more interesting for conversation than people my own age. I was the floater when it came to cliques in high school. I had good friends in many circles—one friend was on track to be valedictorian, another was a star on the football team, and another was gay. I had junkie friends, smart friends, theater friends, and I mostly spent time with my chorus friends. I had a couple of Christian friends but could count them on one hand. I loved (and still love) having people from such a wide array of backgrounds and interests in my life. But I didn’t feel I fit 100 percent into any one group.

College was the same way. Especially since I usually was in some kind of leadership role, it was very difficult for me to ever really immerse myself in one group or another. Even now, I often feel like a wanderer without a tribe. One reason for this is that a fear of abandonment still tends to run deep in me, and with the transient nature of our world today, people are always coming and going. I’ll get close to someone only to have her swept away to California, or New York, or Iowa. On good days I can appreciate that I have friends in just about every state in the USA and several countries abroad. But on the bad days, I just feel that people leave me. And lately, I’ve been the one doing the leaving, which brings its own set of challenges.

I need a tribe, a community. Not a place to go on Sundays, but a true community with other followers of Christ. We all need other believers in our lives who will take an active part in our well-being. We need them to notice when we’re in need and do something about it. We need them to approach us when they’re worried about us. We need them to invite us to their children’s birthday parties, to bring us food when we’re sick or studying for finals, to be with us when we’ve had a death in the family. As I observe the paths of dear lovers of Jesus, myself included, I see that the road to destruction begins with isolation from other followers of Christ.

So, I would love to ask for your prayers today. God is faithfully providing each step along this adventurous path for us, so I have no doubt He will lead us to the church and friends that we need. So please pray that we’ll see them when He reveals them. Pray that we will be willing to put ourselves out there, to not be afraid of being hurt, to get over the feeling of being outsiders. Pray that we will not be overwhelmed with the logistics of packing, loading, unloading, unpacking, and getting settled in our new home. Pray that God will give us a glimpse of His work in our neighborhood and show us our part in it. Pray that we will be able to love our neighbors and watch for how to meet their needs.

Pray that God will do such incredible things in our lives that when we look back on these tumultuous years, we see the beauty of His poetic handiwork all over them.

“But as the Scriptures say,
No eye has ever seen and no ear has ever heard
and it has never occurred to the human heart
All the things God prepared for those who love Him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9 (The Voice)



Ashley Linne is a wife and mom who loves to write, sing, and travel. She is the author of Inseparable: Who I Am, Was, and Will Be in Christ. Ashley has a Master of Arts in Family Life Education from the Oxford Graduate School and studied at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. 


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Monday 27th of October 2014

I worked with Aaron and Ashley when they were at LifeWay. Fun to see Ashley writing here today! Connections. I definitely concur, Ashley. Even though we've only lived in two cities as adults, I still feel kind of like I don't belong and never will. It's hard to find real, firm, Christian fellowship. Will pray for your transition. Know being uprooted so soon must be incredibly difficult.

Whitney at Beauty in the Mess

Monday 27th of October 2014

How fun! I love seeing connections!! We've lived here for 6 years and I still feel like I don't belong. Part of that is this season of littles I think. I completely agree though that it is super hard to find real Christian fellowship. People that will walk beside you in the good days and the bad. And people that will confront you in love when they need to. Those friendships are precious and should be highly treasured.