Rebel With(Out?)…Whatever

This summer has been hard.  I’ve been really listless and bored.  I just haven’t wanted to do anything or go anywhere.  Some of it is the oppressive heat but a lot of it is me.  I’m a home body.  I’m not a very social person.  I just prefer to stay home and watch Netflix or read.  I know I need to get out more.  I just haven’t had a lot of opportunities.

A recent sermon about mentors really hit me hard.  Our pastor said to be living a Biblical life we need to be making disciples.  We need to be mentoring someone and someone should be mentoring us.  And I bristled a bit at that.  Mentoring takes two.  It takes someone investing time and love into you.  That’s a little beyond my control.  I can’t just ask someone to do that for me.  It made me realize the lack of people in my life.  So I started praying about it.

Last Saturday we had a women’s one-day conference at the church.  At the end they announced that a woman who had just moved to the area was opening her house to women who wanted to connect.  It was answered prayer.  A small group met at her house the other night for fellowship and I didn’t have any anxiety about it.  Usually, as soon as I sign up for something, I immediately regret it.  It’s easier to just stay home and do my thing but I really felt like I needed this.  And so did the other women there.

Our church is pushing these kinds of groups in homes because that’s the Biblical church.  People connecting outside of church and becoming family.  It is sorely needed.  Our church has over a thousand people attending every Sunday and we come and go like ghosts.  We want to connect with each other in a real way.

I’ve finally reached the point where I’m fed up with being a ghost.  I need more people in my life.  I have my family and my church fellowship group which are great, but I need more.  I’m rebelling against myself.  I’m rebelling against the urge to stay where I’m comfortable.   My 30th birthday is coming up and I have actual plans for a celebration.  That never happens.  I went from having nothing to do to having a pretty full social calendar this fall.

I don’t know if taking myself on makes me a rebel with or without a cause but I do know it’s time and that God is faithful.

“But why don’t we travel for Thanksgiving?”

I asked that question a lot as a kid.  All the kids at school would disappear on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (we still had to go to school on that day back then) and I would hear all about how they travelled to some far off place to visit relatives and how great it was.  I was always jealous because I wanted to travel too.  Why didn’t we go see Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt Her and Uncle Him and Cousin Whoever?  It seemed like I was the only person in the school who stayed home and had turkey with the immediate family.

It wasn’t until I reached high school and started to learn more about my extended family that I realized I had it pretty good.  Turns out there are reasons my parents decided to move hundreds of miles away from their relatives.  And as I started to get to know other kids’ families, I found that living on one plot of land with thirty relatives isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  I live in a small, rural Southern town and I know many people who have extended family living nearby and, bless their hearts, the horror stories I’ve heard!  Everyone is in everybody else’s business and trying to tell everybody what to do and if you don’t like one of them, too bad.  They’re still going to come over uninvited and tell you how you should be living your life.

I’ve learned to appreciate the small, quiet Thanksgivings with my parents and brother.  Now that my brother is married, we do have extended family over.  Thank God it’s just them, though.  My sister-in-law moved far away from her family for some of the same reasons as my parents. 

So this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for many things (including the small ones) but a big one is the fact that I didn’t have to deal with all that extended family drama when I was growing up.  I don’t know what my future in-laws will be like but for now Thanksgiving is a pretty stress-free affair.  I’ll raise a glass to that.