The Art of Hijacking Friends

This Barclay family.  We are a bunch of nomads, I tell you.   We have moved.  A LOT.   It has not been easy.  Every place we have been was appointed by God and was another piece of my puzzle.

One day back when we were living in wild, wonderful West Virginia, we got word that we would be moving again soon.  (And it was back to Texas.  We were thrilled.)  We were told that we’d be heading to a town outside of Fort Worth. Plane tickets for the interview process were booked. And then we got another call, “We realized we may need to send someone else there instead of you…

How about Austin?”

Those three words were game changers, an absolute turning point in our walk with God. I can’t tell my story of God’s faithfulness without talking about Austin. We lived in the Austin area just shy of three years and God did a massive work in us.  We learned good, solid truths. God broke through my darkness. I became connected to the IF:Gathering movement. But, by far, one of the biggest gifts God has ever given me, came in the form of community. I learned exactly what Jesus meant when he said in John 13:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

This is how Jesus said people would know that we follow him, that our love for our brothers and sisters in Christ would be the benchmark.  This is the nitty gritty.  This is what Jesus tells his disciples before he leaves them to go die for us.  When Jesus uses the words “just as” the words imply a love that is even willing to lay down one’s life for another.

And I have known this love and walked in it.  And I never deserved it.

As often happens when we move, I rolled up on the scene in a new town, looked around and I knew nobody except my husband and toddler.  (Moms, wives, you know what I’m saying.  Not gonna work.)  I realized that I was going to have to do the work and do That Thing I Hated.  Put myself out there.   We went to our first Missional Community group gathering.  And I’m not gonna lie, it was a complete disaster.

I took my two-year-old by myself to a cookout the group was hosting (my husband was working late).  Unfortunately, my clingy son picked this particular event to give me a bloody nose.  I ended up bleeding all over the driveway and inside the house and sobbing with the sweet group leader.  What a mess.  But we went back and tried again, despite my humiliation.  And that was when I noticed my son was having a blast with the other two-year-old sons of two sweet women in the group.  I was not on their radar, but when you live the life of a nomad, sometimes you just have to hijack new friends.

Through a series of God-designed circumstances, I also joined a moms group through our church and later inherited the group and became its leader.  When I say we lived in community, I mean we did life together.  The women, combined from our moms group and the missional community group that formed out of it, were together about four times a week for various meetings or get togethers.  We took care of each other and each other’s kids.  We fed each other.  We confessed sins and prayed and worshipped and served.  We grew in faith and knowledge and mission.  We birthed a whole slew of baby boys together (some of us, literally together!), and nursed together, and fought exhaustion.  Some days, we just fought for joy.  They are the sort of friends who will tell me when I’m wrong.

They saw my ugly and loved me anyway.

As happens with my little family, we moved away again.  And I long for those sisters every single day.  But lo and behold, God has granted me this beauty again in our new place.  I found my niche, and with it, my loving Father brought a new group of amazing sisters to add to my…coven?  No.  That’s probably not the right word.  {insert hysterical laughing emoji here}

But to make this happen, you must first put on your Brave Hat.  Please know, dear sister, that I understand how hard and scary this may seem.  You must realize that this will take time.  It will be messy and completely imperfect.  You will learn about forgiveness, mercy, grace, and the depths of your own sin.  But it is well worth any cost because you will know love, from people who have no other reason to love you and bind themselves to you, aside from the love of Jesus.  Even when it’s hard, just.keep.trying.

And to my sisters out there who have already found your tribe.   I know how deeply you treasure them.  I am speaking from both ends of the spectrum here and preaching to myself.   We have to turn on our radar.  We have to reach outside the circle and make ourselves brave and uncomfortable as well.  Within your sphere of influence, I can guarantee you, is a woman who needs you.  Reach out to her.  Never stop reaching.

Just like the lamp that can’t be put under a basket, our tribes cannot only huddle up together in comfort while the world around us aches in loneliness.

“And let us consider how to stir one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more, as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-25

What this means, is that Christian perseverance is a community endeavor.  You are not called to walk this alone.  So I am here to invite, to beg you, encourage you, if you don’t have what I’m talking about, come on. Let’s join arms. Let’s run this race together.

About amy

Wife, boy mom, child of the King. Lover of coffee, fonts, words, tacos, and leggings.

6 thoughts on “The Art of Hijacking Friends

  1. Love this, Amy. It’s so easy to go on autopilot when you feel you have your “tribe.”Thanks for the reminder to keep our radar on and take the risk to reach out toward someone new.

  2. So right you are, my friend. And what a great way to phrase it. Love your writing… Proud of you!

  3. Well said! Yet, it appears the Lord is moving me out of my old tribe again and I don’t own a Brave Hat anymore. We’ve changed churches 4 times in 5 years, been in several mommy groups short term and now still tribe-less. I think I’m tired of trying…I feel like the needy nerdy girl all over again. And I’m afraid to push the submit button. Relationships seem really hard lately and I haven’t taken the time to hijack any friendships, might just need to do that!

Comments are closed.