So once you’ve found community, now what? How do you grow and sustain these relationships?
There is obviously no formula but I will tell you from personal experience and from watching people grow deep friendships that there is one thing it can’t happen without.
In order for friendships to grow you need to live life and share life together.
Living life together- what exactly does that mean? Often your closest friends will live close by. You can definitely have friends states (or countries!) apart but they are heavier on the “sharing life” and unfortunately not so much living it together. (Which is still all good!! But usually those friendships started by living life together and then someone moved.)
So when you’re living life together you so exactly that- live. Go on walks, go to the grocery store, have a play date, eat meals together. It’s nothing fancy. And as a matter of fact it doesn’t even have to be outside of your typical routine. Just do your normal things with other people.
But dot stop there. When you’re spending time with people- SHARE. Share your life, your heart and your soul. Share your doubts and fears and worries and joys. Share your prayers and your tears. Share what you weep over and what you rejoice over. Go deep into the realm of your heart. This is where community happens. This is where people stop being acquaintances and become close friends. It’s hard. You may share something deep and someone doesn’t respond the way you wish or may even make fun of you or embarrass you. They may not be the person you can create this deep intimacy with. But they’re out there. I promise. Keep trying.
“A friend loves at all times.” Proverbs 17:17.
Cultivate community. It’s worth it.