“Find your tribe. Love them well.” This short little quip is perfectly Pinterest-worthy and surely makes an appearance on a wall hanging in your local home decor store, but its truth has become a rallying cry of my heart lately. Do you have a tribe? What does that look like and why is it so important? Sister, let me tell you!
I would define a tribe as my people; the ones I know are in it for the long haul, who have my back and love me even when I’m not at my best. They’re the ones I call when I need to *really* talk (or ugly cry); when life throws me an unexpected curveball and I don’t know what to do, they show up. My tribe celebrates my wins and grieves my losses alongside me. They lift me up with encouragement when I need it most. I can let down my guard and enjoy deeper fellowship with the people who have seen my vulnerable side and still choose to stick around.
If you don’t currently have a group of people that fit this description, can I ask you to think about the reason? Be honest with yourself. Do you hold back and keep others at arms’ length out of self-protection? Are you afraid of people seeing behind a shiny veneer you work hard to maintain? Worried about what someone might think if they saw who you really are? Perhaps the thought of another rejection or betrayal is enough to keep you from letting anyone that close again. Or maybe it all just seems like too much work - relationships usually lead to drama and you ain’t got time for that!
Friends, those feelings are legitimate and you may have life experiences to back them up. But can I be bold and say that Satan loves to push us away from community and isolate us from things that God can use to give us life? He will capitalize on anything he can get his claws into and feed us lies to keep us wounded and separated from God’s people.
You were created for intimacy, community, and friendship - especially with other believers. Hebrews 10:24-25 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Galatians 6:2 instructs us to "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." The New Testament speaks of a body that supports its weaker parts and a church that cares deeply for its people.
I want to leave you with a few ideas that will help you find your tribe and love them well. Start with small steps to open yourself up and allow God to show you what a huge blessing you’ve been missing!
*Pray that God will send you safe people to invest in and be loved by. He knows your heart and is great at picking friends who will bring out the best in you.
*Seek out one-on-one time with friends who have shown a desire/ability to go beyond the surface level.
*Be yourself and let them get to know the real you, initiate conversations that will facilitate a deeper relationship over time.
*Be intentional in doing life together - invite friends into your space and show them hospitality, create fun opportunities to make memories - share celebrations and everyday moments alike.
*Be aware of needs others may have and respond with action. Go above and beyond for your tribe. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help when you are struggling.
*Lastly and simply, be the kind of friend you hope to attract. God will do the rest!