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Nov 4, 2014

Find Your People


this post is part of the peony project's monthly link-up.

think about the last time you sat down with a good friend.  you know, the kind of friend who you can go a year without having a real, heart-to-heart, belly-laughing, dream-sharing, soul-bearing conversation with, but as soon as you're together, it's like no time passed at all.  i don't know about you, but the older i get, the less i find myself making time for those conversations.  it's not intentional; it's one of those life-gets-in-the-way types scenarios, and every time my best friends and i have dinner together, we always part ways sincerely hoping to see one another more.  

there have been a few times in my life where i've found really intentional community with friends i know will always be a part of my life.  these are the celebrate-each-other's-weddings and tell-them-big-news-in-person friends.  growing up, i went to a week-long summer camp in lancaster, pa.  as campers, we were divided into small cabin groups with others who were our age.  most of us were from pennsylvania and delaware, brought together by a common tie to a particular children's pastor who had spent time at each of our churches.

as a fourteen-year-old, i probably never would have guessed that some of the girls i spent a week with in a bug-filled cabin, riding horses, cheering on our teams at each night's challenges, and eating every meal together for a week would someday become some of my best friends.  once we all went to college and got facebook (because when we went to school, you still actually needed a .edu email address to get into facebook), we friended one another, and then one magical summer, the fates aligned (ok, it was jesus, actually), and we ended up back at that same camp...but as counselors.

and in one week, those covenant friendships, with their groundwork laid in our early teen years, were sealed.  i've celebrated each of their weddings, been there when they announced the first babies in the group, and have prayed in parking lots after laughter-filled dinners with these girls.  they know me.  no matter how much time passes.  they're my people.


alayna, becca, kassia, me, and hannah

one of the most intentional communities i've ever been a part of was a crazy group of people that i got to live with during my junior year of college.  we were all accepted into a program at gordon called the elijah project, where we took a year to really study work and vocation within a christian context.  we also lived in a house together for a year....fourteen college students, sharing dinners four nights each week, house chores, spending time in class and in fellowship together.  it was easily the most intentional community i've ever been a part of, and it was probably one of the best years of my life.  

those people became my people...and in the same way as with my camp girls, i've gotten to witness some of their milestones and we are still a part of one another's lives. 


just a few of my housemates, in front of our little white house just off-campus at gordon.

i think what makes each of these communities so beautiful is that in each of them, i was known.

colossians 3:12-14 gives us a perfect example of what community should look like:
therefore, as god's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  forgive as the lord forgave you.  and over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  

when we're in community with others, we're called to be gracious:  compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient.  but beyond those things, we're told to love one another.  and loving a person means knowing them.  loving a person means cheering them on and getting excited for the things they get excited for.  it means encouraging and advising and challenging one another.  it means celebrating each other's wins and picking one another up after the falls.  

when you find your people, the ones who will laugh with you, cry with you, celebrate with you, and push and encourage you, hold onto them.  because that's the best kind of community.  it's the kind that lasts a lifetime and spans long distances.  it's the kind that will travel for you or celebrate from afar, and will truly mean it.  

and maybe you're reading this today, and feeling like you don't have a place where you're known.  i've been there.  because even, and especially, when you've gone through seasons of your life where you've been in close quarters with some of your best friends, you're also bound to find seasons when those friends are far away.  and those deep conversations where you don't need to explain yourself are few and far between.  i know that in those moments, it can feel really lonely.  

but i promise that there is a place for you.  i promise that there are people who want to know you and who want to be those covenant friends for you.  your people.  the ones who understand you, who you don't need to explain yourself to, who will love you and be that colossians 3 community for you.

if you're a blogger reading this, and you've been searching for a community to call home; searching for people who will understand this part of your life, who will get the blogging world and who will be those covenant friends for you in it, then i hope you'll consider joining us in the peony project.  that's our heart, after all...to be friends for the journey.

and if you just stopped by today to do a little reading, then i'm so happy you're here.  and i hope you'll either consider what community means to you and join in on our link-up, or that you'll stop by a few of the other posts below and check out what it means to some other awesome ladies. 



14 comments:

  1. I love this post. And even more, I love the community that you have formed in the Peony Project. Such a wonderful community of caring, like-minded, supportive women who only want the best for each other. Truly amazing. And all because of you and your vision...what a great gift for the rest of us. Thank you!

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  2. Sounds like you have some wonderful groups of friends! I have some pretty awesome circles as well, but we don't see each other nearly as awesome as we should. Thanks for the encouraging article!

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  3. The Peony Project has been such an amazing community for me but last night, I started finding myself becoming a little negative (because, y'know, sometimes that happens). This morning, however, I have woken up refreshed and renewed and so glad I visited your space first thing! I needed to read your words and Colossians 3 so THANK YOU friend! <3

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  4. "it means celebrating each other's wins and picking one another up after the falls." I love this - it holds so much meaning but put so simply.


    Thank you for this link up and thank you for The Peony Project

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  5. These posts are seriously speaking to my heart. I have been thinking about the idea of "loving people" but that can look so differently from person to person and that is OK. I love that you have such a special group of friends :)

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  6. I can't believe I forgot about this link up today. Life has been...hard. But I love the way you describe your communities, your covenant friendships and the defining factor of being known. And I love the Peony Project and am so thankful for it.

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  7. I think it's wonderful to have such good, close friends. And, my husband is from Lancaster!

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  8. That is definitely an intense community experience. I've been super thankful for times where I have lived in close quarters with others because it teaches us how to be deep friends. How to apologize. How to forgive. How to love each other despite sin.

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  9. Community is so important throughout life! I love how you describe your communities and how you met, it's so special!! Thank you for coming up with The Peony Project, it's the best place for blogger community, in my opinion! :)

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  10. This is something that has been on my heart lately so I'm so happy I read this today. I'm at a weird place where my close real life friends are miles from me and that is hard to adjust to. I've also been desiring to find my place in the blogging community because I've been waverying. The Peony Project sounds like the place I need to be in. I applied for membership today!

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  11. what a wonderful link up idea. <3

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  12. I love this! Thankyou for the community you have created with The Peony Project. I feel so blessed to be a part of it :)

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  13. This blog is so spot on! I too have a community that I bonded with at summer camp! They are my people. I often have a hard time describing our closeness and even my husband can't grasp it! There's nothing like it though! Thanks for posting. Because of this, I sent a message to those girls this morning reminding them of how thankful I am for them.

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  14. thanks Brandy! seriously...there is NOTHING like camp friends! I love those girls so much!

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