For the last four years I have lived in Massachusetts—a thousand miles from my family, friends, and the place where I grew up—1,367 miles to be exact. I love it and I hate it here and it seems the divide in my heart spans wider and wider each year.
New England is beautiful and filled with culture and history. There is always something new to see and do. I love being close to the ocean and the mountains and all the beautiful old cities. I love living close to Darren’s brother and his family. I love the friends I have made here. But I miss my family and my home. I miss the Midwest prairies and lazy afternoons spent with family doing nothing but just being together.
Truth be told, and it isn’t easy for me to say, I am very lonely here. I’m lonely without my family and friends and that place called home—nothing fills that void in my heart because nothing and no one else can.
This week I thought a lot about being lonely. Probably because it was Thanksgiving and we were up with all of Darren’s family for the holiday and I was missing being with my family.
I thought about why I am so lonely here even after four years. I thought about why I haven’t built more friendships and community. Why am I so alone in this place even after all this time?
In thinking through all these things, I realized something about myself. I realized I don’t ever want to need other people. I already knew I’m hard to get to know—I’ve been told that many times. But I never realized the reason I’m so hard to get to know is because I don’t want to need other people or let them in. I don’t want to be vulnerable. I don’t want to look like I’m not all put together. I don’t want to look like I need help with anything or need to learn anything. I want to be in control and be fine all by myself.
Only I’m not.
I’m lonely. And I’m tired. And I’m tired of being alone and trying to look like I don’t need any help.
I need friendship, I need community, I need other people to help me find my way and grow.
I think about when Darren and I start a family and the thought of raising children in this place by myself scares me. I won’t have my mom. I won’t have my grandma or my sister-in-laws (except for the one wonderful sister-in-law I do have here on Darren’s side). I don’t know anything about babies or children. I don’t know when they’re supposed to eat or sleep or how to tell when they’re sick. And I don’t want to figure any of these things out by myself. I want—and need–friendship and community. I need moms and mentors who can help me learn the things I don’t know.
I need other people.
Like it or not, I’m not all put together and I can’t do everything on my own. And if I keep chasing people away by pretending that I’m fine by myself, then I will never be able to build the friendships and community I need.
So I’m learning.
I’m learning to let people in. Learning to admit that I am tired, and lonely, and I need other people.
I have this quiet prayer in my heart right now—that God would give me moms and mentors and that I would have the humility to accept their love and help when they come.
Because I need help, and I need people, and I’m tired of pretending I can do all of this on my own.