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To The Woman Waiting for God to Call

To The Woman Waiting for God to Call

Pink Salt Riot Blog // To the Woman Waiting for God to Call

I think most Christian women know what it’s like to wait for a call.

It might be a vocational call you’re waiting for, which is kind of a one and done thing (which definitely does not diminish it’s significance or the challenges involved!) or, I think more often, or at least more regularly, we’re waiting for a call about what we’re supposed to do.

How is God calling me to spend my time?” you think.

Okay, I’m married now. Uh, so… Is there a part B to this vocation thing?” you wonder.

Okay, I’m a mom now – does this mean this is what I am supposed to do? And just this? Can I still do something else too? Is that wrong of me to ask?” you worry.

“What the HECK God?? If you want me to do something SHOULDN’T YOU TELL ME WHAT IT IS??”you rage, “I am trying to SERVE YOU DARN IT!”

Logical, right? If it’s His call for you, He shouldn’t be all vague and cagey about it like a stupid noncommittal boy (we’ve got enough of those down here, thank you).

What gives? Why is it so hard to know God’s will for us sometimes? We look at women living these incredible lives of faith and ministry while inexplicably homeschooling 29 children and feel like maybe we can’t find God’s will for us because there just isn’t a role for us to fill at all.

Did I say that out loud?

Yikes. That can’t be right. Can it?

No. It is absolutely wrong. It’s okay to think it at your low moments, I won’t stand in hypocrisy telling you not to, but by God in heaven NEVER let yourself believe it. It’s a lie. The deepest dark kind of lie. A lie that severs you from the joy and purpose God has for you, sinking you into a morass of false humility. Don’t go there. And if you feel yourself going there, get help. People will help you. The Spirit will use people to help you.

Because I’d bet you’ve thought it at some point. I have. Sometimes I still do.

And I do this for a living.

You know why we think these things?

Because in the face of God’s beautiful desires for your life, that’s pretty much all the evil one has to work with. If he can make you doubt that the call exists at all, maybe he can get you to stop looking for it. Maybe he can make you feel ashamed that you ever had the audacity to believe you had a role to play. Maybe he can get you to isolate yourself from the people actively building the church because you feel you will only get in the way, or that the pain of seeing your dreams lived out in other people’s lives will be too great.

It’s crappy of him, really. But that’s kind of his MO. Learn to see his machinations and stamp that junk out ASAP. And sometimes often you won’t be able to do it your own. Tell someone that loves Christ what you’re feeling. Be honest. The devil hates that. All of that.

Not sure who to tell? Then sister, get in this group. Tell us. We’ll shut that down real quick.

So what makes it hard to know God’s will? Here are a few of the usual suspects.

A weak sense of God’s voice

Let’s say you’re blindfolded and put in a room with 100 people. You’re told that people are going to yell out random things you have to identify when Susie yells. The issue is that you have absolutely no idea what Susie’s voice sounds like, or really even who “Susie” is. Maybe you’ve heard about her and just never got around to meeting her, maybe you’ve tried connecting once or twice and then you got busy with other things. Are you going to be able to pick out her voice?

No! Of course not! That’s ludicrous!

So why do you think you can pick out God’s voice if you don’t know Him well enough to identify it?

Ouch. Reality check. For me too. The Holy Spirit is using my fingers on the keyboard right now giving me one of those best friend, kind of annoying but so obviously true mirror moments.

Can I pick out God’s voice from a hundred?

Can I tell my voice from God’s?

If you’re not sure, TELL THE HOLY SPIRIT. Ask him to give you new ears, new hearing, a new sense of Him. Believe He will, but know it’s a process. It’s a relationship just like any human relationship. Be patient and believe.

Envy

Oh, fellow women. We are good at envy. Envy is one of my absolute biggest struggles and I know many women that feel the same (although it’s obviously not exclusive to women, but darn if we didn’t write the book on it). I think a big part of our struggle with envy is that women are so inherently a reflection of the beauty of God and once again, the evil one is thinking that if He can just get us to envy the beauty instead of appreciating it, that’s his best bet. What a jerk, seriously.

Because the beauty of other women, not just physical, but everything beautiful about strong and holy women? What a chance to glimpse God! What a chance to see how much God loves us. I am blessed to be a part of several groups of women that are just so phenomenal and so free of envy (not a hard and fast rule, but age does seem to help). Their worth comes from God. They are what I aspire to be and they are so disarming to me. So look for those women. Learn from them. Don’t know where to look? Daily mass at your parish is all but a sure thing. Women intentional about getting fed are primed and ready to feed others in most cases.

Pride

The mother of all sins. The big kahuna.

And if you think you don’t struggle with it, that’s a decent clue that you probably do.

But maybe you think that you are the only one who is without worth. You are the only one God has abandoned without a plan. You feel like you are worthless and that’s humility, right?

Wrong. That’s pride. It’s thinking me, me, me. I’m the only one with this struggle. I’m so special to be dealing with this. See the subtle thread there? You are isolating yourself from God in claiming that He is isolated from you – and that’s pride.

Quick way to test if you struggle with pride: try to pray the Litany of Humility. I’ll wait if you want to do it right now.

Kind of really hard, right? I choke through it about once a month or less and then conveniently “forget” to do it more often. It was my original Lenten promise this year. #thatdidnthappen #Godofsecondchances

Pride isolates us from God because it turns us in on ourselves. We begin thinking about ourselves more than anything else, but especially more than God. Humility is, in contrast, thinking of God and others first and primarily.


Okay, so that’s the bad stuff. But what can help you know God’s will? Here are a few great tools:

Prayer

If you can’t tell God’s voice from all the others, talk to Him. Pray. Hear him in His word, the Bible. Hear Him in the Saints. Hear Him in the Pope. His voice is there to listen to, if we stop to do it.

The Godly people around you

The Holy Spirit seems to have 3 favorite people in my life and the feeling that I need to talk to any one of them almost always means He wants to have a chat with me. But there are so many other people that He uses in my life, and so often they are strangers. A women recently reached out to me on Facebook and literally changed my life. #truestory Want to let God into your Facebook experience too? We have an excellent Facebook group for you.

All these people have been the direct conduit of the Holy Spirit in my life. When good and holy people repeatedly tell you you should do something, consider it. Remember it. It may be more than a passing observation.

Gratitude

The lively virtue that squashes the sin of envy. Pray for it. Practice it. 

When you feel that little bit of green creeping up into your vision, thank God for that woman/her talents/her call/ etc. (Shout out to one of my besties for sharing that tip with me!)

Journal the things our thankful for each day or use my daily prayer guide to help you add gratitude into your prayers. every. day.

Humility

The lively virtue that squashes the sin of pride. But real humility now ladies.

None of that “I alone am worthless” junk. No. That’s not it.

Humility is Mother Teresa.

Humility is John Paul II.

Humility is St. Dr. Gianna Beretta Molla – for real ladies.

Clearly humility is not hiding in a closet hating yourself.

It is putting yourself out there in trust of God because you think about God first. Saying here I am, little that I am, knowing you can do so little on your own, but believing that God can accomplish whatever He wishes through you if you are open. Pray for humility, and pray for discernment about what humility looks like in your life.

But a personal observation: If it makes you feel truly free to serve God, it’s likely humility. If it makes you feel worthless, it’s most likely not.

In conclusion:

I say all this not to point the finger and blame you for your own frustration, saying that if only you did A,B,C you would know God’s will. Not at all. Sometimes God keeps things a mystery for a good, long, frustrating time. Sometimes I think God allows us to undergo the test of perseverance in asking again and again so that we can grow to rely on Him more fully. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right yet. Sometimes we’re still being formed.

All these things are simply things to let go (the obstacles) or nurture (things that can help) throughout our lives so that when God calls, we can hear Him.

Whatever the case may be for you, you’re not alone. We’re in the trenches with you. And often even after it looks like the call has come the doubt does not abate(oh, hello, me there in the mirror).

So we keep needing each other. We keep needing God. There may be 100 different calls to different things, big and small throughout our lifetime. If you are breathing, you’re not done.

I know this is a big issue for a lot of women, so I have started a Facebook group called #JoyRebels: Women Searching for and Living Their Call in Christ. I would love to personally invite you to join us. I know our group would be richer for having you!

 

The #JoyRebels Manifesto

The #JoyRebels Manifesto

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The #JoyRebels Manifesto

After yesterday’s post on what it means to be a #JoyRebel, I found myself writing this. This is what it means to be a joy rebel. This is the #JoyRebel manifesto.

It’s not a prayer as much as a battle cry. It’s the general’s speech that makes us roar.

And ladies – I wanna hear you roar. Because this mission is everything.

I give myself to God:

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I give him permission to change me,

use me, lead me, and mold me.

I give Him my failures,

that He may help them to heal,

but I also give Him my strengths,

my gifts, my passion, and love.

I look at all the good that I have,

acknowledge that it comes from Him,

and turn it back to Him with the promise

that with His guidance I will spend everything I am

to serve Him in the way only I can,

in the way He is calling me to serve.

I will pray,

I will preserve,

and I will not relent.

I know this mission will take all that I have.

I know this pursuit will cost me everything.

And to that I say:

God be with me always and everywhere,

for in your shelter alone I find hope.

But to the World I say:

Bring it on.

I am not afraid,

for He is with me always.

If you’d like to have this for yourself to print, frame, or otherwise use and love, I’ve made you a lovely printable version you can get here:

Pink Salt Riot Blog // The #JoyRebels Manifesto

I hope you decide to join us over on Facebook as well in the Joy Rebels group for women searching for and living their call in Christ! We just opened the doors yesterday and I am so excited for you to be a part of it too!

#JoyRebels: Saints & A Sisterhood

#JoyRebels: Saints & A Sisterhood

Pink Salt Riot Blog // #JoyRebels: Saints and a Sisterhood

You may have caught my earlier post on revolutionary joy, and you’re probably getting the sense that I talk about joy a lot. It’s important. Cause at the end of the day, when has our culture ever offered us joy? Do big houses bring joy? Do high paying jobs bring joy? Does plentiful and unattached physical pleasure bring joy?

I can’t say I have much personal experience, but my observations tell me no. Even within the secular cultural mythology we commonly see characters in our favorite shows and books who have all those things and still are wildly unhappy. Celebrity marriages fall apart frequently. The wealthy seem to have just as many (if not more) problems than your average person. Although it is primarily money, success, and sex that is sold to us as “the good” on a regular basis, that same cultural machine consistently admits the ultimate emptiness of those things.

But we know deep down at our core that life is not empty. It is possible for life to have meaning. Life is meant to mean something. Life is meant to be infused with something lasting and that something is manifest in everyday joy. Joy in doing the laundry and seeing the ocean. Joy in holding a baby and holding the hand of a dying woman.

The Lives of the Saints

We see this joy in the saints –in Mother Teresa, Blessed Chiara Bandano, St. Therese, and many more throughout history. Saints are not people with extraordinarily easy lives, and typically quite the opposite. And yet people flock to them. People feed off them. They have something. And that something is there for the world to see in their joy.

I heard this wonderful analogy once – people learning to be doctors in medical school start by studying the healthy body, and it is only once they have a thorough understanding of that do they begin to learn how to treat diseases. Saints can be seen as the “healthy body” and it is only through their study can we learn how to treat the issues that plague the rest of humanity. Their lives and works are a case study in joy flowing from the only everlasting spring – God.

What is joy?

I know it veers from the dictionary definition, but I would define joy as the external manifestation of the interior peace that comes from knowing God. Think of a person in love. A sense of searching for acceptance from others is gone. They are content with their lot in life and define themselves to an extent quite happily through their relationship with their beloved. And if a fragile, finite person can give us such a sense of security and happiness, how much more can we expect from a relationship with God?

Joy is a bit of a buzzword lately, and I think that it is an attractive concept for anyone feeling worn out and worn down. But when the world tries to offer “joy” it just can’t last, if for no other reason then that the world itself is passing away. The world won’t last, so how can it offer anything lasting?

Simple answer? It can’t.

But joy is still attainable because of God. He has it to give and He wants it for you.

But charity does not allow us to just find some joy for ourselves and then let everybody else figure it out. If our joy in God is real it necessarily bubbles over into our whole lives, and thus gives us ample opportunity to share this joy and perhaps its root as well. I am big fan of evangelization through radical joy. And that is my prayer for your life as well as mine.

I envision a revolution in our culture not necessarily because we as Christians are the best thinkers or rhetoricians or philosophers, although those things are vital, but because we as Christians are living lives of such radical service and joy that people can’t help but want what we have – what only God has to give. I envision a revolution led by people who see that they don’t have to live with a heart full of holes they constantly try to plug with physical relationships, big houses, and corner offices. There is a better way. Those holes can be healed instead.

The Sisterhood of Joy

But it’s hard, guys. Joy is hard. Building that relationship with God, coming to know Him better – it can feel like you’re talking to your bedroom wall sometimes. So that’s why we need community. That’s why we need sisters – women pushing us to keep going, keep looking for joy, keep seeking God’s will first.

I don’t have any biological sisters, and my only sister in law lives in Europe, so I don’t have a lot going for me in the sister realm. I have also always struggled with female friendships as well – who hasn’t? But that doesn’t have to define our story. There are so many women out there ready to pray, ready to love, ready to support you. But you might have to go find them.

You might have to be the one to say hi. You might have to meet a few that aren’t ready to share that much, and that’s okay. I’m just here to tell you they are out there. And if you’ve already found one/some/a bunch of women like that, praise God! Save someone else the fear of reaching out and do the reaching out yourself.  Bring another person in. There is always room for more.

The #JoyRebels

To help women like you find other women who want to live lives of greater joy through discernment of God’s will I have started a Facebook group called #JoyRebels – Women Searching for and Living Their Call in Christ. We are looking for women of any age, in any situation, desiring to live God’s call for them with joy. Sound awesome? Join us!!

I will also be sharing my own efforts at more joyful living in Christ with the hashtag #JoyRebels. My goal is that #JoyRebels can become a movement that helps people connect with others seeking true joy throughout the world.

Join in on Instagram by tagging a photo of you living out God’s joy in your life with the hashtag #JoyRebels and tag @pinksaltriot as well.

What do you do to pursue joy? Do you see a difference in your life and in the people around you when you let God bring you His joy? Let me know in the comments!

How Recycled DIY Can Help You Pursue Joy

How Recycled DIY Can Help You Pursue Joy

Pink Salt Riot // How Recycled DIY Can Help You Pursue Joy

Part of the purpose of Pink Salt Riot is to give women everywhere tools to help them live lives of authentic joy in Christ. And part of how I plan to do that? By sharing amazing and beautiful recycled DIY projects.

Wait, what?

Yes, I know. Not exactly the first thing that pops into your mind, is it?

But creating art and beauty can serve as in INCREDIBLE way to connect with the Creator Himself, as well as nurture your own sense of beauty – one of the three transcendentals which help us to know God.

I got my serious start in recycled DIY five years ago when I started my second handmade company – Favoring Brave. (That’s right, Pink Salt Riot is #3 – and they say that one’s the charm!) Favoring Brave specialized in handmade items taken from old books that would otherwise be thrown away. I went through hundreds of books that schools and libraries were planning to toss, and made our family’s second income doing it! During this time my eye for recycling was refined and I learn to look for the potential in things, often despite the obvious challenges.

Now I make about 30% of the Pink Salt Riot collection from books that would otherwise be thrown away by schools and churches, but my personal exploration of recycling has only grown. I currently severely limit my consumption of commercial and traditional craft supplies. I have started opting for more environmentally conscious recycled materials instead – meaning things my family or others were going to throw away, and not just the more expensive “recycled” craft supplies you can buy at the store.

Recycling has nurtured my faith and well-being in more ways than I ever would have expected, and I think both its benefits and accessibility make recycled DIY a wonderful hobby to explore. Here are five reasons I think that you can benefit from creating recycled art, especially if you are looking for more joy in your life:

1.It nurtures creativity.

Learning to look at old and typically disposable things and see the potential in them is a skill developed over time. Just like a person off the street can’t taste the subtleties of a wonderful wine like wine connoisseur, it may take a while to see past the obvious uses of items to what they could be.

But everyone has to start somewhere, and if you’re one of those people who always wished they were more creative, recycling is a great place to start. Over the coming months I will be sharing lots of simple but unexpected recycling tutorials, and those can serve as a means to learn the skills necessary while introducing you to the special way of thinking required for recycled DIY.

And just like most things, the more you practice creativity, the more natural it becomes. When I started designing full time 5 years ago I initially worried that somehow I would start to run down my internal reservoir of ideas and have to find another job. But my experience has been the opposite – the more I design and practice creativity the easier it becomes and the more ideas I have.

And all of the sudden it’s easier to problem solve in other areas of life too – all the “could be’s” start popping out so much more readily. You rewire your brain over time so that connections come that much easily. Solutions to some of life’s challenging logistics are that much easier to find – and if that’s not a cause for joy I don’t know what is!

2. It breeds gratitude.

Recycling is so in keeping with the minimalism that has taken over the national imagination over the last few years, and with good reason – people have started having more and more things and valuing them less and less. If things are plentiful and disposable, why try and be grateful for what you already have? It’s halfway to the garbage already, so why not just get another thing to replace it?

But recycling slows you down and helps you look at the innate qualities of whatever you’re working with – a milk jug, an egg carton, a cereal box. You have to appreciate the things that make it a good candidate for recycling and making whatever you are trying to make. You have to see the actual value in a clear berry box or a juice carton, and that’s not something that happens very often in everyday life.

Recycling also breed gratitude because it can help you appreciate the things you don’t have to make yourself! Suddenly it can be easier to realize that a lot of time and energy goes into creation of everything we use – especially if it’s handmade. It may become a little easier to see why the cost of handmade goods is substantially higher, and it can become easier to both understand why and be grateful for the people who lovingly create handmade goods.

3. It creates meaningful, bodied experiences for little to no cost.

One of my favorite books outlines the ways in which living with a focus on our bodied reality helps us to create much more satisfying, fully integrated lives. I think that is so true, and the book gave words to so much of what I have felt, especially as an artist, for a long time. So much of our life is virtual right now – mine especially since I run my business online! But there is so much to be gained by unplugging from the virtual and engaging fully in the real world – talking with people, using your hands, spending your leisure time doing or making something instead of passively absorbing virtual entertainment.

Recycled DIY gives you a wonderful opportunity to do just that – no expensive supplies or trips to the store required. You can use what you have, where you are and use your own two hands to create something.

4. It can allow you to give more generously.

I love to give gifts. I love to give gifts for all the reasons. And while I can spend real money on birthdays, Christmases, and Mother’s Days, just because gifts for a super pregnant friend or a friendly fellow church member aren’t usually in the budget. So I make them things. I make all kinds of gifts for people, typically at little to no actual cost. This allows me to give generously and helps the recipients keep from feeling like they have made me go out of my way financially.

Although my projects are primarily geared at adults, there are lots of ways to modify them for kids as well as lots of other places to look online for kids recycled crafts, which then empowers kids to make and give their own gifts as well.

5. It helps you learn to look at things like God does.

I love the image of divine recycling. God has told us He works all things together for good, and that’s got to be some pretty intricate recycling going on right there. Lots of horrible things happen, lots of things hurt us that God doesn’t want or intend, but He still manages to bring the good out of them – even if it takes a lifetime.

And our recycled DIY adventures mean infinitely less in the course of our lives, but there is a clear aspect of redemption to it. We are all less than perfect materials, but God is consistently creative, constantly inventive, trying out new ways to mold us, shape us, and turn us into the kind of people He call us to be if we let Him. We are all on the road to becoming what we are meant to be, and so we need to look at each other in that light – seeing the beauty that is there now as well as the beauty that is constantly being created.

I absolutely cannot wait to share some incredible projects with you over the coming weeks – I have some wonderful things that are practically free, easy, and will help get your home ready for a beautiful spring!

Do you like to do recycled DIYs? How do you choose what materials you craft with? Let me know in the comments!

What Is Revolutionary Joy?

What Is Revolutionary Joy?

Who else is tired of all the fighting?

There have always been spats at home, tussles on the playground, tiffs with friends, but I would argue that the out and out hateful anonymous swear fest in almost any comment section is a phenomenon unparalleled in human history. Sure, there have been ages much bloodier and more externally conflicted than our own in our country, but this kind of anonymous human interaction is like tree sap – you don’t realize at first that it’s on you, but it sticks and clings and beings to make everything… messy.

Yuck.

People are angry. People have lost all sense of decorum because they are talking through their fingers on a screen and the possible (physical) repercussions are practically nonexistent.

People have lost the ability to talk, discuss, mediate. Things have become notoriously us and them. You’re with us or against us. You agree with me, or you are stupid and need me to tell you so.

You get the idea. You’ve seen it. You know.

So after being totally exhausted by this, despite my concerted best efforts to avoid comments and social media in general, I went to my husband in despair.

It feels like my choices are to get into one of the angry “you’re wrong and this is why” virtual shouting matches to try and share the truth or shut up and say nothing and not even try,” I said.

I think there’s a third way,” said my husband.

I think the third choice is joy.”

So that’s why you’re here, because that’s why Pink Salt Riot exists.

I am choosing joy.

Joy that glories in all God has made. Joy that sees my kids smile and remembers that they are each a singular and incredible miracle. Joy that looks for the good in people. Joy that gives people the benefit of the doubt. Joy that forgives, believes, and hopes. Joy that never gives up.

Joy that comes straight down the funnel from Christ. Joy that is only exhausted when I choose to shut that funnel and try to muster it up myself {Pro tip: this never works.}

This is the kind of joy that the psalmist captures in Psalm 98:4-9-

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth;
Break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.
Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
With the lyre and the [c]sound of melody.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
Shout joyfully before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar and [d]all it contains,
The world and those who dwell in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
Let the mountains sing together for joy
Before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth;
He will judge the world with righteousness
And the peoples with [e]equity.

Quite the image right?

How often would you describe yourself as the spontaneous song of joy type? {Me = only when showtunes are stuck in my head.} But heres the thing:

It’s not a type. It’s a choice.

Joy is a choice, and it starts with choosing Christ. Choosing to love Him, to follow Him, to let Him fill you up. It’s what you get refreshed by after a whole day of pouring yourself out.

And joy in Christ is limitless.

So that’s a big part, maybe the biggest part, of what I am about here at PSR. We want to help you cultivate that joy.

Cool? Cool.

So let’s get to it. If you have an ideas on how, feel free to share below.

You Already Belong

You Already Belong

Guess what? You already belong.

Anybody else feel like you just never quite fit in anywhere?

That’s been me for most of my life. I was bullied as a kid, constantly made fun of for being smart, caring about school, and just generally not being one of the it kids. In high school I hit a stride where I was no longer bullied, but beyond my best friend, I didn’t seem to click with many people in a deep or meaningful way. I had friends, acquaintances, but my circle of close friends stayed at one. And no complaints about that! That one friend is still  my dearest and she has remained an anchor in the very volatile years since. I looked forward to college, however, hoping that attending a small Catholic college meant I would finally find “my people.”

College dawned hopefully, but somehow I still didn’t quite fit in. I made some friends, even met my husband (who thankfully does make me feel like I fit just right), but I never found that ever elusive group of like minded people who could hang out, talk about God, or do ridiculous things together with equal ease.

When I graduated and went to work, the story was the same again, and again when I quit my job and joined the local handmade movement – people were perfectly lovely, kind, friendly even – and yet I just didn’t fit.

I have spent my whole life thinking that the next stage, the next place I go, the next group of people I find myself in, that will be where I really belong. Those will be the people I click with. Those will be my lifelong friends – and not just one or two people, but a whole community that I could be myself in.

Right now my primary community is my faith community here, and I am not near as involved as I’d like to be, so I am working on changing that, but part of me wonders if it’s easier for me to just keep fantasizing about the group of friends I could have at church, rather than diving in with the potential of being disappointed again. But that’s no way to live, so I am trying to use my new found “freedom” (haha) of staying at home to connect more.

But here’s the thing the Holy Spirit keeps bringing me back to lately – I don’t need a big group of friends to belong. I don’t need wait for these mythical people to come along and justify who I am, because I already belong in God. He is all the justification I need. He created me to be smart, driven, intense, competitive, introverted, and guarded. I say this not in a “this is the way I am so deal” kind of sense, but in humble (I hope) submission to the person God created me to be. It’s easy to look at people who do have the big group of friends and wish I was like them. To wish to be someone other than the person I am. But that is a disservice to me and God, and frankly, the wonderful people who are in my life that already love me for who I am – my husband, my kids, my other family members, and my close friends. All these relationships are so meaningful to me, and would I really want to change or diminish them by having a big group of people around me instead?

If you’re one of those people with a big group of friends, awesome! What a blessing. I say none of this to diminish the joy those friends add to your life. The primary point I want to get across is that no matter what our close personal relationships look like, how many friends we have or how many texts we get a day, that is not how we know we belong. We belong because our Creator created us for Himself – and he loves us just how we are. There is no need to wait for other people to see our beauty to know that it is there, even though it’s always nice to have other people accept and appreciate us! We know we belong because God calls us to himself, unconditionally loving every weird thing about us and calling us to be the best version of ourselves.

I hope that God blesses you with wonderful friends and people that help you feel the love of God, but if you’re struggling like me right now, feeling like you just don’t quite fit in, I encourage you cast your cares on Christ. Find peace in belonging in Him, and continue to pray for good and true friends.  He knows your needs. He knows who wonderful you are. He will provide what you need.