Five Minute Friday scribblings, Life, Uncategorized

Meet: What Comes Next?

 

Pair of birds

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

My Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—MEET. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

MEET

I walked into Bible study at our new church that misty March morning, with diaper bag on my shoulder, bible in my hand and the last ounce of courage ebbing from my heart. My first time exposing myself to a whole new body of women.

I was placed in a group with the sweetest lady leading it. And her young co-leader? She reached out to me with her warmth and genuine caring, welcoming me into their class. I watched and listened more than anything, trying to assess how these next few weeks would play out.

That co-leader who sat beside me? She wouldn’t let me remain invisible. We talked, ate lunch together after studies, and a friendship blossomed. I eventually met some of her other friends, who also welcomed the new girl into their fold.

Treasured friends

Seven years later, and we still share coffee, mothering victories and woes, and our hearts.

Meeting her was instrumental in helping me to settle into a new city after we moved for hubby’s job.

Meeting people is a deliberate choice. We may not always want to extend ourselves, to move out of our comfort zone. We may not even be expecting to meet someone, but we’re guided into that opportunity somehow.

The important thing is, what will we do as a result of the meeting? Will we take it to the next step and get to know the person, or will we walk away with a simple, impersonal, “Nice to meet’cha”?

Dewy lilacs

Jesus knew us before we were ever a gleam and desire in our parents’ eyes, but He waited for us to meet Him. To come to him. He invites us into fellowship with Him with wide open arms and a welcoming smile. 

What are we going to do after that initial meeting? Get to know Him better or stop at, “Nice to meet’cha”?

It’s our choice.

What about you? What has someone you’ve met done to make you feel comfortable with them? How do you approach new situations that include people?

Visit Kate Motaung’s site Five Minute Friday—Meet

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And, the winner of either a print copy or an ebook of Catherine West’s, Bridge of Faith, is Jackie Layton! Congratulations, Jackie! I will connect with you to take care of details. Thank you everyone for commenting on Tuesday!

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One last thing: I’m very excited to be sharing a blogpost at EveryDay Life. I’d love it if you stopped by!

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25 thoughts on “Meet: What Comes Next?”

  1. Hi, Jeanne! We are FMF neighbors this week, and it’s good to meet you! 🙂

    The ladies in my Bible study were welcoming, as well. It was hard for me to go the first time, but they made me comfortable right away. A few women have left and a few have joined, but most of our core group remains. I’m so thankful to have met this wonderful group of ladies to share our joys, sorrows, and challenges; to pray for one another; and to have fellowship on a regular basis.

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    1. Melissa, it’s always nice when we meet new people and they are welcoming. I’m so happy for you, that you’ve met and been knitted into a great group of women. That’s a gift! Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. You are precious! In our ‘becoming’ we learn so much when our hearts are open. Meeting new people is a challenge to the ego. Use to be I had no problem there, but it seems it’s not so easy anymore. I am not secure in my “older skin” as I use to be when younger. It means I have to trust God more and maybe people less? Having one of those mornings. Psalm 42. Thanks God for who You are!

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    1. Hmmm, I hadn’t thought too much about how growing older can change our level of comfort in meeting new people. You’re right, Mom. It’s another opportunity to trust God to help us in this reaching beyond ourselves. Thank you for sharing your perspective!

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  3. Oh, I’m an introvert, so approaching new situations with new people requires a lot of self-talk and mental planning ;). That’s one thing I like about the Internet–I can do all the pre-meeting get-to-know-you stuff before I actually meet in person!

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    1. I’m not always an introvert, but I rarely think to plan ahead when I know I’ll be in a situation where I’m uncomfortable. 🙂 The internet has opened doors to make it easier to get to know people ahead of time. I’ve found that helpful when I’ve attended writer’s conferences with hundreds of people in attendance. Knowing a few people, even if only from online, makes it easier. I know I’m going to meet friends face to face. 🙂

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  4. It is so hard to face those new unknown situations but when we are brave blessing come. Now I desire to be like the co-leader that sat beside you. I pray that I never let others be invisible. Because God see them we should too and it may be that the meeting is actually to encourage us even more than them.

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    1. Amy, that’s my prayer too—that I won’t let others be invisible. It takes a little courage to reach out, doesn’t it? But when we do . . . it’s often well-received and we do end up encouraged. 🙂 Great thoughts!

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  5. I have become better over the years at reaching out and meeting people new in the room… my job has grown me into that! I always find that I am blessed by learning something new and I never know where that new friendship will grow! Thanks for these encouraging words!

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    1. We have to be intentional about reaching out to people, don’t we, Rachel? I’m glad your job helps you with that. What do you do, if you don’t mind me asking? God is truly good about guiding us, if our hearts open. Even into new friendships! Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Yes – the choice is taking it further. I rarely regret stepping out of my comfort zone to meet new people! It’s that first step that can be trickiest…

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  7. Meeting people IS a deliberate choice – and one I’m not fantastic at, I confess. I love when people introduce themselves to me – I’m all open arms then – but I’m not usually the one to make the first move (well, in some special circumstances, I am.) 😉 But you are right – there are blessings to be had in the friendships God wants to cultivate and though I’ve been burned a time or two, God is giving me the confidence to step up and step out. Thanks for sharing the treasure of friendship, Jeanne. You bless me!

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    1. I’m like you, Tiffany. I’m so much more comfortable when others take the first step in the meeting process. 🙂 We can both work on being the initiators and taking the first step toward meeting new people. When we move in God’s confidence, it can be easier, yes? I so appreciate you, friend!

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  8. So important, but not always easy. Thanks for this reminder to be that welcoming embrace to someone else. I’ve been gathered into so many friendships and I am thankful.

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    1. No, Lisa. It’s seldom easy for me to be the one who first welcomes another. In a familiar situation, I’m much better at taking the first step. When I’m in a new situation? It’s easier to wait and see if someone else will take the first step. But, like you, I’ve been gathered into precious friendships because of meeting one person.

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  9. Great post! I’ve started thinking lately about how hard it is in modern society to really connect with people. It is so easy to isolate ourselves from others, and react to life by drawing deeper and deeper inside ourselves. Lately, I’ve found myself pulling away from people, with almost a revulsion to being open and connecting with them. It is also so hard to step outside our comfort zones to make those first connections with people.
    Thanks for the encouragement on the matter. 🙂

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    1. Becca, you’re right. It’s so easy to withdraw and not connect with people—especially face-to-face. After all, that’s what social media’s for, right? 😉 Social media definitely has its place in our society and in the realm of friendship, but there’s something to be said for being brave and taking that first step to meet someone new. I so appreciate your perspective and your honesty on this topic. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  10. Nice post, and I love the pictures!

    Under current circumstances, I don’ really HAVE situations in which I physically meet new people. Hurts too much to leave the property by car these days, and no one comes calling.

    But that’s okay; the world was wide, once, and I had my day.

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    1. Thanks, Andrew! One of the things I love about you, Andrew, is how you are intentional about reaching out to others in the ways you can. You may not get out a lot, but the ways you encourage others through your blog and taking the time to comment on others? I never would have “met” and gotten to know a new friend if you hadn’t taken the first step to begin sharing on my blog. It means a lot to me that you did. So, you are meeting people in the ways you are able. There’s a lot to be said for that. 🙂

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      1. Hey Jeanne…thank so much! Knowing you has nothing been one of life’s greatest privileges. Truly.

        Had one hell of a night here. Please pardon the expression. Calling in the clans for prayer. Still no email – could you pass the word?

        It was the loneliest and most frightening night I have passed. Beat the “angry locals and lost comms” incident, because then at least I had a rifle, night optics, and a couple of claymores.

        Have to give the phone back to Barbara now.

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  11. Your words confirm for me that I need to spend some solid time with Jesus real soon. I slip too easily into the “yeah, okay” surface area with Him when He wants me to be still at His feet.

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    1. Marie, I’m there with you. It’s FAR too easy to slip into the surface-y relationship with Jesus, and to remain there, slipping further away from Him. May we both go deeper with Him, as you said—still, at His feet. May you get some of that Mary time with Him this week.

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