Hello, Armadillos

Today’s post is brought to you by The Armadillo Advocates: Armored Awesomeness. In Florida, the pests come in different forms. Boars are mean and the birds are harmless–but the armadillos dig holes in your yard. But actually I have a serious post to write, so let’s just take a moment to enjoy the coolness of the armadillo (despite its digging habits) before I jump in.

Moment taken.

Well, my family is mostly settled into our new house in Florida. We’ve had two huge bonfires to burn all the boxes from unpacking and branches from cleaning up the yard. Aside from the lack of furniture in the living room, every room in the house is essentially done and ready to be lived in. My mom is now focusing on getting the in-laws quarters ready for our first guest–my dad’s mom is coming to visit us for a week over me and my sister’s birthdays.

And as I’ve been reflecting on the transition and talking to friends from home, I’ve realized something.

I’m much more relationship-oriented than I thought.

Back in Lancaster, I would often share how excited I was at the prospect of moving somewhere new, meeting new people–and I love new experiences, truly I do. But now that I’m here, I’m startled by how much I miss the relationships in Lancaster.

Alright, I’m going to try to explain this the best I can, but just bear with me if it seems like I’m rambling.

What exactly I miss in Lancaster isn’t necessarily the really close friendships I have. My best friends from high school and from Houghton have already been through the distance barrier and have come through stronger than ever. I love those friends and of course I miss them, but I know I can always count on them and I’ve already become accustomed to not seeing them regularly.

No, the people I miss are the faces I would see at Harvest Lancaster week in and week out. The people I would interact with at Cracker Barrel. The relationships that made up my daily life in Lancaster. I miss those a lot more than I thought I would.

Perhaps it has something to do with being at a Harvest church…so it’s sort of the same, but not because it’s different. Like transferring Cracker Barrels…it’s sort of the same, but not. New people. Slightly different way of doing things. Also I’m in the south now. Not only are the people new, but they’re not Lancaster people. They’re a different type. Not necessarily a bad type, but I miss the Lancaster type.

So all these feelings and thoughts have been swirling around in my mind; meanwhile, I’m desperately trying to make connections here in Florida. Now, when I use the word “desperately” please do not picture me latching on to strangers and begging “Be my friend be my friend I need you please be my friend”.

Actually, I may have done that once…jk.

It is more of an inward feeling of desperation. So the above example may not happen externally, but chances are it’s happening in my head.

In reflecting on this need I have for friendship here, I’ve begun to realize it’s all I’m focusing on. When people as what they can pray for for me, my go-to response is “connections and friendships here in Florida”. I’m not saying any of this is bad–I thrive off of healthy, godly relationships. Key words being “healthy” and “godly”. Please do keep praying for those.

But this desire for friendship isn’t just a desire for that kind of God-honoring relationship. Sometimes my healthy desire for relationships gets distorted into a desire for approval and a desire for feeling wanted. Then suddenly I’ve turned my friendship hunt into an idol. Also let’s just acknowledge all the negative connotations the phrase “friendship hunt” has.

Too often I find myself seeking approval from my friends. I find my sense of worth in the quality of people that want to spend time with me. And the quantity of time they want to spend with me. So all the while as I’m playing this absurd, consuming game of “Finding Friends”, I’m neglecting the only relationship that will actually fulfill my desire to be wanted–my relationship with my Maker.

So I think I’ve found myself in a situation that shouldn’t have caught me by surprise, but it did. A month ago, when asking the various members of my family if we were ready to move to Florida, you would have found me to be the most excited, and the least worried about what I’d be leaving behind and what I’d be facing in Florida. Now, welcome to real life.

Now, God is showing me how the only relationship I should be concerned about is the one with Him. All the others–He’s got it under control.

God has a purpose for every season in my life. This past year was a transformative season for me. I think I’ve just entered into another one.

The only way I can ever be truly satisfied is through Christ alone. I have a God who desires me for crying out loud! GOD! Like, no offense friends, but you wanting to spend time with me literally means nothing when the freaking Maker of heaven and earth wants to spend time with me.

Psalm 18 (which everyone should go read because it is my favorite Psalm) says in verse 19 that God “rescued me, because He delighted in me”.

God is a God who DELIGHTS in me! See, that’s the kind of friend I’m looking for. Someone who delights in me. And maybe I can find someone awesome here on earth who delights in me, but I guarantee that I, nor anybody else, will ever be able to find a flawless, perfect individual who never falters in their delight. Who always forgives.

And that is a friendship I should be investing in. That is where my focus should be. Everything else will fall into place, I trust God.

If you’re reading this, I don’t want your takeaway to be “Cool, look how Chad’s dealing with life”. Look at your relationships in your life right now. If you measured the amount of time you spend with your various friends and how much you invest in them, where would your relationship with God stack up? Do you seek to feel wanted by your friends?

Also, just gonna say, this is probably going to be a lifelong struggle. It’s not like today I opened by Bible, read a few verses, and was all like “Woah I am so satisfied and I feel so wanted by God like who needs earthly friends anyways”. As with any relationship, it will take work.

I challenge you to find your Maker. Make Him your best friend before you search for earthly bffls. Cause He’ll be your bffe (Best Friend For Eternity).

Alright, yeah, that was a bit much even for me. Sorry.

So I have a new tactic now: this summer, as I live in a place where I know basically only the people who live in the same house as me, I will invest in my relationship with my Creator and trust Him to put all the right people in my life.

And if the right people in my life would kindly remember that my birthday is July 14th and I accept gifts of all kinds, that’d be great.


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