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You Don’t Have to Be Alone

Sierra, Michelle, Corinne, Tia & Amanda

Balance Solitude and Community

devozine dv1644054I’m an introvert. I like to spend time by myself. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that as much as I like to be by myself, being alone is not always good for me. Some of my greatest memories and experiences have come from times when I didn’t want to be with other people but knew I should. Spending time alone to recover and recharge is good, but spending time with others is equally important. God created us to be in relationships and gives us the gift of community.

—Sierra Klotz, 19

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Everyone was surprised when I decided to go to a Christian camp where I wouldn’t know anyone, but I wanted to meet new people and to renew my relationship with God. At camp, I soon realized that I needed some time by myself. I also realized that being alone didn’t have to be boring. Flying through the air on the camp’s zip-line reminded me that it’s normal to be scared when trying something new, but I needed to trust God to help me step out of my comfort zone and to risk sharing my life with others.

—Michelle Ankrum, 16

Dare to Make Christian Friends

lake6802 FTROne summer during college, my friend Jimmy invited me to go camping for the weekend with his church. I wasn’t a church person or an outdoorsy type, but I hitched a ride up to a remote lake in the mountains. When I got there, I found community.

My family is small. My sister was always busy with her own friends, so I had spent most of my time alone. But by the lake in the summer heat, I found what I had been missing. I shared a tent with two girls I’d never met, and they treated me as a friend. People at camp came up to ask my name or to talk about how I knew Jimmy. By the end of the weekend, they were asking when they would see me again and inviting me to church. I was hooked. Now I had a church family.

—Corinne Benken

Let Friends in Faith Carry You

I was thirteen when my mother died in an auto accident. I wouldn’t wish that pain on anyone. After the funeral, I shut everyone out. I turned my back on everyone who loved me—even God. Then one day I got a postcard from my grandma’s church, inviting me to the youth group. I had never been part of a youth group and decided to give it a try. I met so many new people; and the leaders and some of the kids told me they were praying for me. I felt welcomed and loved; and for the first time since the funeral, I was able to open my heart to God.

—Tia Thompson, 16

 

DIG DEEPER

Pray for Rare Friendships

devozine Family Night Pizza3 TS 78486669In high school I did not fit in. I was skinny and pimply, and I wore faded T-shirts. I wanted friends so that I could get rid of the awful loneliness I felt. Yet, loneliness lets us know that we are meant to be loved and connected with other people. God wants us to eat together, to laugh together, to cry together, and to love one another. Good friendships are blessed by God and help us weather life’s storms. Be encouraged in the wait for genuine community. Pray for rare friendships, the ones that come along slowly and brilliantly and last a lifetime.

—Amanda Casanova

—from devozine (May/June 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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