The day with my writing group was just what I needed.
One of us couldn’t make it. A few got together for a slumber party the night before. Two of us joined mid-morning with the practical goal of brainstorming a group project. But it was the casual connections that nourished me most.
This coming year, we’ll celebrate our tenth year together. We’ll meet for our annual retreat. Only a few have been able to make every retreat, and additional people have rounded out our group some years, but the core group of us consistently do our best to make it happen. We started as friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Even though we rarely see each other more than once or twice a year, especially during the early years, we have lived a lot of life together. We know each others’ families even if we’ve never met them. We could describe the ins and outs of our various jobs and responsibilities. We know each others’ strengths and weaknesses. We have encouraged each other through a lot of life. We stay connected through messages and consistently pray for each other. We don’t need to impress each other. We don’t have the time or energy for that. We spend our time catching up and challenging each other.
And that’s what I needed.
Talking about our project was encouraging. Sitting around a table with them was calibrating. Steeping in authentic connections was nourishing. It was only a handful of hours, but it filled me with heaps of appreciation to continue to invite people to know me well and invest in others well.
It takes time, and not every relationship and group works out beyond a brief season, but the effort and risk is worth it sometimes. Give others the best you can today.