Do you feel like you don’t belong in the community in which you once felt at home?
Perhaps, you found your people and developed friendships you thought would last a lifetime and yet, the season changed, a pandemic happened, they moved away or the relationship evolved.
Just like that, back to square one.
Finding, building, and sustaining friends has never been easy but it feels like it only becomes more complicated as adults.
“Let’s just be honest, friendship can be frustrating.”
Relationships are nuanced and between the ever-changing demands of daily life, family, and a culture that prioritizes norms of artificial connection, cultivating authentic friendship can seem more like the alternate reality.
It is a perpetuated illusion that we have more accessibility and connectedness at our fingertips but the truth behind the screen is that we are far more isolated and alone than ever before. We have become accustomed to the convenience of scrolling someone’s feed and liking their photos but there is a monumental difference in being seen and being known.
As the new kid in his high school, feeling like an outsider in his environment, it only took one question to set today’s guest’s life on a different trajectory.
An act of vulnerability laid the groundwork for a life changing perspective on the value of community and a passion for breaking barriers of connection and that is why I am so excited to be joined by my new friend, Justin Whitmel Earley on today’s episode of The Mary Marantz Show.
Justin Whitmel Earley is a writer, speaker, and lawyer. He is the author of the award-winning books Habits of the Household and The Common Rule, though he spends most days running his business law practice. Through his writing and speaking, Justin empowers God’s people to thrive through life-giving habits that form them in the love of God and neighbor. His latest book, Made for People, delves deep into the profound impact of friendship and offers transformative strategies to combat loneliness. He lives with his wife and four boys in Richmond, Virginia, and spends a lot of time around fires and porches with friends.
Mary’s new book, slow growth equals strong Roots is HERE! Click HERE to Order your copy today!
For Justin, when he found himself suffering alone, the world seemed to slowly close in around him and make him believe hope was dwindling but he innately knew he was created for so much more.
“It sounds blasphemous but it is not, you and God are not enough. In His generosity, God made us to need community and as communal creatures we cannot experience Him in the way that we were made to until we experience Him alongside others. God Himself said it was NOT GOOD for us to be alone.”
In his darkest moments it was in fact the light of a different perspective and the companionship of another traveler on the road that the the Lord ultimately used to remind Justin of the hope and the future that had always been set before him.
That was when this powerful defintion of integrity, taken from the word INTEGER (meaningin whole) hit him…
“What happens in loneliness is you become fractured inside, your soul is not right and you are not well because you were made for people. There is a wholeness, integrity and non-fractured nature to our life when we live it amongst friends.”
So, whether you are looking for ways to build new friendships or practical ways to strengthen the foundation you have laid, today’s episode will be one you will return to again and again. Join Justin and I as we discuss the epidemic of loneliness and the reason why friendship is a spiritual discipline.
Tune in to hear:
What two rhythms you need to start putting into practice in your relationships
How to show and not tell about our lives
The three principles of building covenant friendships
If you find yourself in a season of loneliness or living a life in which you just feel on your own, hear me when I say though it may not feel true in this moment you are fully known and fully loved.
Covenant community is in reach but as Justin reminds us, what we are truly longing for often lies just beyond the intersection of risk, vulnerability and a little bit of awkwardness.
So take the first step, you already have the line…
“Do you want to be best friends? “
I can’t wait for you to take a listen! And if you are looking to give up comparing, performing, and achieving for your worth, I think you’ll LOVE my new book Slow Growth Equals Strong Roots! Available now everywhere books are sold! And while you’re at it, take our Achiever Quiz to see which of the 5 Achiever Types you are….