9.11.2012

The New Girl

Thank you, from the tenderest part of my heart, for your sweet response to my last post. I didn't expect a response to such an unusual post, but it sure feels good to know you get my heart.

I thought my next post would be safe and shallow: house photos! Not so fast. A few tears are falling this week, and I need to make room for them. Now before you cry a river with me, let me just tell you: I'm okay. I might even go so far as to say: this is good for me!


It's just that it's hard to be the new girl. Every. Single. Place. I. Go.

It started on Sunday. I was all out of sorts. Church shopping is WORK! I was keenly aware of my newness...and keenly aware of how everyone else seemed to know each other. And just in case I was about to forget, there was the big, huge VISITOR sign staring me in the face when we returned to the parking lot.

On Monday, I was feeling LONELY. Maybe a visitor hangover? "Lonely, but never alone" is one of my favorite sayings. It validates the feeling of loneliness {which is very real} but reminds me of the truth: that I am never alone because God promises that He is with me ALWAYS.


Today, still feeling the residual emotions from Sunday and Monday, I did something that terrified me.


I went to someone's house who I didn't know...with 60 or 70 other women I didn't know...invited by someone I didn't know...for a Bible study. Not just because I love God and want to know Him more, but because I long for community and deep friendship.


As I walked up the sidewalk to that house, it took everything in me not to turn around and drive home. I was this close to crawling back into my hermit shell. I so don't like being the new girl. {And yet my daughters have been the new girls so bravely! Oh, how I admire them!}


As I watched all these pretty, put-together women greet one another with big hugs and "so good to see you!" squeals, I thought I might cry...right there in that house full of strangers. Not only because I was new and feeling unknown and unseen, but because what in the world had I gotten myself into? Was this going to be a sorority social hour under the guise of "Bible study?"

Oh, me of little faith. God knows me better than that...knows me better than to extend an invitation through a perfect stranger for nothing! Of course He was up to something! I've been asking God to show up for me in big ways since we moved here...and He's doing it.


Here's what gave my heart enough courage to enter that house full of strangers {a description of the Bible study}:
 "Most of us believe that God sent Jesus to deliver us from our sin, but it's a lot harder to wrap our minds around the truth that God also sent His Son to earth in a suit of skin because He delights in us.  God thinks we're the bomb.  We had Him at hello! The Song of Songs is an engaging - quite racy even - true Old Testament love story that reveals God's delight in  tangible, unforgettable ways.  It teaches us how to lean into a sweeter, more intimate relationship  with our Redeemer, as well as how we can restore intimacy with Jesus after one of our inevitable prodigal or dry spiritual seasons."
And you know what will give me the courage to go back next week? The warmth of the hostess, the deep heart {and humor} of the teacher, and the authenticity of the women who were there. Yes, you read that right. Those women were REAL. They had STORIES. Deep, good stories. When will I learn not to judge a book by its cover...or a girl by her perfect highlights and skinny jeans?


God is good, y'all. He's stretching me far beyond my comfort zone through this move, but He's showing up for me left and right.


And I bet if you're asking and looking for it, God is showing up for you, too. I'd love to hear about it!

Hugs and love,
P.S. The quotes are from my Word Love pin board. {Don't you just love good words?}

42 comments:

  1. Linsey-

    What can I say ? Wow- what a timely post ! I too am a "new girl" just moving to the country about 18 months ago, still haven't met any locals- trying to build up my business locally AGAIN, be a wife & mother and then, my husband diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of the year, so back & forth, again & again to Houston.. not much time for building relationships... but your posts has given me hope that God does indeed have a better plan- and I will try and enjoy where I am at this moment in time and expect that he is preparing new friends even now- at this I can smile :) I am trying to bloom where I am planted ...

    Thank you, I am encouraged.

    Diana

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    1. Oh, Dianna, my heart goes out to you. On top of all the newness, you have been battling an overwhelming illness. Cancer is such a theif. I'm praying that his life be fullly healed and restored.

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  2. Beautiful words that strike close to home! This fellow new girl cannot wait til next week's study and our lunch to follow! God is good! Love & Blessings, Kim

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    1. ahhhh! I was wondering if you 2 had met up! You remind me of each other so much, even though I have only met 1 of you in person for a brief minute! :) Love that y'all connected! perfect fit, if you ask me! God is awesome like that!

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    2. What a sweet thing to say! God spoke Kim's name to me through two people who seemed VERY intentional about wanting us to meet, so I consider it a divine appointment! :)

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    3. And KIM!!! I cannot BELIEVE you were there yesterday! Talk about a kiss from God! I can't wait to sit down with you and share stories. xoxo!

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  3. Wow, I think this post was meant for me :) I know what it's like to be in a new and uncomfortable place. I still struggle with the feeling everyday. Although we're not so new anymore (almost 3 yrs!) getting out to a bible study and meeting new peeps is still one of my greatest fears. It is just so hard! Anyway, thanks for sharing what's on your heart. Your post not only me encouraged, but I'm sure many others. Prayers and thoughts to you through this time of settling and finding your place as the "new girl". Desiree xx

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    1. I'm so glad my words felt meant for you. My prayer as I write is that God will show up for at least one person through my writing. Let's keep doing the hard thing of meeting new people. Jus thtink of the compassionate hearts we'll have toward future "new girls." :)

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  4. Thank you for your honesty and for being so REAL. Your words are a great encouragement for me as well. Hang in there, and God will follow through.

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    1. Thank YOU for taking the time to leave an encouraging comment. :)

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  5. Wow. Thank you for writing this post. I'm the new girl too. Having moved to Georgia from Indiana eight weeks ago. We sold nearly everything, moved, and now our son is sick and we are facing a very scary diagnosis on Friday. Making friends just seems like so much work, and given that our circumstances are so unreal, It's hard. We've been church shopping too, and it's exhausting. I felt the same way Monday. Thank you for being honest and real. Praying for you as you settle and adjust to being the "new girl". ((hugs))~Bethany

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    1. Praying for your day on Friday. God has gone before you. He'll be in that room. Praying His arms will be strong for you.

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  6. I am kind of seeing the new girl as exciting. I am here, I have a clean slate, NO ONE KNOWS MY JUNK. I have not made an idiot of myself in front of them - yet.

    But, I did go see a counselor yesterday to talk thru some of that junk about friendship (you know exactly what I am talking about) and to start off with a truly clean slate. It was awesome. Clean slate! Clean slate!

    You are LINSEY HASENBANK, one of the coolest chicks I know. Whoever gets to be your friend is going to be so blessed, they don't even know how much.

    Love you.

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    1. Aww. Thank you, Miss. I'm so glad you like being the girl. I wish I liked a clean slate better, but I'm all about familiarity. But I'm growing! :)

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  7. I remember feeling the exact same way a year ago...my how things change in a year. I feel so connected here and love the community that God is building for our family. You will be in a whole new place in no time at all, and in the meantime, you can trust that you are not alone...God is with you doing a work that only He can do.


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  8. God has been showing up for me too, an encouraging call from a friend, an instagram picture with this verse, "I constantly trust in the Lord; because he is at my right hand, I will not be upended. -Psalms 16:8", a instant message pop up from a dear friend that is a missionary in Rwanda with words of wisdom for me, "Jesus Calling" book sitting there un opened in months and I open and it's amazingly spot on for what this Mom needs to hear. Yes God is everywhere if our heart is searching. Thank you for your beautiful post.

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    1. Oh, Katey, how he LOVES us. Thank you for sharing the ways He has showed up for you.

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  9. We recently adopted a 3 year old from Ethiopia. We just brought him home in early August. My other 3 kids are 15, 13, 11. So going back to the toddler stage is ..... quite an adjustment! But I have so many friends that are just encouraging me through this time while he is stuck to me like glue (no Bible Class, no going to the gym, no mother's day out). I even had a friend text me the other day... "I saw you from afar today in Target, and I prayed for you for PATIENCE. you are doing such a good job. love you." All this while he was screaming and throwing a loud fit in target and i had to get out of there fast and forget half the things on my list. And I that's not all, I know that God is carrying our family through this whole transition... I cannot even begin to count all the ways He is there for us. We have an incredible support group carrying us through this crazy but glorious time in our lives. xo, heather

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    1. Wow, Heather. You are Jesus with skin on for your newly adopted son. How beautiful. I hope you have a commnity of adoptive families to walk by your side in this. Crazy, but glorious is a great way to describe this season.

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  10. I think I owe you an apology...I keep forgetting you are "new"! It is my daughter's fault :), for not remembering when she met your girl! I have those same thoughts when I see you...oh I know YOU!..I wish I could have been near you all when you were at church. The Lord exudes His grace through you and I am indeed blessed. Praying this day unveils His new mercies...it is a promise!

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    1. Sweet Gigi, you are a GIFT. And you don't owe me an apology at all! You're an easy person to be around already, and for that, I am thankful. God is stretching me, and it's all good...even if it is hard! xo!

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  11. Sweet Linsey, although we have only emailed before you left Houston and discussed moving and being the new girl (we were military for 22 yrs) I feel your heart in all of this! The fact that you realize all these feelings are temporary, shows me God is ever present in your life. You're an amazing lady with a heart for others. You made sure your girls were settled and that's the way it should be so please enjoy your Bible Study,before next week you will have lots of new girls to welcome you with open hearts for the NEW GIRL!

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  12. one of my least favorite things...we are SO alike in this area
    but WOW
    you did it! This is a HUGE step for you.BIG! God has big plans for you here
    How I pray your heart is open and ready to receive...and give. You have a heart to offer those women and they you.
    Just be yourself...even when it feels like you are stupid and everybody must be thinking you are weird...or whatever tapes run through your mind at times like this...they do mine anyway...lol
    I am so proud of you friend...so proud
    and encouraged. Can't wait to see what is up around the bend.
    MUCH love...
    xo

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  13. Linsey, I too am a mover. I moved to AZ from Houston after being there for 40 years. It was a rough go at first, but now, after 19 years there, the Lord has seen fit to move us to the "frozen tundra" -- Michigan. It is much tougher than the last move in so many ways -- moving as empty nesters, leaving children and grandchildren behind in TX and AZ, leaving my in-home tutoring business behind, and for many other reasons. But, the blessing for me is that I did it once and know that God is with me every step of the way! (We visited 8 churches here before choosing one, but that is definitely easier without having to drop kids at Sunday School every week.) Anyway, I think I have a present for you...this website just confirmed that there is a very special ministry that has a class in Franklin!!!!!!! Your socks will be knocked off by Susan Miller's Biblical teaching and all that you can learn about being a mover. Unfortunately, there is no group within 100 miles of me here in Michigan. I wish someone who reads your blog lived close by. I think we could be instant friends. Anyway, here is the site for Just Moved. God bless you, my co-mover!
    http://just-moved.org/moving-on-groups/find-a-moving-on-group/united-states/tennessee/ Cynthia Taylor

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    1. A moving group? Wow. Never heard of such a thing. Thanks for sharing the link. So sweet of you. Praying God brings a kindred spirit your way...even if it means you have to stretch outside of your comfort zone to find her. :)

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  14. Lindsey, thank you for sharing. You are so right...God is good, and He is always with us! He has definitely spoken directly to me and my heart many times. One time it was during an acupuncture session (for fertility)...the minute the acupuncturist had left me alone, I started sobbing. I wasn't really sure why because I was in such a great mood moments before. I closed my eyes, and heard and saw God. He kept telling me to let it all out and that it was going to be OK. I could literally feel His arms around me. He told me to give my problems to Him, and not to worry anymore. It was one of the most amazing experience of my life. Even though that fertility treatment wasn't successful, I know we will be successful one day because God is in control. I lifted it up to Him and know that this is on His time, not mine (one of the hardest things to remember).

    You are such a beautiful Christian, and I love keeping up through your blog. I know how hard it is to be new, but I also know that you will find your way. Miss you, sweet friend!

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    1. I can so relate...even to the acupuncture part! I cried when a doctor or acupuncturist left the room many times...just wanting to surrender myself to God and trust in His best for me. Keep trusting in His time. And keep believing! xo!

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  15. So, so proud of you Linsey!! I am the same exact way, very shy and a little lonely in the friend department right now, so I know how hard it is to step out of our comforting shell and meet new people! But God knew what he was up to sending you to those wonderful women!!
    And in regards to your last post, I never felt that you were being unkind in any way, you were just stating your feelings and talking about your life. You seem like such a sweet and kind lady and it never seemed rude a all.
    And by the way, you always inspire me every time I come here for a visit, thank you!!~
    Congrats on your bravery and have a lovely night!!~
    Sincerely,
    Melinda

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    1. Thank you, Melinda. It's comforting to think that my heart was understood. Hugs!

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  16. You are precious! I can't believe I found this blog while searching online for a zinc topped table I didn't really need, and now it makes my day when I see you have written a new post. Your authenticity comes through in every word. Thank you for sharing!:)

    Warmly,
    Alison

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    1. I love that you found me because of a zinc top table! You'll appreciate my new post:
      http://www.llhdesignsblog.com/2012/09/my-breakfast-nook-best-zinc-top-dining.html

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  17. Dear Linsey - Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your kind words :) Wonderful to find you!

    It's always tough to be the "new" person. I think it might be easier for children to make new friends, though. But aren't you glad you went? That took strength, and it obviously was well worth it. You've made new friends, and most importantly, you'll be there to welcome the next "new" person.

    Cheers from DC,
    Loi
    Tone on Tone

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    1. Yes, so glad we followed our hearts. I think about the next new people often...how my heart will be wide open to receive them after learning what it's like to be the new girl. Thanks for reading, Loi.

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  18. Well, you will never guess what I read today, Linsey! Susan Miller is headed to Franklin this weekend to be the speaker at the Women's Retreat for the church that hosts the Just Moved group! I just read it on her Facebook update. She is a southern woman, so I know she is ecstatic to be headed to Tennessee to speak! (And I am not sure how this affects you in any way...but I just had to let you know!) Cynthia Taylor

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    1. Such a neat detail! Wish I could've been there, but we had a weekend full of building relationships. So good, but also exhausting. Recovering with a quiet day today!

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  19. Oh my word. Thank you for this. My best friend in the whole world (who moved away almost 7 years ago), sent this to me this morning. And I am so glad she did. I know these feelings all too well. Feeling alone and exposed, vulnerable to my core, feeling like I always have to protect myself. But God knows us so much better and continues to show me the grace in stepping out and being brave:) Sending you lots of courage and strength today. XO

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    1. I love the way God connects hearts. I know what you mean about feeling like you have to protect yourself. I've been in that mode for so long. I'm starting to realize that's a subtle form of unbelief...not believing that God will care for me. Let's be brave together...trusting in HIS protection and care of us!

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  20. This was such a great reminder to me. I live in a very tiny little community and sometimes I forget how hard being new to this place is. I am so busy in my little routine that I might miss an opportunity to be interrupted. New faces need extra time & attention and I am failing to give myself to them. Thank you for your vulnerability. We need your story, too :) Love the journey. Stay the course. Hugs.

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    1. What a sweet perspective, Robyn. I defintely think I have a changed perspective toward new people now. I never really gave it much thought before. Easy to just get in your groove and not look up. I like what you said about being interrupted. I so need that. Hugs to you!

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  21. I randomly came across your blog via pinterest chasing a pretty print. It took me to this post where my heart felt everything you said and more! We have lived abroad for 5 years, and we close on a house in Franklin in two weeks. I dread being the "new girl" and church shopping and having to build friendships from scratch as well. Maybe we'll see you at a church one day...I'll have the overwhelmed look of reverse culture shock. :)

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    1. Kristi! How good of God that you would stumble onto my blog and be moving to Franklin! Please be in touch when you get here. You can reach me through the contact page of my website or: order (at) llhdesigns (dot) com. Reverse culture shock is for REAL! Haven't been there myself, btu know friends who have. Blessing to you!

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"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What! You too? I thought I was the only one." ~ C.S. Lewis

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