Click here to Download Find Your People PDF Book by Jennie Allen having PDF Size 5.1 MB and No of Pages 273.
I still remember the day when the thought occurred to me that I didn’t have any friends. I should clarify: I had plenty of friends, but those friends and I all had very full lives, which meant that our interactions were erratic—and rare. Back then, I was neck deep in parenting young kids as well as traveling a lot, speaking, and doing events with IF Gathering, the ministry organization I lead.
Find Your People PDF Book by Jennie Allen
|Name of Book||Find Your People|
|PDF Size||5.1 MB|
|No of Pages||234|
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And while being on the road provided plenty of life-giving interactions with other women, reentry at home often came with a sting. Did any of my “friends” even realize I’d been gone? Did they know that I’d returned? This was not my friends’ fault, of course. They had obligations, commitments, relationships, and jobs of their own.
In fact, they likely were asking the same questions about me: “Does Jennie know what’s going on in my life? Does she even care?” Isn’t this familiar? We’re all just kind of waiting for connection to find us. We’re waiting for someone else to initiate. Someone else to be there for us. Someone else to make the plans or ask the perfectly crafted question that helps us bare our souls.
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Here’s what we do: We spend hours alone in our crowded, noisy, screen-lit worlds, we invest only sporadic time with acquaintances, and then we expect close friends to somehow appear in our busy lives. We think our acquaintances should just magically produce two to five BFFs. Then, we believe, our relational needs will be met.
We most often met in the evenings on my back porch, where we’d say what was true of our lives. Whenever one of us was traveling or sick, the others would get together anyway. We prioritized these times together over just about everything else. For nearly three years, we met this way. What is that, more than a hundred evenings together? At two hours a pop, we logged some serious and intimate time.
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I clearly remember waiting at some gate of some airport in some town, trying to get home after speaking somewhere, and my heart would leap, knowing I would be seeing my friends the next day. Those meetups were oxygen to my connection-craving soul, gulps of fresh air I craved. We would talk about our marriages, we would talk about our kids, we would talk about our jobs, and we would talk about God.
We’d laugh. We’d tear up. We’d sigh over disappointment and pain. It didn’t stop with those group gatherings, either. Because we knew so much about what was happening with each other, our newfound intimacy bled into other parts of life. urches. But here is where we go wrong. We look to people to complete and fill what only God was meant to fill. This is the primary reason we all are so unhappy with each other.
We have put our hope in imperfect people. But that hope can successfully be answered only in God Himself. Eternity was set in our hearts, Ecclesiastes 3:11 says, which means only a relationship with an eternal God can fill our hearts. Consider what you’re aiming your hope toward. Who is in the center of your affections? Who is in the center of your identity? We all have a choice. Find Your People PDF Book
The answer will determine whether you live fulfilled or repeatedly disappointed. If God is in the center of our relational circle, we will be fulfilled, and out of that fulfillment we can bless others. But if people are in the center of our relational circle, we end up pulling on others to meet needs that they can’t ever fully meet.
And it mattered. People in small towns, living life together, was essential to the way the Church would grow and spread. The entire Church was birthed from a few uneducated fishermen and their friends, and it reached to the ends of the earth. And yes, someone had to take the gospel to the world. Paul and the apostles would travel and spread the good news, but all along the way.
They settled into community contexts, staying with families, being invested in and supported by local churches. Community should, in its truest form, reflect aspects of who God is and how He loves. Which brings me to a question: Who has God put in your life —here and now and right under your nose—that you haven’t really connected with yet? Find Your People PDF Book
Remember, the enemy wants to shut you down, make you afraid to initiate, cause you to not prioritize the people right in front of you. He wants us to live surrounded by people but never deeply connected to them, so we don’t change, we don’t grow, we don’t even fully live—and we mostly end up stuck in self-pity.
About how we don’t have any friends when dozens of people in front of us certainly would welcome someone reaching out to them at the very least. Only when we let down our guards and allow ourselves to be known can we get over ourselves and get on with loving people. Love changes us and changes others. Love takes strangers and makes families.
Love heals wounds and empty spaces in us that we never dreamed could be filled. God is love, and when we choose to cooperate with Him, we get to carry His love to people who are deeply desperate for it. But it all starts with being known. I can tell any stranger on the street that I love her, and it will mean absolutely nothing. Why? Because I don’t know her. My words are an empty platitude. Find Your People PDF Book
But when I say to my son, who just confessed something he did wrong, “I love you!” well, that means everything. We have no use for empty platitudes. It’s the “I know you and I love you” that we crave. It’s why I love the gospel. It’s the story where God rescues us from hiding. He restores us and tells us that “there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
And because we are restored and have full access to our God, a God who forgives, we have the tools to change the cycle of hiding. Jesus said that she who has been forgiven much, loves much.  So, too, the things that sent us into hiding are the very tools God redeems to pull us out of hiding and so that, in love, we can go pull other people out of hiding.
Rough, as in being born into generational poverty and forced to sell bootlegged liquor at age eight just to help keep the family afloat. Rough, as in waking up each day having no clue where his next meal was coming from, if there would even be a meal that day. Rough, as in being imprisoned at age nine for having stolen food that his single mom and siblings desperately needed to avoid utterly wasting away. Find Your People PDF Book Download
“When I was in prison,” Jey told me, “I prayed to God for two things. I hadn’t talked to Him before, but I sure was talking to Him now. So, the two requests: First, I wanted to get out of prison. And second, I wanted to get out of poverty. Which was just another form of prison, I guess.” Here’s the funny thing about Jey: When you get him talking about his childhood, he smiles.
He smiles a lot. He told me stories about the norm in Kenya of “holding each other’s hands.” “Kids would show up at our little house because we didn’t have doors or locks on our little hut,” he said, “and my grandmother who lived with us would have no idea when they’d last eaten.” She was barely keeping her own kids alive, you remember.
But still, she’d usher those kids inside, she’d sit them at the table, and she’d feed them like they were her own. He told me about how they shared. “There was no concept of ‘mine,’ or of privacy, or of ownership. Everything we had was ours.” Though Nairobi is a city of millions, within Jey’s neighborhood his grandmother and others served as a village-sized community. Find Your People PDF Book Download
He said, “I would be running on the other side of the slum, goofing off with friends, and would hear my name because ‘the elders’ were everywhere! And those elders would grab me by the collar right then and there and punish me, and, of course, my grandmother would hear about it.”
Yes, when we set aside our fig leaves and say what is true, or when we hear and listen to what is true, we put ourselves at greater risk of being hurt. I know. No one has wounded me more than the people who are closest to me. And sometimes my imperfect people speak harm and not correction. Sometimes they don’t understand or empathize.
Sometimes they use my sin against me. Sometimes they gossip about what I have shared. Sometimes they leave me in judgment. Sometimes they reject me because I was honest. Sometimes they shut me out for good. To be perfectly candid, these realities are terrifying. But even though every one of the things I just named has happened to me personally, I’m still pleading with you to sign up for this way of life. Find Your People PDF Book Download
And I’m telling myself the same thing. Here’s the deal: If you’re committed to grow in maturity and increase in wisdom and be relationally healthier ten years from now than you are at this moment, then you will start to see that iron anvil I mentioned not as punishment but as a means to the progress you desperately need. You will quit hiding, hedging, and decorating your wreath for your locked door.
You will stop recoiling when questions are asked. You will give up on pretending that you have it all together. You will let a little useful pounding into your life. Ages ago, when the average life span saw people dying far younger than they do today, the concept of family included everyone from parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles to half siblings.
Neighbors, cousins, coworkers, and friends who felt like family but actually weren’t. The idea of a single-family dwelling hadn’t yet been invented, which meant that to be human was to be surrounded by other humans—in villages, nearly 100 percent of the time. Everything shifted in the 1920s after a social anthropologist named Bronislaw Malinowski coined the term “nuclear family”. Find Your People PDF Book Free
In reference to a social unit consisting solely of 2 parents and their 2.5 children. The concept of the nuclear family revolutionized marketing because a small, insulated, defined group of people made excellent consumer targets for everything from diapers to Crock-Pots. The fewer things people shared, the more they individually had to buy.
When attachment with your first relationships breaks down in any way and for any reason, attachment becomes difficult and scary on any level. It’s why if you sign up for therapy tomorrow, in the first twenty minutes you’ll be asked about your relationship with your parents. The good news is that we can learn a better way to relate, and we absolutely can heal.
I’ve experienced it. I was thirty years old when I sat down with my dad to tell him how I lived with a limp from the hurts he had inadvertently brought into my life. At the time I was a young parent myself but still didn’t realize how easy it is to wound your kids. I wrote my dad a six-page letter, three pages of gratitude and three pages of wounds, and read it aloud. Find Your People PDF Book Free
It felt important. I had done the work, including years of counseling, but I had never shared with him the hurt that some of his behaviors had caused me. This was the day, and yet I couldn’t conceive of any good that would come from this conversation I knew I needed to have. First, I didn’t want to hurt my dad. Second, I couldn’t see how this would end well.
Either my dad would criticize me, validating my worst fears, or he would shrug it off and casually say that he hadn’t meant anything by his words and actions. In short, invalidating the hurts of my childhood. It was my fault, not yours. And let me tell you where I first heard the message that I had to be perfect: it was from my mom and dad. I heard that message, I absorbed that message, and then I passed that message on to you.”