Last year I moved from the cookie-cutter suburb to the city (Granted, Knoxville isn't the same kind of city as NYC). I have three elementary aged children and I very much miss my community in the burb! My ten year old could ride his bike anywhere in the neighborhood and be secure, I could tell him what time to be home and not worry (too much). My six and eight year old children could practice their newer bike independence on our cul-de-sac in complete safety. Most of all, I miss the ever-present neighbors who were also school mates and moms and friends. I was a single mother, in those days, and I never once mowed my own grass! We car pooled to school, we shared sugar and sorrows, and we lifted each other in difficult days.
This week marks one year since my move. I have not found that kind of community here in the city. I moved because I got married, which is a wonderful joy and we needed this time to acclimate as a new blended family. However, even though I may not have been able to fully engage, I haven't even witnessed the kind of support network we left behind - at church, on our street, or anywhere! It makes me very sad.
When we try to connect with school mates, schedules and logistics make it tough. When I try to connect at church, the moms are more concerned with their gluten-free diets and home schooling agendas. It is my prayer that the Lord leads us to others who are seeking community as we are.
I miss the suburbs. This year, I'm going to be intentional about getting to know my physical neighbors and establish a connection of neighborly community with others. I haven't gone the extra mile to reach out, so now it is time! What can we do to connect with those in our circles? Do you find it challenging to find connection? Is this a city vs. suburb thing?