Living overseas as a newlywed, there are things I’ve realized that I need in my life… peanut butter, hazelnut coffee creamer, Febreeze, and community… with Peruvians, Gringos, dogs, babies, I don’t care. I just need community.
I need people to talk to when I have burdens, people to grab coffee with when my husband is away, and people who can speak wisdom into my life. I was blessed to have those people in the States, but here in Lima it’s totally different.
I feel like I have a false sense of community.
There are people I work with- fellow expats and teachers and newlyweds. There are translator friends. There is my husband’s family (and their wild, adorable kids). There are Gringo missionaries.
All of these people exist in Lima, and all of them provide me with a false sense of community.
They say hey to me at school. They make small talk about the weather, or our Peruvian husbands, or something trivial. They talk about their busy lives, schedules, families, etc. They talk about things on the surface… nothing real.
None of these people know what has been on my heart lately. None of these people has encouraged me with decisions about being an expat in Peru. None of these people text me when my husband is traveling asking if I need girl time or dinner. None of these people know the big things my husband and I have been talking through lately. Nobody knows.
In a way, I like that. I like the secrecy and the privacy of our life. I like that our life belongs to us and God in a very personal way. We talk to family and friends, but not about the deep stuff.
But then in a way, I regret not having someone besides my husband to talk to . I miss the outlet that friends provide- when I can freely speak things and reveal secrets kept inside for so long. I’m sad I don’t have a group of girlfriends (or even just one for crying out loud) who live close and can spend quality time with me. God knows I need it.
We have had attempts at community, don’t get me wrong… Lunch with another couple like us, in which they talked about their kid the whole time. Dinner with missionaries who were super kind and loving and friendly, but didn’t talk about real life stuff. Dinner with another friend who talked nonstop about her travels and working with translating. We signed up for a small group at a church, and were never contacted. We spent 6 hours with a friend of a friend (and her friends) and I said maybe a total of 50 words.
All of these encounters have left me dry and wanting real, true community. Not just a few hours of friendly conversation, but friendship.
It hurts, it really does. Knowing that lots of my friends in the States who are in the same phase of life as me have community… with their work, church, neighbors… and here I am longing for that. I try not to be jealous, and instead be thankful that I have a husband who lets me talk his ears off (bless his heart), and lets me cry when I need to. I am thankful that he is my community these days, but I can’t help wishing for more.
So pray for me, y’all, please? Pray for me as I find a place to fit in down here in Lima and find true community. Not the false kind, but authentic friendships and relationships that are uplifting and encouraging.
And, because I have so many great friends back home whom I miss…