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I’m at the point where I crave connection or interaction with others–not in a weird way, I promise.

Hear me out.

Currently, I’m working a couple part-time/freelance jobs, so I spend a lot of time alone. I’m introverted, so I enjoy some time alone, but I’m at the point where I feel as if the majority of my time is spent alone. I need interaction–human interaction.

I love connecting with others. It’s great to sit down and listen to someone’s story. How they got to where they are now–because everyone has a story–and I believe those stories need to be heard. Stories that inspire and are full of hope. Stories that are funny and stories that might bring a tear to your eye. I’ve learned in my short amount of life on this earth that everyone just wants to be heard.

I used to say that I was a good listener, but now I understand more of what comes with listening. You’re engaging with what the person is telling you. There’s something inside of you that relates to that person’s emotion, the smile on their face or the tear running down their cheek. You feel it in your heart, your gut. Whatever emotion it is, you feel it. And that, my friends, is connection.

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You can really find connection through anything, but what I love most is connection through people. I think of the many people, that, over the years spent time listening to me talk about MY story. They listened and I felt heard. I always wonder if they know how much that meant. Some, spent hours and others spent mere minutes, but it was a connection of the heart.

The connection I felt with Maria Long, Nick Snell and Andrea Jakobsons as a sophomore in a public high school attending a youth rally at Andrews or the constant connection I feel with Greg Creek, once as a camp counselor and now as a friend, or the connection with my closest friends, even those that I’ve known longer. The families I’ve felt apart of with the Dorans, Mitzelfelts, and Cooks. My church family here in Tennessee–I don’t believe it to be coincidence that it’s named “Connect” or my newest family–those that have gone through the True You Climb and Flight workshops.

These connections started and continue this web of something I can’t even describe, like arteries or veins all connecting to one important source, the heart. My heart.

I’m not sure how your heart works, but mine pumps blood to keep me alive. My heart feels a lot–something that my brain can’t always explain. It feels joy and sorrow, hurt and pain, happiness and love. It skips a beat when excited and beats quickly when nervous. It makes me feel alive inside.

It’s funny being in the Seventh-day Adventist world because you find the longer you’re alive, the more people you know, add that to the same structure of the State Farm Insurance world (from my parents working there) and it seems like I’m connected to the entire world. I used to hate it, but I love it now. I couldn’t go anywhere without people stopping me (or my family) because they knew me. (Or since a few years ago, my picture is almost on anything that promotes Southern. It’s my little claim to fame, but you’d be surprised the amount of people who recognize you because they see your face, everywhere.)

But now, I embrace the connection. It’s something not everyone has the opportunity to experience. I look at the connections I’ve made over the years, as many blessings God has given me. MANY blessings, so many I can’t even begin to name all of them, for fear of forgetting one.

So what about you?

Don’t be afraid to connect to others, especially those that are different than you are. You have no idea what kind of impact you could have on a person or vice versa.

So join. link. associate. combine. unite. connect.

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