It doesn't really change, as adults we still long to belong. We want to know someone has got our back, that someone will pick up our kids when we can't, that we can laugh, cry, pray and eat with others who know us.
Saturday night we gathered together with "our group". After nine years, our group is a little like a family. We've been through a lot with each other and have stacked up some history. Recently we decided our gathering needed to change, life had taken us to new places, and what we had been doing wasn't working anymore. We now meet less often but it felt more rich. I love that we mean enough to each other to re-evaluate and not just quit when it gets complicated.
I looked at this group of friends as we gathered to begin our study (also being done in a new format) and told them how much they all meant to me...and I teared up. Nine years is a long time. Courtney was 9 when we first were invited to join them - she is now at college. We've walked each other through a lot. Our lives criss-cross significantly more now that our kids are older. We can relax with each other, let our quirkiness leak out and know its OK (they know we're quirky anyway). We know each others strengths...and weaknesses.
Right now our church leaders are urging everyone to get in a small group. Have dinner, do a study and pray together. I believe in this. I think it's easy to feel alone; we don't have family within 500 miles and yet we have what, at many times, feels life family within this group...all because we took a risk and showed up for Zesty Cheese Soup and a Bible study one fall evening.
Whose hand are you holding? Do you know who you are having lunch with? If you know these answers, awesome. If you don't, look around and see whose table you want to join and invite them over for dinner. Let's all do this life together.