She answered my questions with the minimums –one sentence or two at the most. And, try as I might, she kept responding to my best-friendly with no leading comments of her own, and then she delivered the ultimate subtle-shut-down.
She asked no questions of me, the New Girl, at all.
And so I busied myself with watching Ava play, and I tried not to take the social rejection too seriously. I tried not to think about all the questions I’d like to ask her about this new place I’ve landed, and I ignored the loneliness of isolation, again, that started to creep in. I told myself that the tears I blinked back were irrational at best, and that this woman sharing my space had probably just had a bad morning. I reminded myself that she couldn’t have known that we Parkers had been waiting all week for this chance to interact with other expat moms and kids. She couldn’t have understood how much hope we had put in this morning.
And I get it, I do. She’s been here for years, not months. And her plate is full already–with activities and friendships and ministry and kids. I was there, honestly, just six months ago in a quaint mountain town in Colorado. I was struggling to pursue the friendships I already had, and spotting new moms at the park found me a bit less eager to exchange numbers for fear that I wouldn’t, actually, have the time to call, after all.
But, this week I tasted New Girl, and I am still choking on the bitter. I tried to connect and fit in to this culture of other expat missionary moms, and I found that maybe I’m more square-peg than I thought. I was reminded that white faces don’t automatically erase gulfs of culture and generation and personality and beliefs.
And, once again, I’m driven to a loneliness that begs for the One Who Doesn’t Leave.
And I remember in my core that sometimes a lack of water makes for deeper, stronger roots.
And I know that this is a season for me as New Girl. And I know that, perhaps, eventually, I’ll be the one logging years, instead of months. Maybe one day, I’ll be the girl with more answers than questions on this piece of foreign soil. But, I pray that when that day arrives, I’ll keep enough margin in my schedule and in my heart to speak vulnerable. To ask questions. And to get the New Girl’s number.
And then make the time to call it.
How about you? Are you tasting New Girl or Seasoned Girl right now, regardless of where you call home? What are the challenges of each in forming new friendships?