Giving Blood, Receiving Friendship

This autumn season has been a particularly lonely one, as I described in my post Sojourners. My old group of friends is winnowing down to a few faithful ones, and my new group of friends is mostly still in that semi-awkward stage. I feel my world tilting, and I’m waiting for it to balance in the direction God has planned.

Yesterday I decided to stave off the loneliness by going to the blood drive here in town. I had a busy enough day without that–piano lessons for the oldest boys in the morning, a dentist appointment for Elijah in the afternoon. But I got back from the dentist in Pratt in time to make it to the blood drive.

(When I sent Will a text saying that I was giving blood, he replied, Bleed well, sweetie.)

At the door, I met Andrea.  Will is working on her dad’s ranch house. She welcomed me warmly and signed me in. While I was waiting in line, Mary Lou came over and gave me a hug. “How are you doing?” she asked. Mary Lou is one of the most motherly people I know. Her simple question made me cry. But she didn’t mind. She stayed beside me and talked until the nurse called me back.

While I was “bleeding well,” I chatted with the nurse about kids and schedules and different kinds of blood donations. Another nice lady brought me orange juice and commiserated with me about marrying a last name that nobody can spell.

All done, I walked to the food table and sat across from Mike, who is part of the book club I joined. I found out that he is an ambulance driver and I told him about my two years as an EMT working for a volunteer EMS. We also talked about books and dogs while we ate our sandwiches.

Heading downstairs to fetch my kids from the nursery, I passed Judy, Betty, and Kandace. They are all lovely women, and they all took time to acknowledge me in some way.

And then, when I turned from buckling Keane into his car seat, I saw Pastor Paul crossing the street. He came over just to say hi to me! You’ve got to live in a new town to realize how special that is.

I drove away, cheered. When a person receives comfort from a new place, it means that place is becoming home.

8 thoughts on “Giving Blood, Receiving Friendship

    1. Yes, Will’s job helps! We also have met a lot of people through going to various churches/church events, town events, on walks around the neighborhood, library book club, community choir practice, and that sort of thing. It’s a stretch for introverts like us, but we usually end up enjoying ourselves!


  1. Kelly Kauffman

    I love this post. I can feel all the emotions you described, in the lonely “before” feeling and the emotionally recharged “after” feeling. Praising God with you!


  2. Lydia

    Catching up on your blog…and loving it!….and just wanted to thank you for this post. We are most likely going to be moving to Philly this fall and it looks so big to me. I’m dreading the alone feeling and trying to make new connections etc. And yet, your post made me realize that if we put ourselves “out there”, we will make new friendships and connections too. But…it still feels scary! 🙂


    1. Getting to know people is what I have enjoyed most about moving to a new town, even though I’m an introvert! Being stripped of family and old friends can be hard, but it also frees up big chunks of time to invest in and enjoy other people. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised how fulfilling it is. 🙂 God bless your journey!


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