The Power of Gathering Around the Table for Deeper Friendships
Sharing Meals Can Lead to Meaningful Connections and Stronger Relationships
Every move was exciting and I loved the idea of starting fresh in a new city and school. It made me adaptable, friendly, and resilient but it didn’t really allow for deep roots to grow in friendship.
Growing up I moved a lot. Every 2-3 years my dad’s job required him and I to move. I’ve lived in California, Florida, Indiana, all across the state of Ohio, finally landing for good in Dayton when I was 15. Every move was exciting and I loved the idea of starting fresh in a new city and school. It made me adaptable, friendly, and resilient but it didn’t really allow for deep roots to grow in friendship.
By the time I was 15, habits had already started forming in me to be somewhat guarded with who I trusted because friendships had always been temporary. Eventually Dayton became a permanent home for me: I met my high school sweetheart (now husband), I graduated high school and college, got married, and started growing our family. And yet, those habits in friendship I learned throughout my childhood continued to have an impact on my relationships.
Fast forward and I am a 28 year old mom of a young child and desperate for friendship. I felt the Lord stirring in me to leave my comfort zone and say yes to uncomfortable opportunities and in following that lead I found myself around the table with a group of women.
During that dinner, I heard women candidly speaking about life and God, not in a superficial way but in a deep and genuine way. I experienced a taste of grace and the word of God in Galatians 6:2 come to life as these women bore one another’s light and heavy burdens. From that moment on, I knew that this was the type of relational connection I wanted to seek out and be a part of.
In the last 4 years as we have continued to meet around the table, the table has gotten smaller and more intimate. This decision to sabbath together from striving and instead meet around the table to rest has changed everything. I can no longer hide behind doing but instead I have peeled back the layers of protection I had built around my heart like a fortress. My soul has room to breath and become more alive now.
In 2020 I wrote these words, “But even in the midst of uncertainty, I see glimpses of God’s grace in my circumstances—a compassionate husband, friendships I can admit my heartaches too (this is an answer to a many years long prayer), a reconciled relationship I had no idea was weighing so heavily on me, and a book by Emily P. Freeman called the Next Right Thing. All of these things have breathed life into my aching heart and have pointed me to the One who blesses, restores, strengthens, and gives abundantly.”
This has become even more evident as I have deliberately invested in my friend’s lives around the table. Each one of us has walked through grief and celebration in our time together. I have reveled in the absolute gift of experiencing joy and sorrow together. We have pointed one another to Christ and spurred each other on in doing good. I am forever changed and growing as we continue to do life in community together.
…”I experienced a taste of grace as the word of God in Galatians 6:2 come to life. They were women who bore one another’s light and heavy burdens. From that moment on, I knew that this was the type of relational connection I wanted to seek out and be a part of. ”Bethany Weaver
With an awe-filled heart and praise to God I see the roots of friendship deepening, it all started with uncomfortably accepting an invitation to gather around the table.
I encourage you to bravely accept that invitation from the friend who recently reached out. Let’s be brave together and invite a friend to join you for coffee, after all we have both wanted to do that for awhile. Let the table be a beacon of hope for you too. He will meet you there because meeting around the table is his invitation too. He prepares a table for you to grow and become who you are meant to be, what goodness!
About the Author:
Bethany is an Etsy shop owner and wholehearted maker and crafter. In her free time, she enjoys exploring new foods and hobbies, embracing the joy of discovery, and always learning along the way. Her dream Saturday would be trying a new breakfast place, lazily perusing a bookstore, and stopping by a vendor market to pick up all the fresh ingredients for a new dinner recipe…and if it’s summer, a dip in the pool 🙂
Make sure to check out all her beautiful creations here.
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