Church can be a wonderful place to go. In fact God wants us to go to church, not just to worship Him, but to fellowship with other believers. And yet, church can also be a very lonely place and I am hearing more and more about cliques and feeling left out. I thought I was the only one but, as I talk to some others, I am hearing the same story. Most feel it is because they are not from the area and, while that may be true to a point, that is not entirely the case. People(like myself) from the congregation who have been there longer than some of the cliques can feel left out. For myself, I know it is because A) I am socially awkward and an extreme introvert and B) once there are several people involved, I cannot hear what is being said due to a partial deafness..... But as I hear others complain about the same thing I wonder how widespread it is. I have witnessed firsthand how cruel cliques can be and sometimes I cannot believe they happen in a church, but, as I talk to others, I realize I am not the only one who feels this way, but, being the socially awkward person I am, I am not sure what to do to make changes. When I had cancer all kinds of people would contact me and stop me to talk. It made me feel like people actually cared, but now that the cancer has been eradicated, all those people are gone. It made/makes me feel like a very lonely object of peoples' sympathy. But I am challenged by what I can do to make a difference in others lives. I realize I am not the only one and so I pray that God can show me how to be a real friend to others. I think right now my biggest obstacle would be my schedule with my kids. Once school is back in session I work during the day and have sole custodianship of my kids as my husband goes back to work second shift so I am the one who must be there for them at night and take them to their activities, but I also know that cultivating friendships of my own is important to my kids whether they realize it or not..... so my prayer is for God to show me how to cultivate friendships.