5 more days of work. 13 more days before our debrief retreat. 19 more days as a Raleigh Fellow. These numbers really sunk in this past weekend when 11 of us goons and 1 brave director (the best in the nation, I might add) trekked up and down 95 to DC. We got to spend time with other fellows programs around the country during a very cool National Fellows Conference. Although my favorite part of the weekend was the time our group got to be together. There is something sacred about that word: together. Together is where belonging happens. When you’re together with people, loneliness isn’t as close. Together is part of the essence of God. He is always with us, never leaving nor forsaking us in our path; He is together with us.

I was recently listening to a Brene Brown podcast on trust (it can be found on Oprah’s super soul conversations. . . Thanks Emily Magnus for the best suggestions). In the podcast, Brown discusses that trust is formed in friendships like marbles being filled up in a marble jar. We all share the small moments together in life, each of the moments like a marble being added to a jar. The more full the jar, the more trust is built. Brown says, “Trust is built one marble at a time.” I am thankful that I’ve had a lot of small moments of trust and marble jar friendships this year because of the fellows program. It’s all because the fellows has invited us to simply be. This invitation is not just to be alone, but be together. Together in fellowship with one another, but most importantly with God. Some of these moments have included Roundtable and class discussions where the fellows have shared crumbs of our heart cakes with one another (s/o—that’s an analogy I got from Amy Gross). It’s been the moments in the Daniel’s kitchen around their island where once strangers have become family. Moments on walks with beloved friends where they decided to lean into deep friendship instead of walking away. It’s been the moments at Sola with my mentor Laura where we’ve collectively tried everything on the drink menu during our Monday meetings. It’s been the small giggles of Amy and I’s 6th grade girls at youth group every Sunday night. Moments shared with my favorite 3rd grader, London, across the table during Neighbor to Neighbor where dance breaks have become a requirement of our tutoring time. It’s been the times of together at work where my co-worker Ruthie has taken time to encourage me and make sure I feel important as a team member.

These have been my marble jar moments. These have been the times that filled up my jar of trust and make Raleigh feel like home. The times of together. May we cling to them and fight for them each day. For we were not made to do this life by ourselves, but together.