Being a stay at home mom with a four month old baby was a very lonely season in my life. I was forty two years old and had just been married for two years. The majority of my life was interacting in the world with other adults. I had friends in my life, but no moms with a new born.
I remember holding my precious baby in my lap rocking him to sleep and tears running down my cheeks. I didn’t want to spend my days by myself and I wanted my son to have friends too.
My church is a very large church. Groups are created by individual members who put ads about themselves on our Churches website. There are groups for bible study, home school, scrapbooking, biking, running, quilting, food ministry, and on and on the list goes.
Desperate to meet others, I prayed and checked out this website. Sure enough, I found what I was looking for, a playgroup for moms with small children and babies. Seven years later our group still meets. I love these ladies!!!
Finding a community of friends is not easy. We don’t always connect with those who participate. This is normal. It takes time, effort, and a willingness to take risks.
For many of us we want to have friends, but fear keeps us from taking the first step to reach out and introduce ourselves.
Maybe we might fear rejection. What will others think of my parenting, my home, or the way I dress?
Or perhaps we had a bad experience from a past group of friends.
Or were just plain tired of people wearing masks and not being real?
The comparison trap may be what’s chaining us down, and choking us out.
We might be going through some really tough times and we don’t want anyone to know about it because we are full of shame. We worry that nobody would understand.
Whatever it is, we must remember that there are others out there who are broken and lonely too.
I’m sincerely thankful for those who have reached out to me. And in time, I learned that they were having a rough time in life. Yet they chose to be a friend and give.
It’s those who know about painful seasons in life that often times are the very people that understand how to comfort others.
And when we comfort others it gets our mind off of our own problems and helps us see that we are not in the pit by ourselves.
As a Christian I want to be like Jesus, step out of my comfort zone, and love others.
I realize that in order to be like Jesus I need to be more concerned about others then myself.
I’m learning that it really is better to give then to receive. I feel better when I get up and do something for someone else.
But sometimes I’m too tired. How about you? We give and give until our buckets are empty. Sometimes we just need a place to rest.
It’s important that we find those friends and communities where we can just be ourselves, sit, cry, vent, and laugh.
A friend invited me to join a group with other Moms that met twice a month. My insides shivered as I wondered.
Do I want to be known and do others want to know me?
My friend invited me to MOPS and I was encouraged because other Moms did want to know me.
MOPS – Is an amazing place to find real community. It’s a place to share our resources, time, friendship, support, and share our story.
When I set my foot into my first MOPS group meeting, I paused, put my own self on the shelf and listened deeply. I watched people’s interactions and expressions.
This is what I saw, Moms walking in their gifts and talents serving, Moms exhausted like me just needing to sit, cry, and smile without words. And by the way that’s a pretty vulnerable posture to be in, isn’t it?
Let me leave you with this, sometimes we need to put ourselves in uncomfortable situations so that we can learn to be a friend. Our personal life doesn’t have to be perfect for others to like us.
An authentic community creates long term friendships that support one another in sincere love.
Where is God calling you to meet others? Maybe it is MOPS, Bible Study, Community Group, Play Groups.
Wherever you go,be a friend. Put others before yourself and be set free from isolation.
*Linking up with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. Come join us and be inspired.
Following is another great post about Friendship and MOPS
Jenny – Who Needs Acceptance?- http://motheringwithasideofwhine.com/…/who-needs…/