“None of us are made to deal with life alone. All of us, even introverts, are made for relationship, to experience God’s grace through our dearest friends around us.” -Sally, Desperate
“A woman alone in her home, with sinful children and a messy house and she’s sinful and selfish, and mundane tasks everyday becomes a target for satan.” -Sally, Desperate
Here’s the thing, I know that for some of you making time for a friend feels impossible.
You have little ones, and perhaps you’re pregnant, and you’re just tired. You are worn out, and the thought of having people over exhausts you. I remember those feelings.
A few years ago when I had two babes, my husband and I hosted a small group, that really wasn’t so small! We had 18 people in our home (all couples), but we were the only ones with children. At this time my babes went to bed at 6:30 at night, so it was fun to have friends over, and it was easy. When I became pregnant with my third, I was sick (I was sick with all my pregnancies). Think Kate Middleton in the hospital I.V. sick, that was me. And of course I was super tired. I told my husband, “I can’t do small group anymore, I’m just too tired.” He said to me, “if we stop doing it, these friendships will fade away because that’s what happens when you stop getting together.” I thought he was crazy. Of course our friendships will weather me needing a break!
He was right.
It’s been four years since I’ve had Caroline and we haven’t hosted or been in a small group since.
The tiredness took over my life, everything felt hard, and I didn’t want to do one extra thing. Friendship even felt too hard.
Our group of friends moved their small group to another’s home, and to this day they meet and encourage one another, they have children now, and it’s a good thing. But we missed the boat.
And honestly, I didn’t mind. Like I said, I was tired and life was overwhelming. So if you are in that place, I completely get you.
(you knew that was coming, right?)
The longer I kept to myself, the more lonely and depressed I became. I craved alone time, and just wanted everyone to leave me alone. When writing Desperate I told Sally, “I’m just a loner.” In which she promptly said, “No! You might be independent but God made you for relationships! We are not meant to be loners! You need a friend, and you need accountability, because a woman alone in her home, depressed, and with sinful children and your own sinful bent, is a target for satan.”
The truth is, I still struggle with cultivating friendships, but I’m getting better. I used to love to host small group studies in my home before my babies stayed up past 6:30 at night, but I’m committed to finding new ways to bring women together, to mentor, to be mentored, and to lift each other up. Right now I’m in a bible study at our new church because I’m trying to meet new friends. And when that study is done, I’m probably going to go back to leading a small group women’s study in my home because I miss it. Sure, I’ll have to figure out what that looks like with kids staying up until 8pm, but there are ways and God is kind. Perhaps I’ll have the study in Starbucks instead of my home until my children get a bit older. I don’t know yet, but I do know this: I refuse to be a loner.
In chapter 2 (The Go-It-Alone Culture) I share the need for a mentor and advocate, and Sally talks about the need for friendships and initiating your own groups.
- How are you cultivating friendships?
- Are you a part of a small group?
- Do you get together regularly with friends?
- What holds you back from being a part of a group of women?
- How do you make a group work with small children?
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