Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Blessing of Friends

This post might make me look like a loser, but...



About a year and a half ago, I was a bitter woman. I was lonely, really. People think being a housewife is all fun and games {heck, I used to, before I was one} but really it's a lot of un-noticed work combined with loneliness. 

Don't get me wrong, I still love it and all the benefits that come with it, but don't kid yourself: it's harder than it looks

Anyway, back in 2010, I was a bitter girl. I was bitter at the {working}friends I had because I felt invisible to them. I was depressed, I was in a funk. I didn't tell anyone {except my husband and my sister} how lonely I was. 

I had friends, you see, good friends. But they worked, and I didn't. What I needed was mom friends who also stay at home or work at home, friends I could relate to. 

Like-minded friends. 

One day, in fall of 2010, I remember watching through my window as a woman pushed a stroller past my house. I was struck and shocked at my urge to run out the door, introduce myself, and ask if she was as lonely as I am and would like to schedule a playdate. 

I didn't.

She probably 1) was just a nanny, knowing my neighborhood and 2) would have thought I was a total freak running out of my front door shouting "ARE YOU LONELY!?! Because I AM!!!"

But what I did do in that moment was send up a prayer. I was desperate, I was sorrowful, I was lonely, I was tearful, it was the only thing I could do. 

I believe in the type of prayer that is to-the-point and no-nonsense. That's the Lutheran in me. We're not the types to strum a guitar and moan and praise God by repeating the same phrase, something like, "God, just, just, just be with me...lead me..." over and over...

not my thing.

So I prayed, without the "Dear God" or the "Amen," even.

I simply said, "God, send me friends."

I forgot about that prayer until about two weeks later, when my pastor's wife emailed me. She said that another young mom at church had approached her about loneliness and so she was starting a Bible study for young women. It was the answer to my prayers for a while. I immediately benefited from the weekly meetings {which were 80% chatting, 20% Bible study} and my spirits rose, my depression faded.

{During this phase, I even had working friends ask me things like, "Are we okay?" inquiring about our dwindling relationships--since I had stopped responding to the "I need a haircut!" texts after not hearing from these people for months, suddenly they "needed" me... My response, while I wanted to be emotional and say, "NO! It's not okay that the only time you ever think to call me is when you NEED something from me! I'm a person, I exist, and I deserve more!" instead the logical Heather--which is not the mythical creature you might think she is--said, "Yes. I'm just lonely, as a housewife, and I need some stay-at-home-mom friends who can relate to my sort of issues..."}

Then my pastor and his wife up and moved to England and I thought, "Well, that was nice while it lasted..." but since then,

I seem to have accumulated friendships.

In fact, it just hit me, this lazy Sunday afternoon, that I have a busy week ahead of me. Not to mention the busy last couple weeks. Every single day, Monday through Friday, it seems I have scheduled something with a different friend. 

I have recently made several like-minded Lutheran friends, friends who stay at home with their kids, friends who share the same political and moral beliefs as I do, friends who homeschool their children as I want to, friends about to embark on the stay-at-home-mom adventure and are asking me for pregnancy advice, friends who have two daughters around the same age as mine, etc...

I was even recently invited along for a retreat in September to the most gorgeous looking village in Texas, and I will get to meet some of the Lutheran bloggers I've so admired over the last several months.

God has answered my prayers.

What I had once taken so for granted, was given back to me once again--only now I had a new-founded appreciation for just how lovely it is to have like-minded, loving friends.

This post is humbling in that it's sort of embarrassing to admit you once "needed" friends...

It might seem like a silly thing to be in awe of, but I am. I was a very lonely girl a couple years ago. Today, I'm not so lonely. Thanks to the friends, the text messages, the emails... even if they're about seemingly mundane things like Pyrex or crafting or pregnancy questions. I'm feeling very blessed, and I know my short, 4-word prayer in 2010 was heard and answered. 

I have a busy week ahead of me... thank God.
____________________________________________

Don't ever hesistate to present your request to God, 
no matter how mundane your request might seem...

I don't just love God, I love His character. 

"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

6 comments:

  1. The Lord answered your prayers, but He answered ours too by sending us you!

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  2. Aww! I had no idea you were that lonely. I'm so glad I met you and we're able to hang out. God definitely answers prayers. What great post, Heather.

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  3. Heather, I have really enjoyed getting to know you. I love your creativity and eye for beautiful things. I hope we get to know each other even better as the years go by :-)

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  4. Conversational prayer with the Lord is natural and something I have found more and more necessary over the years. One I love [and use the most often] is "Lord, Help me!" Sometime the answer is immediate...other times it takes longer...BUT HE NEVER FAILS TO ANSWER ME! If He answers prayers before we even start asking then He surely responds to quick cries of desperation or praise! Keep talking to the Lord!

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  5. I'm still laughing at the image of you running after some lady, "HEY! I'm LONELY!" I have prayed for friends too. Last year I prayed that God would give me a friend that lived close to me, someone to take walks with, someone who could hang out on a moment's notice, someone to laugh with. I have lots of friends who are so wonderful, but not many that live close. Then God gave me Katie, and that gift was extra special because Katie not only shares my love of books, musicals and sarcastic humor, but she literally lives down the street from me, and I love nothing more than riding my bike to her house like I am 12. God is so good. I am thankful to call you a friend, and I can't wait to get to know you even better from here on out.

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  6. Hooray for answered prayers and new friends! And Lutheran ones at that:)

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