Someone made a comment to me the other day about facebook, saying she was glad she "never got into all that." It made me a little sad. Not because facebook is the greatest thing ever, but because it's so encouraging to me. My news feed is full of people quoting scripture, recommending good books, delighting in their children, or sharing big news. People link to interesting articles, convicting blog posts, all sorts of things. It just made me appreciate the community that has been built and thankful for the people who are my facebook friends. Like anything else, facebook can be a total time waster or a blessing, depending on who you're experiencing it with. I love my little facebook community. Also, someone who has blessed me DEEPLY posted this:
This train of thought got me thinking about my offline community, which I really, REALLY love. When I quit working, I really had no idea how we would, or should, spend our days. I was super picky about what I would commit my time to. I joined a Bible study, which was awesome. And I ended up joining a playgroup, too. Since I've left my job, I've spent time each week with these women, getting to know them and their stories, and sharing mine. I've also deepened friendships I already had, through playdates and long chats on the phone over naptime, while cleaning house. The other day, those relationships were so desperately needed and appreciated and I've been thinking about what a blessing that awful morning was ever since. It was a playgroup day and all I wanted to do was feed my little people and get them dressed. Small, humble, goals. It wasn't going well. At one point, I was LITERALLY crying on the floor, asking the Lord to please give me patience. I won't go into the details but it just wasn't pretty. I seriously contemplated calling Tom and asking him to come home IMMEDIATELY and help me. But, the Lord must have had mercy on me because all 3 of us were fed and dressed eventually. However, I was completely shaken. I kept thinking about what I would have done that morning if I'd had an infant to care for as well. I clearly wasn't handling the two I had very well. Much less a baby. In the middle of this, a good friend called, completely unsuspecting of what she was about to deal with. Bless her heart, she called for a random quick question and by the end of it I was crying (again) in a parking lot while she was speaking truth over me about parenting, God's sovereignty, and reassuring me Walker wouldn't grow up to be a drug lord. I got off the phone knowing someone was praying for me and remembering truth found in scripture. So I got to playgroup. Someone immediately asked me what was wrong, which triggered another round of tears. Bless their hearts, both women there teared up and commiserated with me. No problems were solved that morning, but I was heard. I could cry, be validated, encouraged, and remember that I wasn't in this alone. It was such an invaluable gift they gave me that day. There was no judgement, no shame in admitting what I was feeling and facing, just loving words. I left having cried all my makeup off but feeling better and lighter than I had in months. That's been a few weeks ago, but even writing this makes me tear up thinking about how alone and lost I was feeling and the kindess of my little community turned it around. My life is fuller and richer than I ever imagined it could be, due to time spent in the company of my sweet friends.
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.