To Be A Friend
Oct 13, 2019 | by Nancy Newbrough
In May I found myself having yet another heated argument with one of my teenage daughters. I left the house crying and went for a walk. I really wanted to talk to another mom, not only for possible suggestions, but also so I could hear that my struggles were not mine alone but were common to mothers of teenagers. I realized with sadness that for the last several years, I have been so focused on taking care of my husband and daughters that I have very much neglected cultivating any friendships of my own.
I did text a Christian lady I knew in the neighborhood that day, and even though we had barely seen each other in the last two years, she said to come on over. We went for a walk and talked, and she prayed with me. This experience made me realize that, especially since my girls are now older and more independent, I really needed to start cultivating deep friendships of my own here in Katy. My best friend lives out of state, and I really had no women here I felt comfortable calling to just meet for lunch, go to a movie, etc.
After praying about it, I felt God calling me to start a neighborhood women's friendship group. Knowing that the summer would be crazy, I decided to start the group in September. As September approached, I felt more and more anxious. What if no one came? What if people thought it was a stupid idea? I emailed our lead pastor's wife with my idea and asked for her input, freely admitting that I was apprehensive about throwing my idea out there and inviting people to come. She graciously met with me, helped me clarify my ideas of what the group would be, gave me some very helpful suggestions, and then prayed about it with me.
After going through the contacts on my phone, I texted all the women I already knew in my neighborhood (not many) and invited them to attend the group. I also posted about the group to our subdivision on Nextdoor online community.
At our first meeting, six women showed up -- three that I already knew and three that had seen my post on Nextdoor. We had a wonderful time just talking and getting to know each other. Every single one thanked me for starting the group, and several even expressed that, like me, they had been feeling kind of isolated and lonely. We made a group text list and agreed to meet again in two weeks.
The second meeting was just as great with one new lady joining us. Several other ladies have told me that they plan to attend our next meeting. One of the original ladies even volunteered to have it at her house this time. Others have also said they would like to host.
We have not expressly talked about religion, but I know that these ladies are from several different world religions and denominations. As we get to know each other and true friendships develop, I pray that we will be able to openly share our religious beliefs as well as everything else in our lives.
When I saw the announcement video Sunday in church about the Alpha ministry that is launching in January, I immediately got the info and said, "I am in!" I will invite all the women in the friendship group to attend, as well as anyone else I can think of.
And, not only has the women's group been great, but as an extra blessing from God, I have gotten together just for fun twice now with one of the women I invited to the friendship group, but who was not able to attend due to prior commitments. We have also texted back and forth several times.
Not feeling so isolated anymore has also helped me to get along better with my daughters. Now when there is conflict, I can reach out to another mom who understands what I am going through. My husband is awesome, but obviously cannot exactly understand what being a mom or a woman is like. I truly needed some good women friends, and God has provided!
Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 5:4 NLT