For When You Really Want a Friend
I get quite a few emails from moms who feel so lonely, and who are desperate for a friend, but can’t seem to find anyone. This is for them, for you…
I know you’re tired. I know you’re trying to invest in your family, but you’re just really lonely and really in need of a friend. You’ve tried to reach out but it seems like no one needs another friendship. It’s hard to initiate, and sometimes you just wish someone would call you up and invite you and your kids over to spend time together. You feel like you don’t have the strength to do anymore, but you need something.
Let me say this first: God hears you.
He hears you and sees into your heart and He knows the broken and lonely places. He knows your longings, and He knows about your weariness. He hears you and He cares, so don’t stop crying out to Him. He is not ignoring your cries, so you keep praying and asking Him for a friend and/or a mentor to walk alongside you.
This is a trial for you, and I want to tell you to hang on to Him. Hang on for dear life and trust Him through this hardship. You will get through it. You will.
Next, write down a list of people you’d like to get together with, or get to know. Perhaps they are from your neighborhood or your church, or someone you met in the grocery store, or even online. Invite them into your home for coffee. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, you don’t have to clean like crazy and make sure everything is just right. Make it comfortable enough, and then leave it alone. It’s okay if you’re two-year old is getting into everything, and someone is fighting with someone else, this is real life. But at least you’ve reached out and invited someone into the real. And you know what, it’s okay to put on a movie for the babes while you talk with a friend. It’s okay to strap said two-year old into a highchair with a snack while you and your friend chat at the table. It’s okay.
But here’s the hardest part: you’ve got to get uncomfortable. What I mean is, you’ve to be willing to push past your fears and exhaustion if you want a friendship.
If you get invited to spend time with other people, go. Make the time, find a way. My husband and I have taken the leap to travel to see friends we met online.
Find a local church that has a weekly bible study that offers childcare. I attended my church’s bible study this past year and it was so good for me to get out with other women, and my children loved the time they had in childcare (mainly because they’re with me all the time and loved getting away with other kids!).
One more idea: Invite a family over for an easy pizza dinner with paper plates! It’s a no fuss, easy way to get together with other people. Or hey, it’s summer time, have a cookout and invite the neighbors. Hot dogs are cheap and easy as well, and the kids can play outside!
The truth is, friendships take work and time, and there is really no other way around it. My best advice is to keep things laid back and honest. Don’t try and prepare a feast with real plates and a perfectly clean home when you have little ones underfoot. Keep it simple. Let life breathe.
And remember this, while you think no one else is looking for a friend, or that people already have established friendships, I promise you there are tons of women who feel exactly like you do, and I bet they’re in your town, your church, your neighborhood. Don’t assume. Reach out in faith.
This season will not last forever. It gets easier! Your kids grow older, you get less tired (sleeping through the night, yay!), and you are able to do more. You will have more energy, you will have more time. Hang in there!
You are never alone,