I’ve always been sort of a loner. What can I say, I was the girl who willingly spent 90 minutes alone in a darkroom developing pictures. The girl who wore out a single mattress spring right under where her elbow rested to write in her journals. The girl who cut her finger with her own pocket knife while playing pioneer in the woods alone.
I do alone well. I’m stubborn and I want things my way, and if we’re doing a group project, well, I’ll just do it all thank-you-very-much.
But I can’t do alone well. I’m pretty sure no one can.
God Himself exists in relationship: Father, Spirit, Son. He made us in his image. He made us to crave relationship.
When I am alone, I am weak.
Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:11-12
One February in college my fellow Outdoor Leadership Major, Whitney, suggested we take two never-been-camping-before Hawaiians out into the woods. It was 60 degrees on campus, so we packed up our gear and headed a mere 35 minutes into the mountains.
When we arrived our path was covered with 1-2 inches of snow mostly turned ice. Yet we were there, so we paid for our permit and made the best of it. In middle of the night, I awoke freezing in my 45 degree rated bag on top of that block of ice beneath the tent. I had never been so cold. I listened to the breathing of my tent-mates, all of whom were mere acquaintances.
“We’re all awake aren’t we?” I whispered.
It was the coldest night of our lives. We rearranged our tent. Spread two sleeping bags underneath all of us and the other two on top. Topped it all off with a pair of silver emergency blankets. Ate our meager provisions of pop tarts and took turns in the middle through the rest of that long cold night.
I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t had tent mates that evening, the ranger would have found me in the morning and taken me to the hospital.
But it’s not just on a foolish camping trip on ice without the right gear that having people around your really matters. I need relationship daily. To spur me on to grow me. To show me sin. To help me change.
For me, this has been especially apparent since the birth of baby #3. I sort of had it under control when the it was just the twins. Sure, there were hard days, but strings of them were rare. Even waddling around 9 months pregnant things were pretty much okay.
Then came Sedryn. Suddenly, I had more babies than hands, limited sleep, a need to sit down and nurse for 20+ minutes every 3 hours, and not many places to go. To top it all off his first few months of life were the dead of winter. My church small group had broken up and we had not hooked up with a new one. I was the new girl in my ladies bible study group and my MOPS group and because of the newborn couldn’t make it to most evening events. And I was a mess. Some days I cried more than the kids did.
And God used this time to humble me. I made calls to friends in tears exclaiming “How do I do this?” in between sobs. I got roped into a new church small group. My MOPS friends became a lifeline. I cried so hard in Ladies Bible Study and left with so many hugs and encouragement.
I couldn’t do it alone. (You can’t do it alone.)
So when Holley (and God) selected me for this God-Sized Dream Team, I immediately told friends (really… that’s not in my nature). But I wanted and Holley asked us to have encouraging friends to be accountable to during our dream season. I have two main ones right now (and I’m sure throughout my season of growth these main supporters will grow and change and evolve and He sees fit).
First, I want you to meet Julia.
That’s Julia with her sweet family when they were here visiting in September 2011. If you’ve hung out here on this blog for awhile, I’m sure you’ve met Julia. We wrote a series on True Beauty together. Julia’s twin girls are a mere 5 months younger than mine and we bonded over those crazy early months of nursing twins on no sleep via our blogs. For about 7 months we just exchanged raising twin baby ideas… and then we got the crazy idea to read a book together over the phone because both of us needed bible study and couldn’t manage to go anywhere consistently with our needy babies! Then, her husband Brad (who is a sarcastic nutcase with a really sweet tender side) surprised Julia with a trip out to meet me right before Sedryn came along.
Julia is now one of three very best friends. She’s not afraid to tell me like it is (ouch). She lets me bounce ideas off of her. Julia thinks very differently than I do and it challenges me to understand different viewpoints. I’m honored that she’s willing to walk through this season (and this life) of God-sized dreaming.
Holley also asked us to ‘buddy’ up with a fellow God-sized Dream Team member. I was lucky enough to pick Laurie.
Laurie is a mom of 4 girls, two adopted from foster care. She’s a life coach and her smile is infectious. Since the two of us have just been paired together, I can’t tell you much about her yet. We’re Skyping together on Friday. My palms are sweating just thinking about it, but at the same time I’m super excited to both learn from her God-sized dream journey and encourage her/receive encouragement from her. It’s going to a wild sweet ride.
How about you? Who supports you on your journey?