Day 4: When you Need Someone To Lean On
I’m spending each day here in the month of October writing about finding beauty in the everyday mess. Before you think I’m an expert on this topic, let me confess: I’ve likely already lost my temper, prayed that I could have a solo vacation, and held back frustrated tears this morning. I’m far from having this mastered. I’m writing here transparently so that you and I might grow in seeking His daily extravagant beauty. So pull up a chair and get ready to dive into the mess with me, knowing that somewhere in this mess is a beauty that only God can craft.
She’s almost crying as she laughs and tells about the absurdity of her day over our bowl of shared popcorn.
There were chocolate bars thieved from the pantry before breakfast. Chunks of beautiful thick hair strewn all over the kitchen. A toddler had used a bucket of mud to paint the bathroom door iron oxide red.
We all smile knowingly, and whisper consoling words. And all three of us laugh when she whispers that she thought about sampling a hand-crafted beer while she cooked dinner in silence with the misbehaving children on their beds.
This two hour period every other Tuesday night is our Oasis. We laugh, we cry, we vent, we point each other to the gospel. But most of all Tuesday night is where I enter most fully into the body of Christ. These two ladies and I share our daily mess in a real way, we encourage each other to keep loving, and we deal with the sin in our hearts.
We meet to drink deeply of the grace of Jesus Christ that sustains us.
This type of community is new to me. I am an introvert. Lots of people see me comfortable in a leadership roll and assume the opposite. But when my type A personality isn’t in charge, I shrink to the status of wall flower. I’d rather go repelling off cliffs than try to make a friend in a group of people. Even the social interaction of a photo session with a client often wears me out. Add in the pressure of mompetition and you’re likely to find me quiet at most every social event.
Yet, I still crave meaningful heart level interaction and sometimes leave social events in tears. I still feel like I’m the only one.
My Tuesday Night Oasis did not happen by accident. I singled out a group of 8 women who I wanted to get to know more. I invited them over to read a book together and promised chocolate. Chocolate had all 8 of them show up…. or maybe they sort of liked me. The group whittled itself down to just us three within 6 weeks.
One of the girls I have known for 5-6 years in various settings. I’ve always liked her, but it took a very structured time for us to both open up. The other girl I invited based solely on a single conversation at a Mom’s night out.
I had waited nearly 6 years after leaving college to make real friends. And these two (and a few others) are finally here. But here’s what I wish I had known: Hospitality, even in the midst of your daily mess, and a willingness to share is what creates the space for friendship. Don’t wait for friendship to find you. Instead, seek out the people you want to know better and let Jesus work out the details.