Hello Friends! I hope this post finds you well. I must apologize for being absent the last several weeks, I have been working on a new book, launching a podcast and gearing up to host a conference in September. It is a busy time! It is my hope to be able to write at least once a week here on the blog going forward, but we will have to see how the Lord leads. Today, I thought it would be fun to share a snippet out of Friendship Matters Cultivating Meaningful Connections in an Isolated World which is the book my best friend Rebekah Hargraves and I wrote together in 2020.
Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: What? You too? I thought I was the only one! – C. S Lewis
Share Your Story
In August of 2017 I walked into our local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group for the first time. I did not know anyone who attended, and setting foot into those doors was intimidating and out of my comfort zone. At the time, I was a hurting and scared momma. I had just recently found out I was pregnant with our “rainbow baby” (Zachariah) after miscarrying our second pregnancy earlier that spring. I didn’t know how to process being pregnant after a loss. I can only credit God for bringing me to that particular table at which I sat that morning. As we went around the table to introduce ourselves, the question of how many children we each had came up. This is not an unusual question for a mothers group; I had even halfway expected it. That morning, though, it broke me. I remember fumbling through my words as I tried to explain that I had a two-year-old, had lost a baby back in April, and was now newly pregnant with a baby I hadn’t bonded with yet—because what if I lost it, too? As I choked and sobbed through this explanation, our discussion leader—now a friend—came to my side and explained that she understood, having lost her first child to stillbirth. She wrapped her arms around me, and together we cried.
That moment of feeling understood brought me back to MOPS the next week. The more I attended, the more I learned of all that I had in common with the other ladies around our table. In time I found somewhere to belong, and all it took was one person to share their story, to wrap their arms around my shoulders, and whisper, “Me, too.”
That is something for which we all long, is it not? To be known and understood, to feel like we have a place where we belong. It is when we come alongside each other and share our stories that we break down the barriers of loneliness. God knew it was not good for us to be alone, and we see the message of Genesis 2:18 spoken throughout the Bible. In Scripture, we see widows being set in families, the barren given children, the fatherless a father, and the stranger a friend. God created us to be a communal people, and loneliness has no say in that.
In the New Living Translation, Proverbs 15:23 reads, “Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time.” Countless friendships throughout history blossomed because someone said “Me too” to someone who needed to hear it. Take this as my encouragement to share your story. We see the importance of stories in the teachings of Jesus and how He taught through parables. Stories are a powerful form of connection. Sharing might not be in a way so that the whole world hears, but maybe God is calling you to share in a still, quiet way with a new face at a mom’s group who desperately needs to know that she is not alone. Ask God for opportunity and wisdom regarding when and where to share, and He will provide!
If you would like to read the rest of this book you can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/Friendship-Matters-Cultivating-Meaningful-Connections/dp/1732081859/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=Amber+Durgan&qid=1624597675&sr=8-1
Have a wonderful week and we will Lord willing chat soon.