I remember as a child all the friends that my mother had. It was certainly more than I could count. You see my mom was the type of woman that everyone wanted to be around. True radiance from the inside out and a love for people that only God could give. She also has the best sense of humor that I've ever come across - and I'm a hard one to make laugh. I recall how easy it was for my extrovert mom to make friends. I watched a throng of people be loyal friends to her for decades and she was just as loyal back. Even while she has walked through some of the hardest things a woman can go through (being physically abused, abusing drugs, being incarcerated, being raped, being homeless, and the list goes on) I have seen how important the friends that cherished her became in her time of need.
For me, maintaining close friendships isn't always easy. For starters, I am the type of person that is primarily an introvert. While I love gathering with close friends, I am not fond of big groups and don't like to put myself out there to meet many new people. Don't get me wrong, when God tells me to go somewhere or talk to a certain person, I will do it. And I will always acknowledge another human being because I value God's gift of life on the earth. But over all, I am a very private person and will choose hanging out with my immediate family every single time. However, God continues to stretch me to maintain and sow into close friendships. Because friendship matters. And especially for moms.
Over the last 13+ years as a mom I have been blessed with the gift of close friendship. And one thing I've realized is that close friendship is a gift from God. While reflecting on the many seasons of life I've walked through as a mother, here are some things that God reminded me close friendships help pull me through:
- the birth of my stillborn son
- multiple miscarriages
- 5 separate year-long combat deployments
- bouts with depression
- recovery from 3 cesarean births (my husband had to leave immediately after two of them)
- several out of state moves
- an international move
- several years of sickness in my body
- the death of loved ones
- and so much more.
I believe that close friendship matters for moms simply because God loves us. God is able to love us through the bond of close friendship. We were not created to walk alone. Whether it be in seasons of joy or darkness, it is better to walk together with a friend. While I adore my husband and children more than anything else in this life (outside of Jesus) I have found that the close friendships that God has given me have been instrumental in encouraging me to stay strong and walk out the blessing of motherhood. Only another mom can truly understand and relate to the hardships that a mom faces. And it is in this mutual understanding that another mom has for me that I am able to find solace and comfort.
I encourage those of you who are blessed with close friendships to continue to nurture them and protect them, because they matter. I encourage those of you who are desperate for friendship to never give up - trust that God is bringing that person for you - and in the meantime thank Him. I am so thankful for the many wonderful women that God has graced my life with and pray that I can be half of what they have been to me. I am praying that moms will continue to understand the beauty of close friendship -- that we will continue to nurture it and build one another up. I encourage you, dear mom to be a good friend to someone who needs you today, you might just be an answer to prayer!
What have close friendships helped you through, sweet momma?
In His sweet grace,
Carlie @ Today's Frugal Mom™