She said this, and I said, “Me, too!” My dog looked at me from her comfortable spot on the floor. She was my only audience–the only one who kept me company on this side of the computer for (in)RL 2012 on a warm, friday afternoon.
Hospitality for the last three years has been my thing–first forming what I call a Friendship Tea where I invited total strangers from church to my house for Fellowship, then it morphed into joining a national group called, Praise and Coffee. Like some things that God didn’t mean for me to take the place of writing, it all faded, and with friendships that drifted I retreated like that blogger retreated.
A little envy crept into my heart as I heard and saw of friendships that met in real life. I was always inviting, but rarely the invitee. I wanted to be the guest, not the host like that blogger said on Friday. I wanted to know what it was like to have girlfriends who prayed, came over, who called (okay, I hate the phone–who text often or emailed) like the Rubber Band Gang I met through Saturday’s conference. They are friends who drop everything for each other, praying in person, and taking phone calls at 6:30 in the morning.
The blogger also said she had to remind herself to keep going, keep inviting, even if the invitation wasn’t returned. In my case, even if yet another maybe flies over the email reminding me that sometimes it feels like some are waiting for something better to come along. It’s one of the reasons I retreated. Out of context, it would seem like that, but without knowing the reasons for the maybes another blogger on Saturday’s (in)RL 2012 reminded us to give grace.
But don’t feel bad about saying no. That’s what they discussed on another video on Saturday. If you say, ‘yes’ to something you could be saying ‘no’ to your family. ‘No’ is healthy. We can’t accept every invitation as much as we’d like, and that’s why I stopped doing women’s ministry.
God called me to write, to pray, and to be a good friend and wife. Meeting with friends will have more serendipity and less of a structure of ministry. It will not require planning. It will not be ministry. In previous posts, I wrote how I hid behind ministry because I feared people and their rejections.
So yes…I can identitify with that blogger who joked about putting a sign in her front yard, “Desperate Woman Seeks Friends.” I never knew that so many women felt the same lonliness I have been feeling. Isolation comes regardless of where you live. A person can feel isolated in a great crowd, in church, in a mall, or in their own subdivision. If we all retreated in defeat, we’d lose the experiences of friendships, even the bad ones that teach us to be better friends.
Have you experienced this? Please explain.
Let us pray for you and connect with each other.