My husband pulled out of the driveway and headed off to another day at work. I turned to look at what my day would hold — a crying baby, a messy house and an overwhelming feeling of dread. How could this be? Tears slipped down my cheeks.
I had everything I thought would make me feel happy, significant and satisfied, yet I was miserable. I slid to the ground and cried, “God, I can’t do this. Where do I go from here? Help me!”
Sensing my need, my husband called from work one day to say there was a woman who wanted to meet me. He had told her I liked to write, and she was interested in starting a newsletter to encourage wives and moms.
I began thinking of excuses for not meeting her. Stains covered my sweatpants. My hair was greasy. I had no time to invest in a new relationship. My responsibility was to give everything I had to my family.
But that was the problem — I was giving everything to my family but was doing little to take care of my own needs. And what I needed was the support and encouragement of other women. So I headed out the door. That woman and I wound up becoming great friends, and we even started a magazine together.
I’ve since thought about that pivotal decision to embrace friendship in the midst of my demanding family life. Not only have women helped me personally, but my friendships have also been crucial to my success (and sometimes survival) as a wife and mother. What I thought would take away from my family has only added richness to it.
Here’s how to embrace those relationships in your life:
- Find a friend who does something well that you wish you could do better. It may be cooking, managing paper piles, organizing a kid’s room or effectively disciplining children. Ask if she would be willing to teach you.
- Choose a friend whom you feel comfortable praying with. Praying together about your families will knit your hearts together and draw you closer to the ones you love.
- Pursue a friendship with a woman who is one stage behind where you are in life. Offer practical help and share the wisdom you’ve gained.
- Spend some time praying for the friends you have and the friends you’ve yet to meet. God loves to answer those friendship prayers!
This article originally appeared in the November/December 2009 issue of
Thriving Family magazine. Copyright © 2009 by Lysa TerKuerst. Used by permission.
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