I was only ankle deep in mothering when I knew I needed saving.
Looking into the black-night eyes of my firstborn, a gift without instructions, I realized the new momma skin I was wearing would scorch under the heat of parenting without a covering or shelter.
Despite the support of my rock of a husband and the wisdom of women whose babies were grown, I felt an ache of loneliness. My arms were filled-up with the newness of life while a hollow craving sat deep.
I needed the sisterhood of those walking my same road — the same road right then.
As much as I read the books and soaked in advice and relied on my Prince Charming, I needed more. I needed another momma to look me in the eyes and say, “I didn’t sleep last night either.” Or show up at my house with her hair in a pulled-back pony and a spit-up stained shirt. Then I could point to my own shirt (the one I had slept in for two nights) and we could commiserate together. I needed women with whom I could walk with down the road of first-time motherhood.
Because there’s just something about facing the same fears in the same moment with women who really see you.
So I prayed. Lord Jesus, please bring me friends.
And He did.
Within a few weeks I met a group of women that would shelter me with their grace and sisterhood. Women with my same burdens, fears, and anxieties. Women who needed me as much as I needed them. We bonded over our babies.
To escape the monotony of our days, there were the trips to Target, pushing our strollers side-by-side down the aisle. We would show up at each other’s homes in sweats and t-shirts, begging for coffee. A meeting for a cheap breakfast would turn into all-day excursions because mothering alone scared us. It was magical.
In between the diaper changes, the feedings, the shooshing, the exhaustion, and the joy, in between those things, the deep friendship formed. They were the covering my new-momma skin needed. I sheltered under the protection of our relationship — our Jesus-joined hearts.
We were walking life together. Because that’s what friendship does.
We were never meant to travel this life without the refuge of our friends. Life is messy and painful. We face days so dark our minds could never have imagined them — and to walk them alone? Incomprehensible.
Life lived in relationships allows us to survive the deep end. We can test the waters alone, wade out a bit by ourselves, but if we must head to the deep places of life, we need friends to keep the ocean from swallowing us whole.
Our friendships as women help define us. They mark the history of our lives and the seasons we’ve walked through. There was the little girl I squirted mustard all over in the second grade who has been my best friend for thirty years. The three friends who sheltered me from the storm of bullies my senior year of high school. The sorority sister who knows my secrets. My momma friends walking me through those first years of motherhood. And the teacher next door to my classroom who understands the way my mind works.
Each friendship is a line, tethering me to the shore when life has tried to suck me under.
In His great mercy and grace, our Jesus has given us the gift of friendship. And if you’re in the space, ankle deep headed toward the dark waters, pray for hands to hold you. Pray and ask our Holy One for soul-sisters to walk beside you in this journey.
Because the drowning only comes when we attempt to travel alone.
Related: Share a sweet treat with a friend on these inspiring dessert plates, and remind your friend that you’re in this together, always.Leave a Comment