She has had to make new friends every year for the past nine years. With some moves, friendships have formed easily, quickly. With others, she wondered if she would ever cconnect with anyone. But she persevered in believing that every move was an opportunity for God to bring new people into her life, people who could make a difference and in whom she could have an impact as well.
While saying a tearful goodbye to the dear friends she has made among our MOPS moms, she told the story of how she put herself out there again and again in the first weeks and months of her move to our military town, only to face rejection, disinterest, blank looks. She had begun to wonder if she'd ever find women to do life with while she lived here. She was sad and had about given up on having a friend while her husband was stationed here.
But one day, while she splashed in the water with her two preschoolers at our community pool, she encountered a beautiful young mom who seemed to have it all together. Wounded by the many rejections she had experienced earlier, she had no reason to believe this exceptionally lovely woman, who was accompanied to the pool by her out-of-town company, would take even a moment to engage in conversation.
But the beautiful young woman did indeed take the time to speak to this young military mom. She asked her questions, shared her heart, spoke kindly and even invited her to come to our MOPS group and be a part of a sisterhood of women, gals who were at the same place in life she was in. But she didn't just invite the young military mom, she encouraged her. She expressed a desire to build a relationship with her. And that made this lonely, hurting mom feel wonderful and desirable all over again. You see this beautiful young woman who reached out to her is not just absolutely, intimidatingly gorgeous on the outside, but she is radiantly beautiful from the inside out. She is a woman of whom many other women in our MOPS group would say that she is the reason they joined our group and found friends. She is a woman who consistently reaches out and befriends.
As our departing MOPS mom told this story yesterday, I thought of how difficult it often is to make new friends. And while many of us may feel like we are "set" with enough friends, trust me, there are women all around us who are searching and praying for a friend. It's easy to get settled in our comfort zone and fail to reach out to others, but what a blessing we are missing when we lose sight of the new and fresh possibilities of friendship.
|The "beautiful young woman" on the right, with one of our beautiful MOPS moms|
Do you need a friend? I'd like to suggest that you do as this young MOPS mom did and find a local MOPS group, a women's Bible study, or some other Christian organization for women. There you will find many women who are kind, compassionate, and open to new relationships. One of the comments I often hear among our MOPS moms is that they expected to find drama and cat fights when they first came to this group of over 35 women. Isn't that what you generally expect to find when three or more are gathered together in the name of estrogen? But instead, to a person, they found none of that. I don't know if we're the exception to the rule (I hope not), but we honestly have 35-40 women gather every two weeks with no drama. Amen! You're a lot more likely to find the same atmosphere if you search for a Christian women's group.
But maybe you're not looking for new friends. Maybe, like me, you've lived in the same place for a while and you have "plenty" of gal pals. I'd like to suggest that you take the attitude of my beautiful young friend in the photo above. Reach out. Take time with people. Ask to hear their story. And invite, invite, invite. You never know the significant difference you may make in a life just by being kind.
A Few Photo Moments
Now, just for the fun of it, here are a few more pictures I'd like to share with you. These are just random photos of our MOPS meeting this week. The women were making one of four crafts. They love having the opportunity to "finish" something without little hands interfering and while visiting with other moms.
|Mostly visiting with a little bit of crafting going on.|
|Making coasters with darling family photos.|
|Me and our MOPS Coordinator, Savannah. She is a fantastic leader! I'm so proud of her!|
|Allie, on the left with thumb in the air, is our departing mom who shared her story yesterday. We will miss her terribly.|
|Making Christmas wreaths with family photos.|
|Me holding one of our newest, precious Moppets. And no, I'm not making fun of her hair; that's what MOPS calls the little children who accompany their moms to MOPS. We keep babies with us for a few months before they actually go to the Moppet rooms.|
|Joy, on the right, just became on of our Mentor Moms in recent months and she is thriving at it! Puts the rest of us to shame. I'm so glad she answered God's call to this ministry.|
|I cannot tell you how much I love these young women. They are such a joy to me.|
Now, doesn't that just make you want to run out and find a group of women to join? We're meant to do life in community. So seek one out...or invite someone into yours.
Labels: friendship, MOPS, Women's Ministry