It didn’t make sense. It was 11:00 at night. My husband had just gone to bed, and I was shutting down the computer to follow him when a simple picture of friends swept across the screen and loneliness swept through my heart. I turned out the lights and sat in the darkness.
It wasn’t that my friends weren’t there or didn’t care. It was that I was in an emotionally exhausting season and was too overwhelmed to connect like usual. I was struggling on my own, and I felt isolated. I needed the encouraging words of a friend to shed light and remind me that I was not alone.
Maybe it isn’t a picture in the midst of a too full plate that makes you lonely or hurt. Maybe it’s:
- The cold stares from those moms who think your son is too wild in the church nursery.
- That all your friends on Facebook have husbands who post praises to their wives and pictures of romantic dinners while yours falls asleep in the chair and you cry alone in bed.
- That you feel like a terrible mom because you love your kids so much and yet you don’t like them because they’re rude and disrespectful and you’re sure no one else feels that way.
Whatever makes your heart heavy, I want to be that friend whispering into your darkness that you are wonderful and capable and accepted and loved. And that I understand your fears and your doubts because I have them too.
We were not made to go solo. We were made for community.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NLT) says, Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.
Here we see that friendship provides greater success, help in need, warmth, strength, and wholeness. I want this and I want it for you.
It’s why I write here. For those of you who only know me by my blog photo, you matter to me. I want you to know that on the other side of your screen, I am here cheering you on. My heart breaks when you feel broken, and it celebrates when you feel joy. Every word I type is my effort to take your hand and say:
“We” is better than me!
And sometimes I need you to take mine because it can be lonely on this side too. The enemy often convinces me that what I do doesn’t matter. That my words are meaningless noise in an already too-busy place. But my writing is not for me. It’s for you. I share my stories and my thoughts to encourage and hopefully inspire you. So I will keep writing when I’m too tired or too busy because maybe it does.
Putting my heart on display for public scrutiny is not easy. With each post, I risk rejection and criticism. But friendship comes with a risk–there can’t be intimacy without vulnerability–and you are worth that. And I know that as we learn to share our broken pieces, we can fit them together to form something beautifully whole.
So, can I ask you to link arms with me in friendship? In a world where people are isolated and alone, will you remember that you don’t have to be? I hope so, and I hope you’ll leave me a message to tell me so.