Yesterday, I got some unhappy news. A new prayer group that I’m part of will be breaking up. I’m really bummed. I had felt a true connection there, even though I’d only been a few weeks. In fact, despite our early meet time, it had already morphed into the highlight of my week, and one of the things I was saddest about this holiday season was that our holiday event was snowed out.
This is part of the challenge of being an autism mom, though. You look and try to connect but it’s always very off-putting to be friends with moms who do not have this in their lives, even if they have kids with disabilities. I almost want to take an ad: “Seeking Christian ex-vax mama of child with autism or Asperger’s who struggles with protocols.”
I do have other church friends, but it’s simply hard to find that person that I really click with, know what I mean? I do have friends here and there, but each and every one of them has some reason that our friendship can’t proceed, for example, the friends my husband doesn’t like.
Now in the past, I’ve made an idol of friendship and paid the price, so I have to proceed very carefully. I’m always praying for this, too, and honestly, what I would really love is another mama like me who wants to be not just friends but business partners. Is that crazy?
It’s almost too much to ask God.
Anyway, yesterday, I got this news and I was very sad (my husband was mystified why this would make me tear up), and then I went to bed to read. I’ve been reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book (my affiliate link>), “Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.” While I thought it was ok and had things I could relate to, I felt it was a little uninspired, more a bit of Lysa complaining about her life and lacking in scriptural references, that is UNTIL chapter 5: “Hello, My Name is Trust Issues.”
Despite the title, it accurately depicts when you go to an event (hello, blogger conferences, for example???) and feel utterly alone. (In fact, this winter I specifically bought a course because the pitch was, “Ever go to a conference to meet industry leaders and get snubbed?”)
Frankly, I’m a bit smarting this week for other reasons. I was alone at the gym the other day. We had to pair up and everyone else had come with a partner. Crap. High school dodge ball selection, barf. So me, the odd wheel, was randomly assigned to 2 women, one of which proceeded to act like I was a delicate flower who couldn’t handle a boot camp work out (hello, been there since October, and I can do it even with an injury) and refused to listen to me as I offered extra reps so we could get to the next exercise faster. Long story short, I should have had an amazing and grueling workout but the challenge level was low because I spent too much time waiting for the other two to finish.
I was PISSED because that’s not how our gym works at all. Everyone cheers everyone else on at their level. Now, I do have to be careful because I’m 52 and never worked out like this before and have suffered some pulls and bruising. But I’d rather work my ASS OFF with a 10lb weight than try to prove something and get hurt with a 30lb weight, ya know? Apparently this wasn’t good enough for her. So that was Monday, and the bad news came last night (Tuesday), and suddenly TerKeurst’s book hit all the right spots.
I will be the first to admit that I’ve gone about friendship the wrong way FOREVER. In fact, I will admit that some close friend I had and lost touch with told me he missed me a lot and my first thought was, “Really? Is he just being nice?” (No, he’s not that kind of a guy.) It felt good that people missed me but it pulled against everything inside to believe it.
In this chapter Lysa talks about being “full.” She does this beautiful analogy of doing a ropes course (which made me wonder if I should take one on this “Year of Courage” journey). As Christians, we need the fullness of God but she writes, “If we become enamored with something in this world we think offers better fullness than God, we will make room for it. We leak out His fullness to make room for something else we want to chase.”
And then she lists examples: “If will happen if…” And I didn’t think any of those things she listed fit me just now, so I wrote what I heard in my heart:
“It will happen if you chase a friendship that you think will make you full.”
What am I doing?? Can’t I trust God with my friends, and my relationships? He knows what’s best. Maybe that list of “requirements” is never going to materialize into another woman I can become close with, maybe I need to work with what I have. Or step outside my Comfort Zone.
“Comfort Zone” really requires capitals for me. The gym is teaching me this weekly, but I need to be more active about one of my HUGE problems: being in my comfort zone.
The truth is, I could reach out to those mamas and find another way to connect, or host the meetings myself. I could facilitate meetings for nontoxic lovers…and I’m working on that. I could reach out to other moms I know for meeting, including old friends.
I’m not sure what my hesitancy is, but I think I’ll stop writing now and JUST DO IT.