According to Madonna Behen, secret # 5 in this series on lasting love is to have friendships other friendships. This secret reminds me of a portion from a chapter of Proverbs through the Generations, a book my grandfather, dad, and I wrote (coming this month to www.omorepublishing.com). Though it was written during my pregnancy with now-nine-month-old Jonas, I’d like to share it here.
“Sometimes we are a little overwhelmed with the idea of how blessed we are to be a part of this group. You are an answer to prayers we didn't even know we were making.”
This is something I wrote today as an online posting to a small group of Christian friends we meet with every Friday and many holidays. I also wrote online that I was “looking around myself and realizing that God has been building up a strong defense in our lives to make us better equipped to handle this coming baby. It still may be like being thrown into a deep pool, but at least there are multiple life rafts to swim to.” I acknowledge that I mixed my metaphors in that latter quote, but both are strong images I keep seeing lately.
When we had Jack, we didn’t have the most solid support system. We were surrounded by young, single friends and couples who didn’t have children, and we both struggled to keep these friendships alive. Don’t get me wrong; several of these friends would have done anything we could have ever asked for—but we honestly didn’t know what we needed enough to ask. Friendships crumbled. We crumbled. If it wasn’t for my parents and their help, I don’t know what I would have done. But, as valuable as parents are, they are not the same as having friends who are in a similar situation in life.
The other image is of drowning, which I continually thought of during those first several months of motherhood. Since I had let most of my friendships fall away, I sunk deeper and deeper. Fear of a similar outcome kept me worried about ever having a second child, but my planning came to nothing: God had other plans.
I’m almost in the third trimester, awaiting the birth of our second son, and I have finally noticed that God’s plans didn’t mean He was giving us a child and walking away. He’s been preparing our family’s growth for the past year as we have developed new friendships and as some of our old friends have started having babies of their own.
I remember watching other new moms and wondering how they had the strength to spend time with their friends with all that motherhood takes out of you; I now see that the friendships are the strength.
Solid friendships are an extension of family, a blessing from God, a defense against the hardships of the world, a life raft when the waves threaten to cover us, and a source of strength and solace when we are in need.
the entire series (with written posts linked)
Secret # 1 Have Realistic Expectations
Secret #2 Sweat the Small Stuff
Secret #3 Consider Yourselves a Team
Secret #4 Remember the Little Things
Secret #5 Accentuate the Positive
Secret #6 Have Other Friendships
Secret #7 Spend Time Apart
our small group on the 4th of July 2012
Below is a collection of some of the photographs I was able to take of a few of the children that day.
Behen, Madonna. “The Seven Secrets of Lasting Love.” USA Weekend 27-29 April 2012. Print.
this post is linked up with