On Mondays, we fast and pray for the Lord to raise up godly men, for the Lord to give us soft hearts that are obedient to Him, and for strong marriages for those who desire it.
Sunday afternoon, I got together with Anna, Amy, Michelle, Connally (for those of you who are new to the blog, Connally is one of the founding fast.pray. members who continues to mentor us) to talk about everything from work and possible career changes to relationships/lack of relationships to sexuality in American culture.
As we sipped tea and the hours flew by, I couldn’t help but think about how grateful I am to have these women in my life, even if we don’t see each other very frequently. They ask challenging questions, give new perspectives, and share words of wisdom and empathy to address life challenges. There is something so refreshing to my soul to wrestle with the tough issues in a safe place where we are grounded in the Word of God and are honestly seeking to live our lives in obedience to His calling.
Having this vulnerable, caring relationship with these women has addressed my God-given desire for a deep connection with other people; given me freedom in the knowledge that others share the same struggles with singleness, the Christian walk, etc.; and has taught me to not be afraid to talk about “the stuff” that doesn’t always get addressed in a sermon.
I share this experience because the theme that the Lord keeps revealing to me as I interact with others from all walks of life is the common desire we share for community, for regular, sustained connection with others. For example,
- A stay-at-home mom from my church who lives near me asked if I would be willing to work out with her a few mornings a week to give her a chance for some regular time with another adult who is not her husband.
- A co-worker and friend who is single recently shared her struggle with feeling alone and that she hasn’t felt successful in making new, lasting friendships.
- The common answer from my friends (and me) about why we want to be married is: “To have someone with whom to do life.”
Every Monday, we fast and pray together, and I know there is power and community in our shared faith and prayer, but where I have felt convicted is that I sometimes let it substitute for reaching out to the people in my life in tangible ways and face-to-face, personal interaction. I neglect to tell those on my Monday prayer list that I’m praying for them. I make excuses about why I don’t have time to get together with people or get more involved in my church. I waste time and energy pursuing shallow friendships, oftentimes so I feel popular or to fill up my social calendar. I’m afraid of what others might think if I share too much personal information.
My question/challenge to you (and me) this week is this: Who are your people? With whom are you vulnerable enough to share your struggles and ask for prayer and accountability? With whom are you intentionally doing life?
Partnering in prayer with you,
P.S. Are there other tea-drinking/sharing-our-brokenness groups doing life together out there? Would love to hear how God is working through your times together!