She Didn't Save Me a Seat

She Didn't Save Me a Seat

Something has been stirring in my heart lately. I keep trying to put my finger on what it is exactly, and it's been difficult. It's like all of these pieces and parts in a large cauldron going round and round but not really making anything specific--just bits and pieces. 

A thought here. An observation there. 

I've even tried to tell myself in the grand scheme of things, it's not important at all. It's not an eternity matter, and coming off the heels of my Haiti trip--it seems so small. There are people starving and praying for their next meal, and I find myself typing about something seemingly insignificant. I am. 

I've gotten to a stage of life where I have an eight year old and a twelve year old. Both boys. And I have found myself in an awkward place--out of the circle of young Moms. I don't sit and bond with ladies in the nursing room at church anymore or swap recent teething and sleepless nights stories as much. It's a different place. A place where I seem to have to work a little harder for my friendships. 

A new place. A place for which I don't have a road map. I seem to be figuring it out as I go. 

Some of my friends are best friends with the parents of their children's best friends, and we just aren't in the same boat. I'm sometimes envious, even though it's sinful, of what they "seem" to have going on. Built in babysitters. Someone to call in a pinch whom their kids LIKE to stay with. Other kids who call them "Mom" or "Aunt." 

My boys still need me, but they are more independent. They are capable of sweeping and mopping the floors, putting away their laundry, and the oldest even went off to camp for a week without us. Gasp. 

Having kids old enough to help with household chores is a good place. 

Even though the eight year old is still young, he is very independent. He would sit in his room for days without coming out if I didn't make him. He likes to introvert. 

I have some amazing friends. Friends like sisters, but I don't really have any close friends with BOYS the ages of my boys who share common interests with my boys. My kids have friends, but they aren't shared friends for the most part so we don't find ourselves "doing life" with whole families of people. Maybe that's normal. Social media would lead us to think otherwise, though, wouldn't it? 

I don't know. 

There are many Bible verses about the value of friendship and various types of friends: 

  • Adam and Eve. I mean, surely they were friends. They only had each other for awhile. 

  • David and Jonathan. We know how close Jonathan and David were--closer than brothers (1 Samuel 18). 

  • Jesus seemed extremely close to Peter, John and James (Mark 14:33). He chose them to go to the Garden of Gethsemane with him during a very distressing moment of need.  

  • God appointed Aaron as Moses' speaker and supporter. His faithful sidekick. 

  • Elijah and Elisha demonstrate a mentor/mentee-like relationship. 

  • Ruth and Noami, an unlikely friendship between daughter-in-law and mother-in-law. 

  • Abraham is called a "friend of God." (2 Chronicles 20:7).

  • Noah also walked with God as a friend. (Genesis 6:9). 

So where am I going with all of this? 

In the past, I have never been the kind of friend who felt left out or jealous. Usually , I do the inviting of people to various things and take charge if I want to spend time with someone. I have been okay with my role. I've been okay with being left out, actually. I was so busy I was glad I didn't have to say "no." Saved me the trouble. ha 

I've also always been a big supporter of the fact you can't spend time with every single person you encounter. It is physically impossible and would be mentally exhausting. I've always believed a person had to invest in quality relationships over quantity. 

And I still believe those things, but......

But a couple of things happened making me stop and, I'm sure, overthink the situation. I bet you never do that do you? Overthink a situation? Let the devil get a foothold in your heart? 

What went down? I'll explain. 

1. I suggested coffee to someone saying, "Tell me the time and the place," and received crickets in return. This happened more than once.  Effect: Hm. Wonder why she has time for other people but not for me? What is it about me she doesn't like? Is there some vibe I'm unknowingly giving off? 

2. I was at an event and seats were being saved all around me for other women, but no one saved a seat for me. Effect: Are we in high school again? Saving seats? Ridiculous. But if I'm honest, it still hurt at the time. 

3. One particular "friend" on social media seemed to like and comment on everything our "mutual friends" shared, but I got nothing from her. Not ever. Effect: Fine. I will act like a child and unfriend her. 

4. Another friend of mine seemed to do all the fun things with another friend but never having time to do anything fun with me. Effect: Am I some kind of weirdo and don't know it? I mean, I know I am weird, but I thought it was in a good way. How am I seen? 

Doesn't ALL of this sound whiny and petty? But doesn't ALL of this sound like so many women's reality? Even confident, secure, firm in who they are women?  

Whether we want to admit it or not, I think almost every woman out there struggles with these high school feelings of being left out. Otherwise, Lysa Terkeurst's, Uninvited, wouldn't be a New York Times Best Seller. 

As I prayed about my feelings, the Lord gently reminded me of: 

1. The friend who text me to check in on my son to see how camp went for him. "Oh yeah, Lord. How did I forget that friend? She's amazing and pours into my life in many ways." 

2. The friend who said, "I know your foot is hurt. If you need anything at all, call me." "Oh yeah, Lord. There are people who care about me and want to be a part of my life." 

3. The friend who grabbed me by the shoulders at church and declared healing over my foot. "Thank you, God, for friends who believe in your healing power and declare it over my life." 

4. The friends who invited me to dinner. "Why in the world am I upset about a lost coffee date when I have friends who love me, check on me, and invite me to dinner?" 

5. The friend who said, "You and {insert name} are really my only true friends." "Wow, Lord. This lady loves me. Help me to focus more on her than on the people who may not." 

6. The friend who took time to invite me over to her home for the day. "Thank you, Jesus, for a friend who included me and invited me." 

And ultimately.....

I was reminded of the friend I have in Jesus. He spoke to me and said, "When you feel left out, kept at arm's length, and uninvited, why don't you talk to me about it? Let me comfort you. Let me speak truth into your heart, sweet daughter. Let me remind you of your blessings. Let me remind you of your friends. Allow me to show you my friendship." 

Even I have good intentions. I always have a list a mile long of people I want to have over to swim with us during the summer, and I never make it through, well any of it, because of our schedules or our friends' schedules. We run out of Saturdays. We run out of time. 

I'm sure I've been guilty of unintentionally "saving seats" and accidentally leaving people out. 

The world is a tricky place ladies, and I feel thirteen typing this blog. But I feel like I can't be alone in my feelings. And if I'm right, and others have experienced this, I want to encourage you. We can do something about how we feel. We can remind ourselves we don't have all the pieces of the puzzle, and we are dealing with other human beings who are also experiencing insecurities. 

I know the enemy wants nothing more than to attack us and make us feel uninvited at our kids' schools, at our workplaces, and even at church. Especially at church. We can't let him. Our constant communion with God is so important so the enemy's plans can't be planted as seeds of doubt and insecurity in our hearts. 

We all know seeds of doubt and insecurity grow into weeds strangling out our hope, our peace, and our joy. Killing our relationships with people and potentially our relationship with God. 

We can take a lesson from the Bible and notice a lot of the friendships taking place were between family members. At the end of the day, family is sometimes all we have left. We can also take note regarding the number of close friends had by Jesus, Ruth, David, Moses, and so forth. It's not very many, ladies. 

Pray for God to give you wisdom about who needs to be in your life. Listen to Him. Sometimes the rejected coffee invitation is God's protection over your life. 

Finally, remember we can have confidence in knowing the most important friend we can have is Jesus. And He will always save us a seat. 

I love you all! 

Father, I thank you for being such a friend to us. I thank you for including us when we feel excluded. I think you for thinking of us when we feel forgotten. I think you for sending us people we need on life's journey to help us fulfill our destiny and purposes. I pray for anyone praying this prayer tonight. Send her friends who lift her up, encourage her, and help her to grow closer to you. And help me to be the kind of friend who reflects you in everything I do. In Jesus's name we pray. Amen. 

The Missing Heart Beat

The Missing Heart Beat

Carrying Hope: Ten Days in Haiti

Carrying Hope: Ten Days in Haiti