I can still smell the hash brown casseroles. A whole line of ‘em, robed in fancy casserole cases. I was a newbie to women’s church brunches, and these ladies were obviously pros. A 9×13 glass Pyrex I had. But insulated carrying cases with WITH HANDLES? That was next-level domesticity.
I was eight months pregnant, new in town, and had just quit my job to stay home with my one-year-old. Waddling into this large room of unfamiliar faces, I was afraid everyone would stare at me.
What actually happened was much worse. Nobody noticed.
Are you my community?
I hung in the doorway awkwardly for a minute, debating whether or not to leave. My longing for friends and community—but also the buttery aroma of those dang casseroles—kept me lingering just long enough. A smiling brunette ushered me in.
“Come! Sit!” She urged. Her warmth was genuine as she brought me to a table of women. Time for me to meet my new best friend! I looked left, I looked right. Which of these gals would it be? Of course God brought me here to introduce me to my bff! Lucy and Ethel, Monica and Rachel, Romy and Michelle. I’m ready to find my people! God loves community, so I’m sure mine is about to form here any minute now. . .
I did not make one friend at that delicious bruncheon. Not a one. (Save for the potatoes, my cheesy little buddies.) I did not return to this particular group. I also had no clue that God was allowing me to enter a season of loneliness, for my good and for His glory.
See also: How To Thrive When God Asks You To Wait
Of course, at the time it didn’t feel good. Garth Brooks may have had friends in low places; but at least he had friends. I had friends in no places. And my fragile new-mama insecurity made for lousy company. I drowned my sorrows in episodes of Nashville at naptime, counting the minutes until my husband would get home from his stressful job. He was the only adult I’d see most days. As he crossed the threshold at 6:30, I bombarded him, recounting every diaper blow out and reflux mess. (Such a delightful wife!)
I’m sure the Proverbs 31 woman would not approve, but I was fried and gleaning more “wisdom” from television than from the Bible. Isolated and stagnant, my spirit wilted.
I felt the Lord drawing me to Himself. He gently revealed the emptiness of my coping mechanisms. Nashville and Diet Coke may have provided a moment of entertainment, but this spiritually-starving mama of two kids under two needed high-octane jet fuel. Instead, I’d been scraping by on spiritual decaf. Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t working.
The White Flag
It didn’t take long for me to wave the white flag. I realized, “Ok, Lord. I am lonely. The adult I spend the most time with is a purple dinosaur from our imagination. I’m finished asking my not-yet-verbal child for outfit advice. I am done pretending that this podcast host and I are having a two-way conversation. I want to live in deeper relationship with real people, and in deeper relationship with you. What do I do?”
Proverbs 2 rang in my ears:
“Good friend, take to heart what I’m telling you; collect my counsels and guard them with your life. Tune your ears to the world of wisdom; set your heart on a life of understanding. That’s right—if you make insight your priority, and won’t take no for an answer, searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt, believe me, before you know it fear of God will be yours; you’ll have come upon the knowledge of God. And here’s why: God gives out wisdom free.” (Proverbs 2:1-6 MSG)
The answer to my loneliness wasn’t seeking generic friendship for its own sake; the answer was seeking God like a prospector panning for gold. So that’s what I did. I found deep comfort in cozying up to the One who already knows my quirks and fears; whose lovingkindness is the source of all comfort, all joy, all peace.
I drank in His word on my own and joined small groups of women who studied His word, too.
He blessed me with new friendships as I sought Him first. It turned out that making friends was simpler than I thought, but it did require me to show up regularly. It didn’t happen overnight. But as I continued loving Him and loving people, genuine friendships began to blossom.
I’m glad that lonely, friendless season is behind me. But in retrospect, I’m honestly grateful that God allowed me to walk through it. Because when all was stripped away, I realized my soul needed time to root more deeply in Jesus.
See also: Satan Wants You to Be a Lonely Mom
What about you?
Do you struggle with Finding friends as a Christian Mom? Have you ever experienced a season of loneliness? Did you find comfort in drawing near to the One who cares for you most? Do you have a recipe for cheesy hash brown casserole you’d be willing to share with me?
About the Author
Finding Friends as a Christian Mom
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