I took something I wrote about earlier and expanded it for this week’s MOPS article…
Spit and Laughter
Two weeks ago, we left our MOPS meeting, looked up into the beautiful blue sky and thought, “Wow! You’d never know we were going to be hit by a hurricane tomorrow!”
I was actually looking forward to a lazy Saturday with my family, snuggling up on the couch, watching movies (for as long as we had electricity), listening to the hard, driving rain. We strapped down our outdoor grill, searched the house for the missing flashlights, and prepared for Ike’s fury.
I’m not at all making light of the devastation. It was awful. We have friends who still don’t have electricity, and so many have nothing left at all. My best friend in Ohio (Ohio!!) was without power for almost 2 days.
But we hardly got spit. That’s all I’m saying. It was a little breezy, couple of showers here and there. Not quite the snuggle-up-on-the-couch-and-listen-to-the-rain sort of day. Just spit. (That’s Texas talk for “just a little bit of rain”.)
The good news is that my husband and I got a lot of cleaning out checked off the family list, and our three darling cherubs actually played really well together while we worked. Since it was cloudy and – well, spitting – the bikes and trikes and rollerblades had to wait for another day, so they chased each other around the house shouting out spells from the Harry Potter books and making slugs come out of their siblings’ mouths and sending a silver force field out from their wands (which, oddly enough, bear a strong resemblance to Tinker Toys). Theirs were the shouts and screams of happy children.
Michael and I have prayed for our kids’ relationships with each other ever since they were babies. My younger brother and I never got along very well, and only now do we have something of a close relationship. (It helps that he married the sweetest girl on the planet and brought forth a nephew for me last Sunday!) So when my kids were babies, it was very important for me to pray for them to have a loving, supportive, encouraging friendship with each other. I still pray that for them – that they will cheer each other on and love each other deeply and be each other’s biggest fans. Among the shrieks of laughter and shouts of “Expecto patronum!” ringing through our walls, I had to smile and whisper a prayer of thanks to God for answering a mother’s prayer.
Later that weekend, I spent a couple of hours sitting on the floor of my friend’s living room with eight other ladies for our twice-monthly accountability group meeting. These women are awesome, and I love each one. Some of us have known each other longer than others, but each one is a sister nonetheless.
And, oh yes, each one is HILARIOUS.
In the midst of our “deep spiritual discussion,” we laughed our heads off. We doubled over. We wiped tears streaming down our cheeks as we caught our breath. We slapped our knees. We leaned into each other, sharing the hysterical joy of sisterhood. I swear I get a better abdominal workout from a night with my girlfriends than I do after endless sets of sit-ups.
It’s a beautiful thing.
When we finally calmed down enough to pray together, God gently revealed a new truth to me: Just as I relish the friendship and shared laughter of my children, so He also gets great joy from His daughters laughing together and loving each other. He created us for community, and His greatest desire for us, apart from relationship with Him, is for us to love each other. If I, as a mom, so enjoy watching my children playing together, supporting each other, loving each other, how much more joy does God have in watching His children do the same?
Such friends are a gift and a blessing. Picture His smile the next time you are giggling, hugging, laughing with your girlfriends!
Oh. I may have struck a nerve here. Some of your eyes are tearing up right now from the loneliness. Where are those kind of friends for me? If you have just moved here and are desperately missing your girlfriends from your former home – or even if you’ve been here for years and still lack this kind of friendship – let me offer you a morsel of hope. I, too, have walked this path. For two years, I didn’t know how lonely I was until I wasn’t lonely anymore. After two very long years, God finally ushered in a new season of life for me, peppered with those friendships He had been preparing for me. I had prayed and I had waited, and oh! how sweet the reward!
It will come. It may happen today, or it may happen a year from now, but it will happen. God is itching to see you double over in laughter, wiping happy tears from your eyes, surrounded by your sisters.