One thing that has been on my mom heart for a looooong while is friendships.
Man. During this season, it seems harder to connect and find friendships. And, I guess, in reality it is about putting in the work. Mom life is TIRING and draining. Being a full time working mom, taking care of children, a husband, the house and oh yeah- me sometimes too. Although I long so deeply for friendships, and more intimacy within the few friendships I do have, I completely understand. I make excuses and have my limits. I know others are in the same boat.
I think part of my sadness that has lingered deep in my heart for so long are the feelings of rejection that often accompany the “lack” in this department. Perhaps these feelings are real, or only perception, but either way, they can feel so icky. Let me explain what that looks like for myself.
I have had wonderful connections with people through the years. Friendships of all levels. Some very deep friendships. Some where that connection feels like it could be so deep. Like there is a spark of depth that does not get a chance to ignite. In both cases, something happens that ends up in a disconnect. Sometimes it is a move. Life situation. Other priorities. And other times it feels like a turning away. No contact or intentional engagement. Sometimes it feels uncalled for. Rude, even. This is why it feels like rejection. Especially in this day and age with such a variety of options for connection, we should not feel disconnected.
I feel the sadness of friendships lost. Relationships that have been changed. Altered. Forgotten. Whatever the case may be, I ache for more. I miss the connections I once had. I am saddened by the lack of engagement. I sometimes feel forgotten.
Another similar area that really stings is when I encounter such behaviors in the church setting. Yes, I know that people are everywhere and just because they are a part of a church makes them no better than other humans. I have had situations in which I have reached out to people to connect. For prayer. For relationship. For information. Whatever the reason, there is NO contact. Or little contact then nothing. I see these folk week after week in church without any “hello” or checking in. Former church friends that do not ever reach out. It is like “out of sight, out of mind” except it seems like they have amnesia- at least the ones that I see regularly without any acknowledgement. I am not sure why this happens- church or not.
This situation puts a bad taste in my mouth. I can see why many skip church and other settings all together, due to human error. I can put my hurts and disappointments to the side and keep moving on but some days, I admit, it is a struggle.
How am I “invisible” to people who talked with me in depth about life circumstances? Prayed with me? People who I have asked to check in on me, as I need connection? Yet, I see them and they look right past me, as though we have never met.
I work with people. People are perplexing. However, I also see the other side of things. People who have great friendships and connections. People who live life together and are like family. I get a twinge of jealously and disappointment that others can have these relationships and I am over here, wondering why not me? Why can I meet awesome people and make fantastic connections to only have these people move away, ignore me or just desire to stay connected from a distance? Am I the only one? (I think not… I hope not).
What do we do in this day of easy connections (as per technology) to develop something deeper? How do others overcome these challenges? I long for authenticity and vulnerability. I am hoping that by my sharing my own experiences and being vulnerable, others can open up and share and be vulnerable too. Community is built through connections. And in this season of my life, it is about trying to be vulnerable and build community.
Please share below your experiences and ways you have overcome!