I began attending MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) when Rilyn was six months old. I really didn’t have any “mom” friends and was craving same season friendship. My mom was going to be speaking at a local MOPS group in a few months and I wanted to attend incognito for a while. I wanted them to know me for me and not for who my mom was. I was the only one with an infant at my assigned table and so at times I felt like I didn’t belong. I questioned whether or not I should continue to attend, as I didn’t seem to have much in common with these women because our children were in different stages of life. I decided to stick it out, and as the year continued I learned a lot from these women but never found a connection of friendship.
It took me three years to find my Strawberry Pink girls. Our table just clicked, all eleven of us. We shared tears, laughter, struggles, and encouragement. We rallied around the friend whose husband was deployed, encouraged the friend whose husband was living and working in a different state, and supported the friend whose son was killed in an accident. We prayed for one another, played in each other’s homes, and had girls night outs together. These friends held me up when my dad went through a midlife crisis and left for a few months. I had never experienced friendship like this and was relishing in it.
The following year, I moved away and was brokenhearted to leave these dear friends I had made. Facebook has been great in keeping us connected, and several of us make attending the Hearts at Home conference our annual reunion. I am so grateful I stuck it out with MOPS even when I wasn’t initially getting the deep connection I desired. I’ve learned that connection takes time. In our “instant” society, we are often inclined to believe that great friendship happens just as fast as “Confirm” is pressed on a Facebook friend request. That’s not the way it is in real life. Friendships take time to find and nurture. Then once we connect, it’s both the highs and lows of life that make us better together.
How about you? Have you given up too easily when you didn’t find instant connection with a group?