When this Lonely Mama was on the Hunt for a Friend

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Life as a stay-at-home mom has been fun.  What a great experience to see my son grow, learn, and play.  Sesame Street songs, soccer balls, playing T-Ball, dunking basketballs, and tossing footballs fill up my daily agenda.  It’s been a special season indeed.

At times, though, mommy-hood can leave me feeling unlinked and unconnected.  I’ve contemplated long and hard as to why being a mama can feel a bit isolating.  I mean I have a great husband, an amazing son, my immediate family, and church family.  I know tons of people.  After some time, however, I realized I know a lot of people, but I really don’t know anyone.

 I really don’t have meaningful, life-giving relationships.

As I considered this, the word acquaintance came to mind. Remembering past counseling sessions, I recalled my counselor asking if I had close friends and my response was, “Sure, I do…I think…”

My counselor retorted, “You don’t have friends, you have acquaintances.”

An acquaintance is a person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend.  This definition sums up most of my relationships—they are acquaintances.  I know others slightly, but not in a deeper, meaningful way.

When I realized this I tried hard to turn this truth into a dis-truth (not sure if that’s a word).  Essentially, I was on a mission to prove this to be untrue.

“I have many friends,” I thought.  “I’m fine in this area.” 

I tried so hard to forge connections with others and came up feeling even more disconnected and rejected.

So I asked God, “Lord, bless me with a friend. Bless me with an Onesiphorus.”

For those who may not know—Onesiphorus was a friend of the apostle Paul. He and his family often visited Paul in prison.  According to the Bible, Onesiphorus greatly encouraged Paul.  The Living Bible translation says Onesiphorus’ visits revived Paul “…like a breath of fresh air…” (2 Timothy 1:16).

That’s what I needed!!!  A breath of fresh air!  A refreshing friendship!

I feel so dumb for saying this (especially via a public blog)—but, I was on a hunt for an Onesiphorus.  But, in my search several closed doors greeted me, leaving this already rejected mama feeling less than and left out.

Then, one Sunday during a worship service, while standing in God’s presence, I pondered on this prayer and desire for a meaningful friendship.  And, a gentle tug in my heart was followed by a whisper—“I don’t want to be an acquaintance, I want to be your friend.”

While praying for a meaningful friendship, I forgot about the friend who sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24).

Jesus said to his disciples, “I have called you friends…” (John 15:15).  We are His Friends.  He is my friend.  He is my breath of fresh air.

I had an “A-Ha” moment. The only one who could breathe into my desolate places was Jesus.

Yes, I desire other life-giving friendships but I needed to focus on THE Ultimate Life-Giver, and cultivate my relationship with Him first and foremost.

So, what has cultivating my relationship with God looked like for me?  Well, thankfully, as a stay-at-home mom I have some freedom (during nap times, of course) to really dig in to God’s Word.  Intentionally setting aside time to read, and meditate on God’s word has refreshed me like nothing else. Instead of feeling withdrawn, I now feel drawn ever so close to Him.

I’ve also had the opportunity to take part in life changing online bible studies through Proverbs 31 Ministries. Despite the distance between the bible study participants, I feel apart of a greater community of woman who are in love with Jesus.

Overtaken by fresh vision, fueled with fresh passion, a fresh desire has welled up within me to know my friend, Jesus, in a more intimate way.

Are you in a place where you desperately need a breathe of fresh air?

Draw closer to the Lord so He can breathe over you today. He doesn’t want to just be your acquaintance; He wants to be your friend.1

For those who have never had a relationship with God, please know it’s as simple as saying, “God, I want to be your friend.  I want to do life with you.”  That’s it!! Then, find a local church in your area where you can learn how to do life with Him.  Your life will never be the same!

For those who have an Onesiphorus in their life, call that person!  Don’t just text them.  Love on them.  Those friends are hard to come by.  Don’t let social media replace that relationship.

I recently heard a sermon by Pastor Craig Groeschel, of Life Church, where he stated that social media today has replaced friendships2.  He emphatically affirmed social media should just supplement friendships not replace them.  He made a challenge for people to nurture their friendships face-to-face, not just thumb-to-thumb (by typing on a keypad or phone).  This is key in a life-giving friendship.

It’s also key in your friendship with God.  Let’s not compromise our face-to-face time with Him.  He desires to draw close.  He longs to be your friend.

1 If you feel like time is against you and you’re having difficulty praying and reading God’s Word, I’d love for you to check out First 5 – it’s a free app offering daily bible reading. All it takes is just five minutes! Download it—you won’t regret it!

2Sermon by Pastor Craig Groeschel: “Friending” Series Part One

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About Natalie Nieves

I am a lover of Jesus. I am happily married and blessed with two beautiful children. My husband and I serve on the Pastoral Staff at a church located in New York City. I pray that God would fill you with unspeakable hope as you read my blog posts!
This entry was posted in Bible, Christian, Devotional, Encouragement, Faith, Friendships, Hope, Relationships, Stay-at-home mom and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to When this Lonely Mama was on the Hunt for a Friend

  1. Letty says:

    Thanx Nat, one again you have blessed me and have touched on the very thing I have been dealing with. Loneliness can go very deep and keep us very downcast. When I came to realize that I really didn’t have friends and that those I thought were my friends were no more I had to pray hard so that my heart would not become bitter. The Lord showed me they were there for a season and as I prayed for a friend like you the Lord has lead me to cultivate my intimacy with Him. I’m still praying for my Onesiphorus or a Jonathan, that special friend I can connect with and to have a friendship that is genuine and sincere and I know God will bring it in His time. Thank you for sharing and for keeping it real. I love you girl! God bless

  2. Maria says:

    Hi Natalie,

    I’m in the marriage ministry at CT…. I’m so glad Gil forwarded me this because I actually presented this at the first meeting. Ever since being saved and having my 2 kids and marriage a lot of our old friends we have distanced ourselves from due to our own discretions. For about a year and a half now I have just been praying for a friend…. Someone to fill that loneliness that my wordly friends who weren’t saved wouldn’t understand. I knew I could talk to my husband but I wanted a church friend. I felt like I was in high school that lonely girl who sat in the cafeteria with no friends. It has definitely been a struggle and I still pray to find that connection. But I do agree that relationship with God is so much more powerful that he can fill that void and just in time prepare me for my friend to come. Love this and inspired me thank you so much for sharing! God bless

    • arielnieves says:

      Hi Maria! Yes we met Friday at the mtg 🙂
      Grateful that you were blessed by this. Writing so openly is not easy which I’m sure you know (I remember Gil mentioned you studied journalism–so cool!)
      It’s funny because when I was thinking of this blog at first I was going to title it, can I sit with you? Because I had a personal story from when I was in junior high and I had no friends and I actually approached two girls at a lunch room table and asked them, can I sit with you? It was like I was reliving that moment all over again. So I definitely understand what you’re saying! I pray that God blesses you with that friend who will pray for you and with you, who will encourage and refresh you!! I’m looking forward to connecting with you as we serve in the marriage ministry 🙂

  3. Oh yeah, been there. Being a stay at home mom is a lonely road. I’ve battled with loneliness for a long time even before kids and marraige. I’ve prayed for friends too and God was like, “look around you. Cultivate the relationships you already have.” So I did. Even if that meant to Skype with them since it’s difficult to travel with small children. Often and I mean, almost everyday I Skype with my sister in law and sister. We do house chores together, cook together, discipline our kids together and one’s way out in Georgia and the other in New Jersey. I’ve also taken a step and reach out to the local moms from my son’s school for play dates, coffee talks etc. HOWEVER, those relationships are nothing compared to what you can find in a kindred spirit. Those are my Skype girls who see my messy house everyday, the real me, the real mess, who watch me get ready, putting on my make up with just a bra and jeans on. Those kindred spirits that you can be yourself with. Those are hard to find. Oh and Jesus, ah Jesus 😍 my bestie of all ❤️

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