Well for the past month He has done just that and that particular struggle has been far more manageable. So much that I didn't even realize that I wasn't struggling with it. When it dawned on me last week, I started praying immediately and thanked Him, then I asked the why and how questions (that's the philosopher in me). The past few weeks had been so peaceful. And I think that a large part of it was that I was not spending an enormous amount of time with this group of people. This shocked me as in the past when I have had weeks away from them my walk was usually worse off as these friends are one of the tools that God has always used to keep me on "track" and encourage me. They have very much been a rock for me in the past and so I was very confused.
Of course I prayed and asked for clarity and it came in form of a coffee date with one of those friends. She is so precious to me and I am so thankful for a friend that I can be completely honest with without worries of what she will think. She knows my heart and is a great soundboard: ) So I came to her with this issue and she just listened. She knows how hard the past few months have been and through it all has stuck with me and sought me out when I retreated.
The more I talked about it.... the more I prayed about it..... it made sense. And then I spent time with the group for the first time in a long time and on the way home I knew what He was saying. Change is hard and often uncomfortable but that doesn't mean it is wrong.
You see in our group... and I am only talking in regards to the girls.... there are several single guys in the group but I personally do not see it appropriate to talk about such matters of the heart with the opposite sex (too many dangers there that are not worth taking). In our group of friends that meet together regularly I am the only single person. I used to never really notice it but lately I have. I notice that I really don't fit into the conversations anymore. As we sit around and talk about our week, theirs consist of cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, finding little time to sleep, little time to do other things. My week consists of sitting in front of this computer, calling customers about insurance, and running a farm. Their struggles are finding balance between kids and husbands, work schedules and family time. My struggles are dealing with a 5 month old puppy and his chewing stage and trying to decide how best to use my evenings, riding or building fences.
I know that there is nothing wrong with what I do, or how I spend my time but when your friends are talking about the stress of dealing with a toddler, and while a 5 month old puppy and a toddler do have things in common, it doesn't sound good to compare the two. And conversations about horses and dogs seem trivial compared to talks about the difficulties in marriage. And usually the phrase... "You'll understand one day" gets thrown in a time or two, and that frustrates me and I usually end up finding a kid or two to do something with at that point.
And then I read this article Monday morning from incourage and I realized that when I was around them as a group (things are great one-on-one) I put on a mask. I pretend to be ok just sitting on the outside looking in, I smile and nod my head in agreement to their comments (as if I understand what it is like to live with a man). Trust me it's just easier to nod and smile like you do. Realizing this frustrated me because I am not a person who wears a mask often and here I am with people I look to most often and I have a mask on. It makes me take some steps back and really think about things.
While I do not think nor will I cease to be apart of this group of friends I do think that taking a few steps back is the right thing to do. God has been so gracious to put some great people in my path recently that have really encouraged me and they are completely unrelated to this group. I also learned in the past week that a very good friend from early college days has moved back and lives just down the street.... She is a strong believer and loves horses like I do. While she is not single, her husband is deployed leaving her with two small children all by herself. I do not think that this is a coincident at all. I think God is making some changes in my life that are quite drastic and slightly uncomfortable and He is asking me to just hold on. I have no idea what direction that will be and who will be apart of it... for that matter I'm not really sure where I am going with this post either : ) But I know it feels good to write about it and maybe one of you can relate, offer advice, or just needed a laugh.
One thing I know is that life is full of seasons and while they may look different or take us down a path we didn't anticipate God will never leave us to fend for ourselves. He takes care of those He loves and if He leads us down a path you can be certain that it worth going down.
There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under the heavens.Ecclesiastes 3:1