Finding Friends in Church Crying Rooms
As a young mom of a 3 and 1 year old, I felt desperate for female friendship -- to know and be known. Life was so crazy busy and I was still trying to figure out who I was (let alone what it meant to be a stay at home mom!) I felt lonely and overwhelmed, and I desperately needed encouragement, support and wisdom.
A sweet friendship refreshes the soul. (Proverbs 27:9)
Little did I know one lovely fall day, when I ended up in the “crying room” at church with my noisy little ones, I would find what would become one of my greatest gifts from Jesus: a treasured, lifelong friend.
Sue was already in the crying room with her two little ones who were the same ages as mine. The kids quickly began interacting, as kids do, totally uninhibited by the fact that they had never met before that moment. This logistically forced Sue and me into quick, close contact.
As the church service came to a close, I asked Sue if she’d like to get together since she, too, was a stay-at-home mom. I knew it was a risk: maybe she had all the friends she needed. Maybe she thought I was a weirdo. But I wanted a FRIEND!!!!
I barely got home before I called her (which to this day she still tells people and we laugh about it). That was the beginning of a friendship that has lasted over three decades and has been filled with mutual support, encouragement, laughter, tears, meals, memories, prayer, a listening ear, and emotional and physical help.
We laughed at our boys’ antics. We delighted in our girls’ dress up costumes. She cried with me during my two miscarriages. She cared for my three little ones when I went into labor with our fourth. We listened and hugged as we had to say goodbye to some of our parents. We prayed through heartache and celebrated God’s goodness.
During those years of raising four kids each (who were close in age to each other), we probably did 1000 weekly play dates plus we met for breakfast one Saturday a month – kid free! – at our favorite restaurant. Often one, or both of us, would arrive overwhelmed with life, yet we could count on leaving with a full heart, having had the chance to talk and pray through a myriad of issues and struggles. Our time together always filled us back up and encouraged us to persevere once again into the beautiful journey of motherhood.
I often say “you can’t out-give God,” so I’m not even surprised - just enormously grateful - that I would come to worship him at church and he would instead bless me with the deep desire of my heart: an incredible friend that I needed and longed for.
Jesus said, "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends" (John 15:12-13).
Yes, there is risk in becoming an invested, deep friend. Risk of rejection. Risk of being wounded, forgotten or even left out, because we are imperfect, broken people in need of Jesus. But there are also crazy amazing blessings. God’s blessings will outweigh those risks. He never wanted us to do this journey alone, but the enemy certainly does. He attacks us best when we’re isolated.
So if you don’t already have a close friend with whom you support and encourage each other, it’s time to ask Jesus to bring that friend into your life and take that risk. Be the kind of friend that you want to have. Step out and be the one to ask to get together first!
Am I the kind of friend that I’m wanting to have in my life? What are those friendship qualities?
Who is in my life that I can share my true heart with? In what tangible ways can I mutually encourage them so that it’s not just about me?
If I still long for a deep friendship, am I willing to take the risk and invite someone into my life?
Listening Prayer Exercise: Ask Jesus, “How can I be the treasured friend that I desire to have? What areas are you having me grow in?”
Kathy Morgan has been married to her best friend, Bob, for over 38 years. Together they have four grown, married children and 9 grandchildren. Kathy is a Hospital Chaplain and loves mentoring women, hosting ministry events in her home, prayer, cooking, reading historical Biblical fiction, and eating all forms of potatoes.