Fighting Fear with Friendship
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
One of the best ways to fight through our fears is friendship.
I strive to surround myself with other moms, Christian writers, and adoptive mommas because I need people who “get it.” Friendship is a gift and reminder that we aren’t alone, that our thoughts and fears are normal for our human condition.
This past weekend, I got to spend some time away in Florida with a few of my dearest Ohio friends. 11 years ago, I was newly married and new to town when these ladies entered my life. We've walked through babies, adoptions, weddings, and numerous other celebrations together. We've also experienced hard life moments in hospital rooms where we prayed for God to intervene as well as dining room tables where we cried and carried each other's burdens to Jesus.
When our family felt led to make Tennessee our home, which meant leaving our dear Ohio friends, I found myself in the same place I had been a decade before and the fears came swooping in again. Did we buy the right house? Will I have to use my GPS for the rest of my life?
My greatest fear... Will I make friends?
I was moving to an area only knowing a handful of people, and I was scared, because God created in me a desire to have other people in my life that love and support me.
As a somewhat frequent mover, I've had to be intentional about gathering with other people. Friendships will always develop when you show up and love the people right in front of you.
I recently was invited to a local gathering for women with a heart for foster care and adoption. There were about 20 of us, and as we gathered in our host’s living room we introduced ourselves and began to build a bond of trust.
If you ever need to be reminded of God’s faithfulness, just sit in a room with a bunch of adoptive moms and listen to their stories. Over and over again I heard the words, “God is so faithful.” It was a beautiful picture of God redeeming precious lives (including the lives of us adoptive mommas).
Before we left that night, each of us wrote our fears concerning adoption/foster care on a piece of paper and stuck it in the bowl centered on the coffee table in the middle of the room. Our host compiled the list to share on our Facebook page so that each of us would be reminded that we aren’t alone.
The list of fears was long (much longer than the glimpse I give you below). The list was also very familiar.
How much should I share about my child’s past with extended family and friends?
Will I love and treat my bio and adoptive kids the same?
How will racism or physical differences impact my child as they grow?
Will my child resent being brought to a new country?
Will my child default to their birth families behavior?
Will I be enough?
Will my friends and family help and support us?
Will I be able to find the professional help my child needs?
How often have I thought those same thoughts and allowed fear to swoop in?
That night was a perfect reminder that I wasn’t alone, and that’s just one example of why I am intentional about surrounding myself with friends that I can journey through life with.
Surround Yourself with Friends
"Then He said to them, 'With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer'." Luke 22:15 (NKJV)
I was struggling with finishing this blog post when my friend sent me a sermon to listen to that included this scripture. (Isn't it just like God to use our friends to point us in the right direction?)
Before Jesus went to die on the cross, He ate dinner with his friends. Not only did He eat dinner with his friends, but He fervently desired it. He was excited for His last meal because it would be shared with his closest friends. It was the last fun outing He would participate in before dying on the cross.
Jesus' desire to be with His friends before the hardest time in His earthly life is the perfect example of facing fear with friendship.
Remember my fear about not having any friends in Nashville?
I had a 5:00 a.m. flight out of Nashville last week. My friend showed up on my doorstep at 3am to sit on our couch so that Scott could drive me to the airport without having to load the kids into the van in the middle of the night. She didn’t have to sacrifice sleep for me but she wanted to help me. (Yes, I cry every time I think about her losing sleep for me because that is sacrificial friendship.)
I've been anything but lonely.
I’ve witnessed the beauty of friendship throughout my entire life. My stage of life or physical location has never mattered. God has always planted friends by my side to love and support me.
Who are your friends, near and far, that help you fight your fears? Tell them today.
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