My son was born just five months after we moved out of state, and I’ll never forget how it felt to be so alone as a new mother. I had my husband, and one of the reasons we’d moved in the first place was to give us a place where we could start fresh and build a life together. This was fine before the baby, but once he came? It wasn’t the months and months of jaundice, reflux, and screaming colic that did me in. It wasn’t the sleepless nights. Those things passed about as you’d expect them to, and we emerged hollow-eyed but thankful that this, too, did pass.
What did me in was when that baby started to discover the world around him, when he smiled and laughed and waved his little starfish-hands in the air with glee, grasping at whatever he could find and holding on with all his might. What did me in was all that joy, all those milestones, all that amazing life…and no one to share it with!
Life is crazy, it’s busy, it’s beautiful and messy and joyful and tragic and full, so full. Friendship is vitally important…and sometimes, so hard. But all this life? We just weren’t meant to do it alone. You’ve got to have someone to share it with.
I’ll admit it, I’ve been there…wounded so badly by relationships gone wrong. If you’ve been through Junior High, you know: Girls can be mean. Relationships can cut deep, word-wounds leave uglier scars than sticks or stones ever could. I spent lots of years avoiding getting too close, because who needs the risk?
When we’re Christian, it should look different. When we’re living that out, it will look different! I’ve been down a hard road or two, even in my relationships with sisters-in-Christ. I’ve been prayed for and I’ve been preyed on, but in the end I’ve found myself blessed with a group of true heart-sisters. Not just friends…something deeper than that. We’re a fellowship, a group of families who work together and laugh together and cry together, and it’s so much more than I ever imagined possible! It’s a blessing I never imagined could exist, and one that’s worth far more than gold. It escapes words.
I want that for you, too. We all need heart-sisters, we all need that sort of fellowship! It’s not just that we need it to fill an empty friendship space in our hearts, it’s that we need it because it’s part of God’s plan, and because true Christian fellowship is something that transcends our wants and needs and understanding. True Christian fellowship is a type of worship, a way to get to know Jesus better, a call to become more of what God intends us to be.
Also, it’s a whole lot of fun.
I can’t fix the past for you and I can’t give you a fellowship, but I can point you to a wonderful book that can help you out with that! I’ve been blessed by being a member of the launch team for a wonderful book by Natalie Chambers Snapp. Her book, Heart Sisters: Be the Friend You Want to Have is a great resource to help you explore both your own experiences with friendship and God’s intentions for heart-sisters in our lives.
I got to know Natalie as I was preparing a talk on fellowship myself, and I’ve been convinced by this experience of two things: The first is, Aslan is on the move as far as relationships between women are concerned. The second is, Natalie Snapp is an author with so much to offer…not only excellent writing but also a genuine, God-serving heart. This book is inspired, full of honest reflections on the author’s own experiences, and grounded in solid, Biblical truth. It’s a book to read when you’re struggling with finding fellowship, a book to read with a group of ladies who are interested in finding fellowship (MOPS comes to mind) and one to read with your already-heart-sisters, too. There’s no way you can read Heart Sisters with a group and not come out closer for the experience.
I wish I could buy a copy of Heart Sisters for every woman I know, and indeed Amazon has seen an unprecedented part of my paycheck since the book came out. I was given a copy of the book to review by the publisher, and (since I jumped the gun and read most of it electronically before the copy even arrived) I’m giving that away here on the blog! Please comment below to be entered into the contest, and to make it a little more exciting you can get extra entries by sharing a link to this contest on Facebook, Google+ and/or Twitter (click right here to tweet). Each extra share will be good for one entry.
The fine print: I was given a copy of the book to review. Also, I can’t ship the book outside of the USA, I’m sorry! And, to pick a winner I’ll use a random online picker.
Good luck, and happy reading!