It was 3PM on the 4th of July as I plopped onto the couch of my apartment, exhausted. I had spent the morning practicing Pilates and part of me was good with what I had accomplished for the day. I told myself that I didn’t need to have plans for the 4th,. I didn’t need to see fireworks or eat burgers or drink beer with a group of people. I said that I would be ok with spending the rest of the day on the couch with my dog Chalupa. I could snuggle with him. He was the only company I needed.
Except he wasn’t.
Probably five minutes into my snuggle session, I found myself feeling utterly lonely and completely isolated. Wanting to find a solution to this depressing feeling, a hopeful thought leapt into my mind:
“Maybe I can text Ego! That would be fun. She seems like a person I would want to be friends with”
Looking back, it was clearly a great idea. Ego was a patient of mine. She too is single and 29 and we would spend a good part of our physical therapy sessions together lamenting about the men that seemed to enter and exit our lives through a revolving door. About half way through her care, we found out that not only are we both Christian, but we are both going through a “crisis of faith” of sorts where we still love Jesus but find ourselves increasingly detached from the Christian church and Christian culture in general. I now truly believe that it was/is a God thing that we were brought into each others’ lives.
But doubt and fear plagued my thoughts and clouded my mind on the fourth of July. All I could think was, “Don’t bother Ego. You barely know her and you guys are supposed to hang out this weekend. She is probably doing things with her real friends. Don’t make yourself an imposition or a pity invite.”
How funny that I am a 29 year old grown, professional, and generally confident and independent woman. Yet there I was with sweaty palms and a racing heart looking at my phone, debating whether or not to text someone to hang out. The thought of being vulnerable and opening myself up for rejection in an area of my life that was so desperately lacking was horrifying.
The message was sent into cyberspace along with my anxiety as I waited for a response.
Because of that text, this fourth of July was the start of a beautiful new friendship. That day, we somehow found out that we were both in our beds the previous Wednesday night crying because we felt completely alone in our journeys. We were also able to laugh about it because we realized through our conversation that we weren’t. My heart is full having another single, strong, independent, Christian woman in my life to encourage me in this season.
Reaching out and admitting my need for real human connection was an important step for me. I had been praying and wishing for a friend that would understand and empathize with my journey in an encouraging way and God provided that for me. He orchestrated the whole scenario. The only thing I had to do was send a little text. Of course I can’t take all the credit. Ego had reached out to me a month ago to set up a night out that happened later that week. So really my anxiety and stress rejection was all a made-up scenario that my mind had put together.
This past month has been filled with church hopping and endless real and honest conversations about faith, the Church, life, relationships, and men. I’m reminded of a popular passage in Matthew:
“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20
In our conversations, God is there and his presence is palpable. I don’t say this lightly. It has truly been an answer to prayer.