Friday, May 9, 2008

A Heart Sister

(Writer's Note: I wrote the following story for a writing contest at Satisfied Heart. It is a story of friendship. The Lord has greatly blessed me with many sisters of the heart who have held my hand through times of pain and have rejoiced in seasons of blessing. I chose to focus this story on my friend Jaime because of God's provision of that friendship at a specific moment in time cannot be disputed.)

Moving is hard. Moving across the country with a three-year-old drama queen, a three-month old nursing infant, and an epileptic dog…harder. Add moving away from a band of Christian friends, who became our chosen family, to a city where no one is known and the word hard changes to Herculean. And did I mention that I was being treated for postpartum depression and that this was our eighth move in eight years? That information almost boosts Herculean up a notch to traumatic.As someone who delights in the title “trooper,” I readied myself for the challenge. Armed with God’s truth, prayer, a cheery disposition, and a month’s worth of Lexapro, I got into our loaded Nissan and followed my husband’s lead east bound..

Within days of unloading belongings into our new apartment, my kids and I attended a MOPS meeting. I entered late and frazzled, but my table leader, Jaime greeted me warmly and welcomed me to the group. As mothers to short and sassy little girls about the same age, Jaime and I formed an instant connection. I knew immediately that we would be friends, and just a few weeks later I would discover that our friendship was of Divine providence.

Within a month in our new home, I slid down a slick tunnel into a miry pit of depression and postpartum anxiety and OCD mood disorder. Overwhelmed and hurting, the eyes to my soul captured only despair. In tears I confided my sorrow in another heart sister from our former city. I cried that I was so overwhelmed with everyday life, but had no one to help me. I balked when she inquired if I was certain that there was no one I could trust.

What does she expect me to say? Hi, I’m Angela and I’m on a verge of a nervous breakdown and could really use a friend. I also would love it if you could watch my three-year-old for a few hours while my son naps, and oh, yeah, would you happen to know of a good Christian counselor and psychiatrist? And, I’m too much of a basketcase to reciprocate in any way, but maybe in a few months. Thanks a bunch.

How anyone could befriend a wreck like me was unfathomable.

Earlier that week, Jaime called and invited me to a play date at a local Chick-Fil-A. I said that I would try to attend, but when that morning rolled around I found myself too overwhelmed and confused to make it out the door Later that day Jaime sent me a simple E-mail. “You’ve been on my heart. Are you doing O.K?” At that moment, the Holy Spirit nudged me, Trust her. I prepared this friendship for you, beloved. Trust me. Tell her that you’re hurting.

To read this story in its entirety, click here. There are other wonderful stories in the contest as well. Each comment at Satisfied Heart counts as a vote.




25 comments:

Jenster said...

I'm off to finish reading the story. Great writing!

I can relate in that we moved from Arkansas to the Philadelphia area almost two years ago. We left my parents, good friends, and an incredible church family after they had seen me through cancer surgery and treatment and helped me for a year while my husband lived and worked in Pennsylvania. My heart broke when I left them. But God is ever faithful and has given me some of the most incredible people up here!

Wendi said...

Your story is such an awesome example of God's providence. I have many memories of times he has brought just the right friend into my life at just the right time. I loved reading yours!
As I read, I was really struck with the strength it must have taken for you to be authentic, vulnerable, honest. That takes so much courage, when it would've been easy to just say, "Oh, I'm fine". (As I so often do...)
I admire that courgare. I know where it comes from!

sara said...

I loved this post! God has so lovingly provided me a friend at every move....even when I was too overwhelmed to be a good friend back. I treasure all those friendships!

Deidre said...

I loved your story. It's difficult to know 'when' to trust, but I'm sure with moving that often, you eventually had no choice. And God honored your decision.

Wonderful testimony of God's faithfulness to supply all we need.

Rebekah said...

That is such an awsome story. God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

I moved several times and had no friends or family close when Caleb was born. I understand what you felt.

Lynn said...

Beautiful story...I left a comment over there.

Tori Shelton said...

Friends sometimes are my only sanity. I love when God shows his gracious provision through the company of another. Looking forward to reading the rest of it...

mer said...

What a beautiful story, and what a beautiful gift God gave you in Jaime.

Sometimes it feels risky to step out and be truly vulnerable with others, but I believe God wants to surprise us with His blessings when we do!

Corinne said...

That is lovely. I read the rest and I agree with you - the Lord hand picked her to be your friend.

Kristen said...

God knows how very much women need fellowship with one another...I love that he provided you with a friend at the perfect time!
Have a great Mother's Day!

Kristen said...

God knows how very much women need fellowship with one another...I love that he provided you with a friend at the perfect time!
Have a great Mother's Day!

Kelsey Smith said...

Great post! Happy mothers day!

BP said...

That is such a wonderful story!

I'm praying for your request you sent. I didn't know your name (I just recognized your blog name) but I see it now on your blog. :)

Happy Mother's Day!

Beloved MaMa said...

so cool...what a neat story :o)

Elizabeth...mommy...etc said...

fyi...i've added you to my blogroll. ;-)

Adventures In Babywearing said...

Oh I've felt that way too- who would want to be friends with a wreck like me? True heart friends are wonderful...

Happy Mother's Day!

Steph

My cup runneth over... said...

Haven't had a chance to read this one, yet but looking forward to it.

Just wanted to wish you a Happy Mother's Day! = )

Blessings,
Tracy

My cup runneth over... said...

Loved this beautiful story. What a gift God gave to you in Jaime and the rest of your MOPS friends. So glad to see how God rewarded your vulnerability. = )

Blessings,
Tracy

P.S. I left a comment on comment/vote!

To Think is to Create said...

A "heart sister"...I've never heard that before, but I love it.

I moved cross country and struggled with so many of these same things. Thanks for sharing and making those like feel a kindred spirit.

Shannon said...

As I commented on the link - this story brought a tear to my eye, but a smile to my heart. Thank you for sharing!

Shannon said...

P.S. I have also added you to my daily visits. Love your spirit and writing style!

Gretchen said...

We moved up to Seattle about 7 years ago. I remember flying away from CO, thinking..."bye..." as a tear slid down my cheek. It took time, but now I'm more "home" than ever. Beautiful, beautiful story. May we all be Jaimes to someone.

xxxooogretchen

Alana said...

I voted for you and left a comment at the other site!

Lisa Tawn Bergren said...

She's won ladies!

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us...pop on over to www.satisfiedheart.com and find out what you've won!

Looks like you've made some pretty fab friends through your blog as well! What touching comments.

Amy Guerino said...

I see you won after I found out...I left a comment and vote over there anyway.

Thanks for the comment on my blog. I see you are reading a perfectionist book. I'm going to take a look at it.

I have a kindred spirit nearby who I can pour out my all...even as a Pastor's wife of a different church. I'm so thankful for her. Talking Therapy has been my sanity saver!

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