For the first time in over three years I am in a women’s Bible study!
A friend invited me to the study, which is held at her church, and when my sister-in-law heard me talking about the study, she became interested too. All three of us are enjoying the time so far in the midst of about 30 other women.
The study is on Beth Moore’s Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman. I began the study in 2008, just a week or so after I moved to the Indianapolis area. At that time, I was living in a new state, was single, and without kids. So even though it’s a study I’ve already completed, I knew God would have something new for me seven years later, especially in light of this new season of life.
We are only two weeks into the study, and I’m excited to see where God takes me on this journey of studying His Word. But I’ve been wrestling with something for a while now and the study has kind of brought more of that up in my heart. Part of our Bible study time together includes Beth Moore reading (via pre-recorded video) some real-life, anonymous responses from some women who completed this statement: It’s tough being a woman [fill in the blank]. You name it, women have written it. From serious to funny, responses include things like:
It’s tough being a woman and having to wear panty hose.
It’s tough being a woman and wondering if I’m being the role model my daughter needs me to be.
It’s tough being a woman because of the hormones.
The list goes on and on.
Our Bible study facilitator at the church had us write down our own list during our first session. One of the items on my list was this:
It’s tough being a woman and struggling with friendships that are changing because of distance, time, seasons, or other circumstances.
That one came easily to mind during our exercise.
I am in a season where some friendships are really, really hard for me. I’m dealing with friendship that are changing. Friendships that are long-distance. Friendships that aren’t what they used to be. Friendships were we aren’t as close as we once were. Watching some friends become closer while I feel like I’m watching on the sidelines. (The saying is true: “Two’s company, three’s a crowd.”) Friendships where I feel like I’m the only one who initiates. Not having many friends on my side of town. And many of my closest friends living outside Indianapolis OR the entire state.
You name it I’m struggling in regards to the change in friendships. I haven’t seen some of my closest friends in all the world since my wedding day in April 2012. And one of those friends just moved miles upon miles away. Another friend has spent most of the last few years living in another country.
Three of the biggest tensions I feel?
1. I don’t have many friends at church. I didn’t take Andrew to church last fall or winter to keep him from getting sick, and we are JUST now feeling comfortable taking him to church apart from a morning nap schedule, which hits during service time. Hence, I don’t know many women there and sometimes going feel intimidating.
2. I hate the phone. I mean hate it. That doesn’t bode well when MANY of my friends don’t live near me. Plus, the best time for me to talk is during my drive home from work. When I get home, I am in wife and mom mode and have VERY LITTLE energy left to talk at 9:00 p.m.
3.I’m struggling to relate to friends whose circumstances aren’t the same as mine. Because I have a husband and little boy, I pridefully admit that I think my time is more limited than others, that I don’t have as much freedom to talk at certain times of the day, and that others surely aren’t as busy as me.
A couple friendships feel like they’re fading. Some friendships that I think will die off if I stop initiating. And as hard as I’ve tried to hold those friendships tight by initiating, I really, really sense God telling me to let those friendships go. As hard as that is (and it is REALLY hard), there is a sense of freedom in letting a friendship go that has caused hurt and pain. I’m not sure where to go from here with some friends, but I continue to pray that God will lead me. And that has to be enough for now, no matter the outcome with certain friends. No matter how tough it is to simply let these friendships go. He will lead me, and I’ve got to trust He’ll heal the gross stuff that rears its ugly head as some friendship change–whether for a season or forever.