Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thankful for New Friends and Answered Prayers

Last winter was a very lonely one for me. I was semi-new to the area (having lived here for almost a year and a half).  I realize now that I should have spent more time in my first year making new friends, but I guess I was just too busy with getting the new house in order, having more kids, and clay rosaries to take time for friends.  I am thankful for a couple friends I had at the time, but I saw them so rarely, it still felt like I was all alone.   At one point, one of the only friends I had, asked me to have a party for her business. I gave in to her pleas and agreed.  It nearly caused me to go into depression because the more I thought about this party, the more I realized I didn't have anyone to invite. I finally had to call her back crying and apologizing for being such a pathetic loser (as far a friends go!).

I prayed to God for friends since we started moving about five years ago. We lived in California for two and half lonely years until we moved to Colorado and just when I was starting to make friends, we had to move again for my husband's new job.  The job was a blessing, but moving took a toll on me.  When we lived in Maryland, I met some very wonderful moms, but then again, we had to move into a house of our own and leave the budding friendships I had started.  I felt my prayers were never really answered and I started obsessing about how I was all alone.  Of course, I had my family here, and my family in Minnesota to call and the occasion calls for college friends, but this was not enough.  I need community in my area.  The more I thought about how everyone else had friends, but me, the more I started to get down on myself for being "too this", or "too that", or "maybe not enough"...it was making me sad all the time.   So last winter, I finally gave it all up to God.  I told him I would stop wining about friends, and just put my worries in his hands. It was now up to HIM to find me friends and if they never came, I would offer this up too.

During this time, I realized that friends would not drop from the sky and I needed to start inviting people over.  It made me feel like the biggest dork to email someone I had barely known from mom's group or where ever and ask if they wanted to hang out!  It must have been the grace of God that I was given the courage to step way out of my comfort zone, but the more I did it, the easier it became to do it again.

During this time, another woman was also praying for friends. I met her randomly in line at a book signing.  We exchanged numbers and have now have a budding friendship.  While at my house, she shared her prayer for friends was only a few days before we exchanged numbers. I thought, wow, God answered your prayer quicker than mine!

This friend introduced me to another family who had just moved to the area and my husband's nonexistent prayer for friends was answered.  I think God answered a prayer of his deep in his heart because that new friendship has made him so happy.

Now I am blessed with almost more budding friendships last spring and this summer than my schedule allows and my heart is full.  Making time for friends, I have learned, needs to be a priority (not the highest priority, but still a priority).   I've so much enjoyed time spent this summer with all my new friends and have God to thank for his faithfulness.

A few of my friends also have blogs! Here is Heidi's blog, and here is Ginny's, where you will find me today (I'm sure you know her already!) , here is Mary's, and here's Lori's

I also have a funny story about how I met Ginny who does the yarn alongs.  While reading various blogs, I kept running into these yarn alongs.  Having no interest in yarn or knitting, I never stopped to check it out.  One day, I clicked on the link, just for curiosity and found a women who I know from church and who was good friends with other women I knew- Ginny!  I emailed her and probably sounded like a stalker, but she reciprocated with such kindness, I knew this one was a keeper :-) I've so enjoyed getting to know her and her sweet family.


Jenny said...

I just discovered your blog through Ginny's. This post on friends is so timely for me. It is so hard to make that leap and invite someone over! Oh, and then I read you went to Franciscan! My oldest is starting her 2nd year there and my 16 year old wants to attend as well! How I wish I had heard of Franciscan when I was choosing a college! How close are you to Williamsburg?

Sarah Harkins said...

Hi Jenny, I think we live a couple hours from Williamsburg. That's great that your daughter is at F.U.S.! Love that school!

Allison said...

Sarah: I know Ginny's blog! Such neat friends you have. And you look so beautiful in that photo.

I have lived in the same community for more than 16 years, and am in a dry spell as far as friends. They keep moving away! Offering it up, and thanking God for my best-ever friend. The hubster.


Katie Rose said...

now that i am working a lot less and leaving the house with 3 kids is challenging, i have been feeling isolated. i haven't made many friends here in memphis and everyone is just so busy. i have been begging God to let me make some friends, but will follow your lead on this one with offering it all over to Him. It always seems to work out when you go that route! thanks for sharing!

Abby said...

Hi Sarah, my name is Abby, I am Ginny's sister who lives in Georgia. :) I just love that you went over to her house and brought crafts! That is so awesome! I thought when I saw that-WOW! I wish I had a friend like that! I haven't even read the rest of the post, I just clicked on her link to your blog to see about you! I am in the same boat. The way you were thinking, is so me. I have a couple of friends, but I don't talk to them on a regular basis. We see each other rarely. I don't feel like I have any REAL friends, you know the kind you talk to on a regular basis, and get together with often. But I think I'm at the same point you were, to just offer it up to God. But having people over? That actually is a fantastic idea! I've been thinking I need to get together with people like out, and that is so hard for me right now with 5 kids, and two that are so little (6 months and 27 months). But I could totally have people over here. I will sheepishly and very hesitantly give it a try. I'm still sort of stuck on there must be some reason why people don't like me. Maybe if you visit my blog, where I am very transparent, something will jump out at you. Ugh. Sometimes I think I'll just except life without friends and get over it. Anyway, thanks for being such a sweet friend for my sister. I'm excited for the both of you. My sis is SO COOL! Wish she lived closer... but Virginia seems like the coolest state to live in! Except for all the ticks she tells me about in Spring. Eeeeek!

Blessings to you,

Ginny said...

well thank goodness for the yarn along, because I would have never gotten up the nerve to just walk up and introduce myself at church as much as I wanted to! I have been here nine years and was pretty much only friends with Lori for the first six! I think this needs to be a lesson to all of us--it's always worth going out on a limb, because that interesting looking girl at church may need friends just as much as you do!

Mandy Benton said...

Sarah, I know what you mean about being LONELY! My first year here was awful. But things have definitely picked up around here, and I am much, much happier. Glad to know you are doing well yourself :-)

Michele said...

Ginny and Sarah, you ladies are so crazy. Now you have too many friends! Being a mom especially a homeschooling mom can many times feel like being back in high school. There are cliques and clubs etc. many times it is best to wait until you find the right one. Very jealous here that you guys made clay beads without our clan.