Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sucking It In

For a few months now, I have had something on my heart and mind.  I wanted to start a friendship group.

I realized that if I experienced the dark times of loneliness, depression, regret and in spite of a loving family, felt desperate, then others might too.  I needed a place I could be forthcoming and honest about what I was going through.  WE need a place like that.  Where the love, care and concern are unwaivering.

As I started chatting it up with my closest peeps, I got a little braver and shared it with a few outside of my normal circle.  I was amazed and continue to be surprised at how many responded with, "I need a group like that.  If you start it, I will come.  Be sure to let me know when you start this group."

I wasn't alone any more!

Upon setting the first date for the first meeting, I realized that I could easily outgrow my apartment.  I got nervous about having enough space and reached out to a local church to see if they had space for us to use.

This prompted a chain of events that I could not have seen coming.  The small group pastor of the church wanted to meet with me.  So I went over to the office and met with her and an assistant.  I shared what was on my mind and heart.  They were so encouraging and supportive.

Then the small groups pastor asked if she could mentor me.  She suggested that I take part in a few classes that they offer, leadership classes.  Also, that we could meet from time to time and talk about my group and how it was growing and going....

I am so excited about this!  I don't know where it will lead but I am going to follow the path before me!

The first meeting was held Sunday, April 10.  We had 15 in attendance!  Oh, how this group touched me.

First of all, as I looked around the room I realized what a wealth of friends that I already had!  Secondly, to see the vision come to life right before my eyes was a feeling that I can't describe.  It felt great!  Heart Warmers warmed my heart!

Since that meeting, a mere 3 days ago, we have had 4 new friends join in.  Really, the goal isn't numbers.  I could say I am giving away $100 and get more to show up in 5 minutes!  But to see ladies who have the same desire and need to grow as friends is just amazing.  Let me say it again....I am not alone any more!

To describe the "heart" of this group, I would say the goal is to be able to confidentially and confidently be your true self, without judgment or fear.

To demonstrate this, I have a card I received a from a friend a few years ago.  On the front is a chunky, red-haired girl about 6.  She has a swimsuit top on, a swim skirt and her long hair is flowing.  She has her hands on her hips and turquoise sunglasses on and poking her tummy out proudly. 

The card reads:  I won't suck it in if you don't suck it in.  You're not sucking it in, are you?

That, dear readers, is what this group is all about.

Dear God:  Thank you for blessing me with this group of friends.  As we walk our paths together, sharing the joy and the burden, teach us how to be REAL with each other.  Help us to be true and accepting of one another, for we don't see all that the other is bearing.  Give us YOUR eyes when we look at the heart of our friends.  Be with us each time we gather and also while we are apart.  Alone we can easily be broken, but bound together with love we are strong and durable.  Amen.