Years ago. When we had just 2 of our 3 Bro kids I read an article that so deeply spoke to my SOUL. And the language became part of my vernacular. In a place of loneliness, God provided words for my heart-cry. In the depths of me, I longed for friendship. No, scratch that, I LONGED to be known.
I longed for the “Village.”
In a Facebook world…and lets be real here I am a die hard Facebooker! I can’t shake this thing even if I wanted to. But in this social media centered world we are void of true connection. I ached to be known by someone who wasn’t impressed with my best, but was vulnerable and nurtured me in my weakness. What I needed was friends that:
- pointed me to truth
- held me accountable to be present and thankful
- were joy-filled even in the midst of my self-centered sanctification.
Somehow in the groaning of my heart, God heard me and surrounded me with the VILLAGE.
The village is a spirit. It is in all of us. It is most commonly seen in that woman who holds the door for you as you enter the grocery store. She smiles at your littlest one who is pulling at your waistband while you wipe the snot streaming down the face of your second…who you balance on your hip. We see the village spirit in the sympathetic eyes of the mom who catches your gaze while you wrestle a screaming toddler into a car seat in the scorching 180 degree parking lot during Texas summer.
But friends, I implore you that the Village spirit is best seen, best recognized, best experienced in ACTION.
Imagine a friend who loves your kids as much as you do. A sister who says:
- “give me your kids so you can go have a coffee and read a book.”
- “Bring me your babies so you can have a date with your husband.”
- A woman who expresses the love of God to you over folding the mountain of laundry accumulated by preschoolers who wear 4 outfits in one day and you can no longer discern which is clean and which is covered in what appears to be chocolate. (Oh, dear God, let it be just chocolate!)
- At 4 o’clock, she’s the girl you can text and say “I have strawberries and wine” and her response is “That plus tacos = dinner! Come over with your people.”
Where is this village, you speak of?! After my years of aching to be known, I seamed together an internal monologue of “if only-ies.” If I just had a mentor figure, I would feel supported. If all my friends didn’t move away, I wouldn’t be lonely. If we were in a neighborhood like that girl’s, I would have friends. Looking back, I would tell my foolish self….
You have the village you create. Period. You want a friend who encourages you. Be an encourager. Ask questions and get into others’ lives for the purpose of loving them well.
Hear what I’m saying-
- DON’T air ya bidness to all the passers by
- DO discern who God has brought into your life for such a time as this.
…then pursue them and receive them.
The village takes care of more than raising a child. The village nurtures the mother. The village empowers the single woman. Some of you reading this know that you need to step out and be somebody’s village. Some of you reading this have a village knocking at your DOOR.
For the love of all things lovely, open it. Let them in. Pour them a cup of coffee…which you will drink at room temp, because…that’s how we moms do.
Walk them to your mountain of dishes and let them love you.