“Do you have women in your life who keep you accountable?” she asked.
It was the kind of question, from someone I didn’t really know very well, that made me fumble over a thick tongue and reach deep for real answers.
My mind raced through the close friends I have whom I’ve not kept in touch with on a regular basis. Women who were close during a time and season when getting together was easier.
Women whom I still love and pray for and visit with occasionally.
But you know what time does. You know how kids grow and get busy and require your attention in different ways, how time changes your seasons and your dwellings, how it changes all your relationships.
That’s what I started to tell her.
It was lame coming out of my mouth, and it just fell right to the ground. I was taking a long time to say, “No.” No, I don’t meet with anyone on a regular basis. No, I don’t pray with other women for specific needs. No, I’m not in close fellowship right now with another woman who would hold me accountable.
I mean, my husband is my best friend, truly. He knows me better than anyone and is my biggest encourager and my accountability, as well.
He holds me back from going gung-ho on too many tangents, and he pushes me to the point of being uncomfortable when I need it.
But that’s still a long answer to her question. “No” is the short version.
So I called someone.
We talked about kids and Christ and changes and challenges – all the stuff two friends need to catch up on.
I asked if we could be a little more intentional with our friendship and actually meet in person once in awhile, for prayer and accountability.
She was surprised because she assumed I was already doing that with other women in my life.
I want to get together with other moms and support one another, but it takes time and energy. It takes being intentional and really wanting more than a surface relationship.
It also takes effort to coordinate kids and schedules, but it’s important.
And here’s the other thing: everyone assumes that everyone else is too busy or already has what they need or doesn’t actually have needs, so we don’t reach out. We stay safe and stay home.
I am by no means an outgoing person, so staying home is easier for me and I don’t really feel like I need more social activity. I do need relationship, though, and that’s different.
Maintaining a family is important. Friendships have to change with the seasons of motherhood and maintaining them does need to take a back seat at times, but we still need one another.
We need the support from other moms in our same season; we need to encourage moms who are struggling through seasons we’ve passed; and we need wisdom from moms who’ve made it and kept their sanity.
We need relationships that will challenge us and support us and point us back to the important things if we get off track.
And sometimes, we need to make that phone call. Take the step and find encouragement for yourself, instead of waiting for someone to notice that you need it.
“ A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.” Proverbs 18:1