Do you ever get the weird sense you are supposed to do something unusual, but you are not sure why? Well, I had the feeling I was supposed to talk to a mom at the playground, but we were getting ready to leave. How exactly do you start that conversation?
It was a hot but beautiful day. After three hours of enjoying every inch of the playground, we were ready to leave. On our way to the car, I noticed a mom and her kids, eating lunch. We exchanged a few words in passing, but I bee-lined straight to the car . . . where I sat for twenty minutes. I felt like she needed encouragement. But, we were already in the car. Maybe we could go eat our snack at their table? I just sat in the car. They finished lunch and went off to play. I sat in the car.
I knew I needed to do this, and I asked God to help me be brave, but by waiting, I had made it more awkward. Finally we got out of the car. The kids started to play, and I sat to watch them. I was about ten feet away from that mom, but I didn’t say a thing. Ugh. She followed her kids to another part of the playground. I followed mine. They converged in the same area. But I didn’t say anything. They moved again. My kids did too, and so I followed. Again, I sat down about ten feet from her . . .
Full of inner turmoil and praying God would help me, I finally started a conversation with her. We only talked for five minutes. But in those five minutes we connected. Moving thousands of miles across the country has been easy for me in unexpected ways, and hard in unexpected ways. One of the ways it has been hard is that I have not connected into community here as easily as I expected. It has been hard. And on this particular day, I was feeling a bit lonely.
I thought she needed encouragement, but she ended up encouraging me. We exchanged numbers, and she followed up with an invitation to join her and her friend for a kid’s day at the beach the following week. I decided to be brave and join. Then we unexpectedly met at a Chick-fil-a and talked for more than an hour while our kids played. We met up at a park again, this time on purpose, to eat lunch and let the kids play. Together.
For some reason, I had an unrelenting push to reach out to this mom that day on the playground. I thought I was doing something to bless her, but she blessed me. In this new season, after my husband, kids, and I moved from across the country, this mom has been intentional in reaching out to me. Last week, I invited her to our house so our kids could play while we enjoyed coffee. We talked for a long time. We talked about light things and deep things. We talked about what good friends talk about, and that is what we are becoming.
The playground we met at is thirty minutes away from where I live. The chances that we were both there at the same time . . . The chances that after three times of being quiet instead of friendly . . . I was brave. The chances for us becoming friends weren’t good.
When I told my new friend Lacey about what really happened that day, she began to tear up. And she summed it up so well. “It shows me how much God cares, and His thoughtfulness.” There’s another part to this story that she plans to tell me next time we get together. I. Can’t. Wait.
You may be in a hard season Mama, but you are not alone. God sees you, and He hears you. Be brave Mama, because you need community, and your community needs you. Be encouraged Mama, because you are loved by the God that will stack the unlikely odds in your favor, to show you His great love.
Meg at A Great Baby