With a flood of tears, I finally burst out, “Guys, things aren’t good….” This statement came during a ‘check-in’ conversation I had in 2016 with 3 other ladies who were part of a Life Skills program I facilitated in Green Bay. It was to be sort of a reunion dinner with that particular group of 8 women, but in the busyness of life as wives and mothers, only 4 of us made it that day.
It was a humbling moment for me as the facilitator — the one who was supposed to walk everyone through their various struggles from childhood wounds, to different types of abuses, to marital problems, to other internal and external conflicts. This time it was me who broke down and had to ask for help.
Looking back, those were dark, dark days for me. Being in what I still viewed as a solid marriage with the normal ups and downs for over 14 years, I found myself in a place I had never experienced. I was down, insecure, isolated, and physically slumped over with heaviness of heart. I hadn’t realized how alone I felt, left to my own thoughts to work through doubt and questions like: “Am I really that bad of a wife?” “Can I keep on doing this?” “How did it get to this point?”
It was this dinner that initiated a commitment with these 3 women to a weekly morning fast and prayer, specifically for me and my (at the time) spouse. In full throttle, we were all in, excited to take on this task and eager to see change. Two other ladies, a cousin and a close friend, would also join us as part of this group. We had weekly updates and texts of specific prayer requests for our food-less, prayer-filled, Wednesday mornings. Excited and hopeful weeks turned into unsure and wondering months, and then into a bleak and discouraging year as we saw things go from bad to worse. Yet, there we were, still pushing through, still praying, still trusting that God heard our cries.
These five women were the ones that were around from the very beginning of this journey. These were faithful wives, loving mothers, loyal friends, and encouraging confidants who helped me keep my head up and my arms lifted in prayer all these years. They were there through the worst of it — the many tears and the dark, gut wrenching, heart pounding moments during the long season of waiting on the Lord. They loved me through thick and thin; they pointed me to scripture; they prayed faithfully whenever I needed it. These women, even to this day, we term as “the Circle.”
It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 4 years since that night at dinner. How grateful I am to look back on what God had started. To come to that place of asking for help, prayer and support. It was so needed.
I have more than just the Circle as my support group these days. I have my loving family, my “Sisters in Christ,” godly men who are like protective older brothers, and a church family who encourages me to go where God leads. Not only that, but so many people that I haven’t seen in ages, prayer warriors who check on us out of the blue, and people I have never ever met are praying for me and my family. That is how God works, using the whole body of Christ to work in unity.
To have loyal friends who endure with you, who laugh when you laugh and cry when you cry is a necessity. It’s a blessing from God. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s the body of Christ. “They will know we are Christians when they see our love for one another.” (John 13:35) Just like the Circle… but bigger.
Dear Lord, I’m so grateful for the people that You’ve put in my life. I thank You for reminding me that I’m not alone, that I’m never alone. Not only will You never leave me nor forsake me, You put people in my life in just the right time for just the right purpose. May the body of believers function as that — one body made of many different parts. May those who don’t know You see the love that we have for one another and desire that love. In Jesus’s name. Amen