Monday, May 19, 2014

When Women Reach Out

I cannot tell you how many times over the last few years that we have been living overseas that I have found myself battling back the gathering clouds of loneliness. Perhaps a stretch of days or weeks when I just felt so isolated from family or friends or maybe even just a moment in the day when an idea popped into my head and I wanted to throw it out to someone and it wasn't possible. It can be hard this part of living as a missionary.

On the other hand, I also cannot possibly begin to count all the ways I have been blessed by women who have reached out beyond all the challenges of a friendship with someone with a sketchy Skype connection, and chaotic life and ride the emotional roller coaster of this journey with me. Some of them have shown up as strangers and left as friends. Some walked into a conference with me and now walk through life with me. Some are old friends that have had to figure out a new plan for maintaining closeness in this phase of life.

We've had to work through stuff. I've gotten it wrong more than a couple of times. But some very beautiful life-giving relationships have been born in these years and I count them among my greatest blessings.

I know social media and the blog world have their flaws, but for me, they have been a sanity saver. I have met and also maintained relationships with some amazing women that could have only been possible through their help. One of the ways I have found sisterhood and community online is through the the (in)courage community groups.

They are small groups of women connecting over something that draws them together. And oh the connections I have made! If you are looking to dig into relationships and find a safe place to reach out to other women, I strongly encourage you to check out this list of groups for the spring session and join one. Registration starts today and goes all week. If you happen to be a fellow missionary or someone working in or interested in global care, I will be co-leading a group just to encourage you! You can join us here!

Today, in the aftermath of a full scale medical mission that now looks like it blew up in my kitchen, and a house full of kids with scratchy throats and stuffy noses, I would like nothing more than to sit down with a friend over a warm cup of joe and make it all make sense. Won't you join me at our virtual kitchen table? I'll be waiting with warm Costa Rican coffee. Now that's an offer I know you can't refuse.

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