Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 New International Version (NIV)
Friendship is vital to a healthy life. I am so thankful for all of the relationships that God has given me throughout the different seasons of my life. It takes effort to cultivate good friendships, but the reward is immeasurable. It takes sacrifice and sometimes that sacrifice means to go beyond yourself and initiate.
When we first moved to KC, I was so lonely. It was the first time in my life that I had moved far away from my family and friends. After months of not really making any friends, I decided to initiate a play date with 2 other moms. We agreed to meet at a nearby playground. As soon as we got situated, one of the moms remarked, “Wow, I am so glad we did this, this is the first play date I have had in a year since moving here!” I was shocked! Almost immediately after this statement, I heard my son screaming. I ran over and he was on the ground crying in pain. He showed me his arm and one of the bones in his forearm was snapped in half from falling off the jungle gym. I was horrified!
Well, that was the end of that play date. The next thing you know, one of the moms was driving us to the hospital because I was holding my son in the back seat and the other mom was leading us to the hospital in her car because I was new to the area and had no idea where to go!
That day my son broke his arm was awful, but as I was reflecting on that day, I strongly felt like it was no coincidence that he broke his arm almost immediately after my friend remarked about that being her first play date in a year! Ironically, all of us frantically taking my son to the ER became a real bonding moment. Later, I initiated more play dates with these women and all three of us became very good friends!
I strongly believe that Satan wants us isolated in our own worlds because it is easier for him to attack us. It is inconvenient and intimidating sometimes being the first to initiate a friendship, but if everyone thinks this way, how will we ever cultivate deeper friendships?
About six months after we moved here, I decided to invite two moms from our homeschool co-op and their kids over for lunch. The moms had a wonderful time together and the kids had a lot of fun. Later that evening, I noticed my daughter seemed sluggish and feverish. That night, she began vomiting and I knew the flu had arrived. The flu passed through all 7 members of our family and about 4 weeks later, it was finally gone!
Once again I was reminded of the importance of praying for protection before play dates, but I also remembered how much the enemy wants to keep us isolated. Satan hates it when we have good friendships because it is that much easier for him to tear us down when we are alone!
I strongly encourage anyone who is lonely to take a step of faith and call someone (an old friend or make a new one). Take the plunge and ask someone out for coffee/tea or make a meal and invite someone to come eat with you! If you are a mom, be the first to initiate a play date at your home or at a park! If the first person you ask says no, don’t waste time being hurt or offended, just ask someone else. I really believe you and someone else will be blessed by your efforts!