He looks after the lonely and places them in family...
When I became a mum for the first time, I felt lost. None of my present friends had children and they were going back to uni, promotions and moving away. I was so excited to become a mum but not having work to go to or family around, I experianced loneliness, as I had no one to share my day to day life with, whilst my husband was at work.
I was depressed and going out became harder but God had a plan. He revealed himself to me - I became a christian and with that I entered Gods family. I had no idea how being part of church would bless me so much. I met other first time mums, we were going through the same firsts together with our babies and even though there was an age gap (I was the youngest) it didn't matter as we were on the same level, starting families together. Through this I met their friends and my support network grew. I became more confident and went to other groups and made new friends. I had a network and I belonged. I felt safe because I knew the motivations behind their friendships from church - to love one another as Christ loves the church. It was the same motivation as I had. As time went on, people returned to work, had more children or returned back to study for a new career. I wanted a big family and so knew I would be in this phase for longer, I worried I would be on my own again.
I prayed for others my own age to join the church and they did. From this, I made a new network of friends. Some had children and some did not. We encouraged one another in our relationship with Christ and my husband also became a christian at this point and we belonged to the same network of friends. We had fun together! God met my friendship needs again! I am an extrovert and I need people in my life. I'm not necessary the life and soul kind of girl but being with others lifts me up and re-energises me.
When we relocated back to Farnborough, I was worried about leaving my church family behind and what would it be like in a new church? But God was good. Life was hectic - as I was home schooling my autistic son and fighting for a school place for him. This did not leave me a lot of time to invest in friendships but God found a way. I became part of small group and teams within church, which helped friendship to blossom. He placed me in contact with those whom I shared interests and I have been blessed yet again with a network of strong christian women, whom I am proud to call my friends (I am still in touch with my old friends too - we weren't just friends because we loved Jesus).
The older I get, the less time I have for friendships or meet ups. When the children were younger, it was different, physcially hard work but lots of time for connections. Now they are older, there is less time and my day works in a completly different way. This middle age parenting is hard work and tiring in a different way compared to when they were younger. I cannot physically invest like I used to in relationships and God has taught me that some people come into my life for a short time and others come for a longer time - either way God is with me, He knows my needs and He will provide. During this time, God has taught me about having boundaries so I do not get hurt when others move on or take it personally. He has taught me about myself and my needs. He has taught me to be compassionate and have empathy for newcomers too, in any setting.
I have recently moved to a new church and I have faith that God will provide my needs. I still have my friends from my previous church (as I have not moved location this time) but God has already started connecting me with others. I look forward to being part of my local church and community, what I will learn in this new season. I know that God will provide, He has my best interests at heart and whilst it doesn't always look like how I imagined it would - He is Good Always.