You know how moms are constantly comparing themselves to each other and offering up their unwanted personal advice? I'm beginning to see that having mom friends is oddly similar to having Christian friends.
Now before you think I'm going to go and bash my Christian friends, that's definitely not what I'm doing here and I promise I have a point.
When I was seven months pregnant with Ava, we moved out of our apartment and into a new home in a new city. One of the first things we did in our new town was decide on our home church and the decision was easy for us. We went to the fun little after-church meet and greet with the pastor and filled out that little card where we checked the box saying "Yes, we're interested in hearing about small groups."
You see, we go to a very large church so joining a small group was something we felt was important in order to feel more connected. And of course, we were hoping to find some friends with kids too since most of our friends at the time weren't married with kids like we were about to be. Literally within a week, we got a call from a girl who said she was starting a small group with her husband and we decided we would go a check it out.
I was hesitant. Very hesitant. I never really grew up with any Christian friends, or at least we never ever talked about religion or Christianity. So to say I wasn't super duper stoked on the whole small group idea is a pretty spot on description of how I was feeling. I was looking for mom friends, more than a Bible study.
We decided to give it a try and instantaneously, our entire group felt like family. Like it was pretty crazy, actually. We felt like we knew each other for years and we all went together perfectly like peanut butter and jelly.
But then there was the hard part...
Every time we met, it felt as though people were always bringing up scenarios where they "heard God speak to them" or "God told them to take this direction instead of another." And to be completely honest, I felt stumped.
Week after week I thought to myself, "Okay, either I am not Christian enough, I'm not listening or these people are thinking that coincidences in their lives are God speaking to them." And in most cases, I thought it was the latter. While I still struggle today with being able to determine if God has spoken to me or a random coincidence happened, I'll tell ya, I started listening and I now understand.
Months later, God spoke to me in the crazy, most inspiring way ever. And this could not be a coincidence. It was just too crazy to be. I won't go into detail but I've had these instances happen to me more and more lately and I've got to say, I just know. And just this week it happened again - He showed up in the most small and perfect way possible just when I need it.
But I'll get back to my point..
It's hard being friends with other Christians. I compare myself on a daily basis and am constantly thinking I'm not as good of a Christian as they are. But just like in motherhood, we've all got to take our own personal journey to find our faith and continue living out our faith.
Perseverance, listening to my heart and I'll say it, listening to that unwanted advice from my friends has brought me closer to God in a way I never had imagined it would be possible. I'm now open and honest about my faith and I feel that I can be a light to others.
So if you're struggling with your faith journey, just know that it is up to you and only you to get there. Talk to others but don't compare yourself, listen and believe. Your faith journey is perfect just for you and no matter what you have to go through to get there, the highs and the lows and the daily obstacles are there for a reason. You just have to find the light and figure out WHY they're there and how they're going to help you grow. And just because your best friends seems like the perfect Christian from the outside, just know that we all have inner struggles and that's all part of the mysterious beauty of faith.