Big Idea: “Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.” Ephesians 6:18 (MSG)
Wednesday morning. 6:45am. Last day of school. Finals week.
I’m not much of a morning person. At all. So, as usual I was running late to get my daughter to the carpool drop off. My husband had left at5:30 on an early morning flight driving himself to the airport since I really do not do mornings. The kids and I were on our own as I hustled them out to the car with backpacks and final test reminders.
We jumped in the car and turned the key. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Seriously?! A dead battery? Today … of all days?!
I sat in the driver’s seat frozen. Not because of the dead battery, I’d accidentally left the lights on. I deserved that dead battery. I was frozen because it occurred to me that I didn’t have a 6:45am friend in town. You know what I mean? The kind of friend who will wake up to the buzzing of their cell phone on their nightstand at 6:45am, see that it is you, answer their phone, and come running to help. I didn’t have one of those. I didn’t have a 6:45am kind of friend. And I was strangely suddenly overwhelmed by the most oppressive sense of isolation that I’ve felt in years.
I have many people in my life in our city. I have the women of our church who I love and will pray for and hold up in times of difficulty. I have the most incredible ladies on our staff that I serve alongside and try to heap encouragement on as much as possible. But I don’t have a6:45am friend.
When you are in leadership friendships are just tough. Loneliness is rampant. Isolation seems to be the norm. The questions of—Who do you talk to? Who can you confide in? Who can you lean on?—can be scary. And if they are answered by a resounding “no one”, then they are downright terrifying.
Who is holding you up? Who is joining you in your pain, struggle, hurt, and weariness? Who is your 6:45am friend?
Two minutes later as I pulled my little darlings out of the car yelling about running to the carpool drop-off, I was struck by the fact that I did, in fact, have 6:45am friends. They just didn’t live in my city, state, or time zone.
I have my 6:45am friend in Nashville who has listened to me sob so hard on the phone that she couldn’t understand anything I said but cried with me anyway. I have my 6:45am friend in Miami who has prayed for us and grieved with us. I have my 6:45am friends in Oklahoma and Texas who have encouraged me in my parenting when I’ve struggled with my children. I have my 6:45am friends in California and Washington who seem to always know the exact moments that I need those encouraging phone calls and texts.
I have 6:45am friends. They are fellow pastors’ wives. They understand my life. They know my challenges. Because they share that life and those challenges. God has knit our hearts together through a common calling and a shared purpose. And that kind of community is available to you too.
You no longer need to be bound in isolation, but instead, you can reach out and grab hold of a small group of women who understand you like no other. There is incredible joy available in community, and we are not exempt as leaders. Take a risk, step out, and join a community so that you can have those 6:45am friends too.
We would love for you to join us in Las Vegas at the Leading and Loving It Retreat where you can meet some of those 6:45am kinds of friends. Check out the details here: http://leadingandlovingit.com/connect/retreat/
Lori Wilhite (Las Vegas)