Why I Won’t Stop Putting Myself Out There for Friendship

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Why I Won't Stop Putting Myself Out There for Friendship

We’ve lived in Chattanooga for over five years now, and it’s just in the last year or so that I seem to have found my people.

For what seems like years, I would send out group messages to other stay-at-home moms I knew, mostly from church, about going to the zoo or the mall playplace or lunch. And every time, it was a no.

It broke me a little bit.

I knew it wasn’t really me as much as Chattanooga. Most everyone I know here grew up in Chattanooga. They have friends, family, and set schedules. Add on kids in school and other responsibilities, and I get it, I really do.

It’s just that not having any good friends got old.

I joined groups that scheduled playdates to fill time and just get out of the house. Once I had David and we moved on campus at the school, that seemed to fall to the wayside. The year Libbie and David were both in a Mother’s Day Out two days a week and I was pregnant with Joshua, I secluded myself pretty well. I determined friendships weren’t going to happen with people at church. In my sickness and tiredness and overwhelmed-ness at being pregnant unexpectedly when I had a 3- and 1-year-old, I gave up a little.

I worked. I tried to keep my head above water. And that was about it.

And then, the result of many prayers from myself and my mentor, I made a true friend. Someone who needed me as much as I needed her. We had much in common, and enough not to keep it all interesting. I was probably a little too devoted to our friendship, too needy, because when she went back to work this past year, I felt lost again.

After a few months of moping, though, I knew I had to keep sending messages. Mr. V and I started teaching our age group in Sunday School, and suddenly I felt not only connected with but responsible to a group of people our age. And this time, when I asked for get-togethers, there were yeses.

It still feels uncomfortable every time I send a text, asking someone to get together (especially because I tend to be a last-minute kind of girl). It’s that question of rejection. Obviously I take everything too personally. I’m an HSP to the core.

But I won’t stop sending texts and Facebook messages and making phone calls and needing women friendships a little too much. Because we need people to be vulnerable with, to show the soft side of motherhood and womanhood, the side that no one sees on Facebook or Instagram. Women who see my reaction when David blatantly ignores everything I say, or Libbie gives me THAT LOOK of rebellion. Because so often I isolate and think it’s only my kids or only me. But it’s not.

God sets the lonely in families. And even though I have an absolutely wonderful family and in-laws, those long days of being at home with little ones can still feel painfully lonely. These past few months, He’s given me a sort of family among the young-ish moms in our church, the women who desperately need to know we’re all doing the best we can and it’s OK.

I am so grateful.


A few weeks ago, I sent another one of those texts. I was driving around and needed some coffee, so I texted Tiffany, asking her if she wanted to meet within the hour at a local coffee shop. I just had Joshua, and she had no kids. I expected a no, because it was so soon and she’s usually working. But she said yes. (She’s my favorite.)

We got there and ordered, and then I realized I didn’t have my wallet. I was mortified as I asked Tiffany if she could pay for my coffee and food. If she hadn’t been there, I would have been beyond embarrassed, having to walk out with a child wailing about a muffin. But she made me feel normal, paid for it, and we had a great visit.

And that’s why I won’t stop putting myself out there for friendship.

12 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Stop Putting Myself Out There for Friendship

  1. Awwww…man I wish I lived closer Jess… I would need you TONS… I shake my head yes quite a bit when I read your blog…. I feel ALOT how you do… It’s kinda nice knowing I’m not alone in my not-trying-to-be-but-am isolated…phases…. Kids maybe quite younger than your 3….HA… Mine(3 girls) could babysit…oh well if your ever in Missouri give a hollar!

  2. It can be hard to feel like you are always the one reaching out! I have some friendships that have lapsed because no one ever responded yes to my invitations. But others have grown. It’s vulnerable but worth it. 🙂

    Every month I send a flurry of emails trying to arrange a meeting time for my book club. Some months 8 people come, other months 2. But those ladies are some of the most important people in my life. So I will keep sending the emails even when I feel overbearing.

  3. It’s hard for me because I don’t have kids and all my friends do. I tend to not ask a lot of times because I know that their schedules are much more complicated than mine. I just have to make sure there’s food in the house for my husband to eat…and even if I don’t it’s not the end of the world if he has to go to Burger King or get a pizza. I don’t like to feel like I’m complicating people’s lives, but I miss my friends!

    • For what it’s worth, I adore my friends without kids! I love them for themselves, obviously, but also…it’s kind of nice to only have my annoying kid-centric schedule to deal with. And also to talk to someone about non-kid things. Really, there are a thousand reasons I love my friends without kids!!!

  4. I am NOT good at putting myself out there, but your words definitely resonate– it is definitely worth it and, the few times I’ve managed to do so, I’ve never actually regretted it. Beautiful post and good for you!

  5. I have all kinds of friends, but none living at the same time and place in their lives as I am in mine that are close enough to be my refrigerator friends in spite of the demands of kids, work, etc. However, I have hope that season is coming for me sometime soon-ish. And I hope that I won’t be too afraid to ask or too jealous of my time to ask. (Often I am too anxious and introverted for my own good.) In the interim, my fridge is always open for a visit from one of the people who put herself out there and looked past my weirdness to be my best friend. You know, in case she’s ever in the state. 🙂

  6. Pingback: It's Hard to Make Friends in Chattanooga

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