Ugh. I'm tired, but in one of those moods where words are coming. Might as well type them as sit in bed, saying them to myself....
A few months ago I reviewed all of the local LifeGroups, looking for one that might be a good fit for us. We are in this weird in-between stage. We aren't "young married" and we don't have teenagers. We need a group where kids are included (or in some way provided for), and of course, the day/time the group meets counts for something.
I think I contacted the coordinators for 3 LifeGroups. I was excited at the thought of one for Foster and Adoptive families, but they never wrote me back. Maybe the group didn't make after all? Never heard from the 2nd group. I heard immediately from the 3rd group--this group of half a dozen couples, and their kids. Cool. As it turned out, the group takes the summer off and I inquired right before their last gathering. They'd be doing a few things during the summer, but not every week. Didn't make it to the last gathering. I think we missed a few others because of....life. Several days ago B wrote and asked if we wanted to come to a swimming party--just hang out with the families and have fun.
Okay, if you know me, you know I am so *NOT* a swimming party person. I don't know these people and I am not just going to go and flounce my fluffiness all over the place! Also, outisde? Yikes. Such a huge sweater, I am. I'm thinking, this is not the best way to meet new potential friends! BUT, how can we say no? We have nothing to do on Wednesday. We say we want to get involved. I decide we must go. I don't come across this way in person, but I really feel so shy. "Social," in any way shape or form (other than online) is not my thing. I can hear my mother's voice in my head saying, "Anita, go! You know you want to make friends at church. Just jump in and do your best." Okay mom.
Today arrives. Of course, it's a not very good day. There's this thing with a friend--hurt and drama. And the house is a mess. And I'm no good at bringing side-dishes for a summer gathering. Give me a winter gathering potluck any day over a summer pot luck. Will people judge me for bringing easy chips and dip and a fruit tray? Will they think I'm a horrible mother for feeding my children processed foods? [You know, all the things you can tell yourself.] We are running late. I still need to mail a package to someone (urgently), and get a new g-tube extension pack for Kendi before picking Eric up, going to the bank, and buying the "side dish." [K's extension set for medications is clogged, so we're using this ugly old tube intended for feedings.]
We walk out of the door 30 minutes late. I am sweating like a hog, so the make-up won't go on without immediately sliding off. I'm trying to get to the post office before it closes. [At this point, I have given up on getting the new extension sets for the gtube. Worried people will judge me for using the "wrong" tube--which I know is so stupid!] I get to the post office at the time I'm supposed to be picking up Eric, and there is a line like next week is Christmas. Doggone it. It's not happening. Mailing this package is important, but it's not going to happen. FAILURE! I walk out, toss the box in the back, and cry most of the way to picking up Eric.
Now...if you're a Christian you probably believe in spiritual warfare. If you're not, it probably sounds UBER stupid to think that satan would give a flip about whether or not we make it to LifeGroup! Personally, I think he gives a flip about pretty much anything that will cause us not to thrive. Even through my tears I'm thinking, "I am GOING to this gathering tonight! If the devil is trying to keep us away, there must be a good reason why!"
Thank you Lord, I was right about that. I pulled myself together on the way from the grocery store to the gathering. It was LOVELY. I'm so glad we went, even with all of the drama to get there. Yeah, we forgot to bring chairs, and one set of floaties, but it worked out. Our kids had a blast swimming. No adults swam (much to my delight--whew am I glad we didn't show up in our suits!). There was plenty of processed food (that tasted yummy) and plenty of other normal everyday families just like us. The kids were all good. Even Bright had an awesome time with no explosions until the end (when we had to leave)!
Sigh. The hard part is over. We've met our LifeGroup in real life. I'm looking forward to getting to know these folks much better over the coming months.
P.S. And if you were there tonight and reading this, no laughing at my pre-meeting jitters! ;-)