I lamented a long (really long) time for a community. I walked through a tumultuous long season of loneliness. I prayed and journaled and hoped desperately for girlfriends. Not these dramatic friendships that only exist for social media to make others envious (life is much better without them, by the way).
Nope, I was done with those.
I wanted authenticity. I wanted to surround myself with those who would show me grace when my fleshly side reared its ugly head. Women whose hearts were wrapped so tightly by God’s Spirit they exuded grace and encouragement when I struggled.
My Dad told me about those kind of friendships as a child. “Now Chelsey, you’ll be able to count on one hand the amount of real friends you’ll have in this life, but who is your real friend?” “Jesus,” I would answer as I rolled my eyes.
Turns out, my Dad was wrong.
My good friends run over to two hands! Kidding, Dad. But you get the gist, and he was indeed right. God took his time with bringing me a solid community, and I think its because I had to focus my eyes solely on him first. Without changing my heart to align with God’s purpose, I would be unable to be the kind of friend to others that I wanted to surround me.
God answered my prayers in His perfect timing (and probably to shut up my moaning), and it was beyond anything I could imagine. While I’ve developed close relationships where I live, many of the women God brought (or has brought back) into my life are spread across the globe.
My friendships with gals from Cape Town, South Africa are deepening, I’m reconnecting with women I knew in middle school, and I’m forming bonds with coworkers I never would have connected with otherwise.
God does amazing stuff when we trust in Him and allow Him to do what He’s in the business to do: be an author and creator.
One of the women I’ve been able to get to know is Angie. I traveled on a few flights she has worked, and we connected because she knows my mother (who is also a flight attendant). While we have yet to wanderlust together as we have chatted about, we stay connected through emails and texts. I recently asked Angie to contribute to my blog, and what she wrote follows below. It is a prayer which struck a chord with me, and I am so thrilled to share her words with you…
“I am going to share with you all something I hope will resonate with you especially if your struggling or wrestling with life changes and disruptions.
For the past few weeks I have been very depressed and upset about my current employment status and some of the life disruptions imposed upon me. Not just because it will affect my income, but because it will more importantly affect my whole lifestyle. I have been struggling to come to a place of peace and acceptance with my current dilemma.
For those that know me best will understand that I work as hard as I play; I can not separate the two. I need both the work for stability and finance as I need the play to remain sane and refreshed. For the past twelve years I have been out on my own being a responsible, productive, and independent woman. One, who all to often, has a taste for champagne, when I need to be on a tap-water budget. And now for the past six years I have been working at an insane pace, punctuated by brief, but rewarding experiences abroad and on the road.
I have come to learn during this time that the hardest part about living, working, and loving is figuring out the balance to experience the rewards of these three vital things. There have been plenty of mistakes and even some regrets, but I have done my part to work and resolve the parts I could. And most importantly, to learn and continue to progress into a better person. It is the hardest work and it certainly keeps me busy and constantly analyzing.
While I never have been and never will be a bible thumping, microphoning evangelist, I can not for one second, one breath, one thought, not give credit to God. I have been quietly, and sometimes not so quietly, asking and seeking for the strength and courage to see my personal plight with a renewed mind and an openness of heart.
So, I share with you that I began to find my solace and understanding. I want to thank those who keep me in their prayers, and probably do a better job at it, than I could ever do for myself. I trust and have faith, that in this season of personal chaos and turmoil, that I will be cared for, loved for, guide for, provide for, and better for.
My prayer is for thankfulness that I’m turning the corner, and working on the task at hand, and that I have the blessing of many wonderful people in my life. My God may shake me but he will not forsake me!”