Let's take a quick trip back to the Garden of Eden. God said it wasn't good for man to be alone, so He created Eve. God knew that Adam had access to Him. God knew that He wasn't going to leave Adam alone.
But Adam didn't have a helper like himself with whom he could fellowship and walk alongside and who would understand what it was like to be fully human. So God made woman. And then Adam and Eve had each other. They were able to walk together, take care of the garden and animals together, explore together, eat fruit (even the wrong kind—oops!) together.
Most importantly, they were able to live life alongside each other. God knew this was key to their health and happiness.
The same principle is important in our lives today. If God said it wasn't good for Adam to be alone—back before sin entered the world and everything was perfect and as God intended it to be—how much more do we need one another today on the other side of the garden? God still wants us to do life with one another. He still wants us to pull from the strengths of others; to go to Him when we need help but also to reach out to one another when we feel as if we have exhausted our own hope, faith, patience and anything else we need. To cry out, "I'm sinking over here!" when we feel as though we are drowning and cannot catch a break. But for many of us moms, true connection with one another is hard.
Our schedules, our responsibilities, our coming and going, and everything that's involved with being a mom can make deep friendship feel impossible. Does that ever feel true for you? Most of us know we need community, but we just don't know how to make it happen. As a result, when I talk with moms across the country, one subject comes up again and again: loneliness.
But what most moms don't know is that science has proven a clear link between loneliness and anxiety. I recently read an article that discussed the effects of loneliness on mental health. This article explained that when people feel disconnected from others, their bodies experience "a constant state of mild stress."
The article went on to say, "The brain is our main social organ, and feeling lonely may affect regions of the brain that help regulate emotion or manage stress and anxiety." It's an interesting thought, isn't it? The idea that our health could improve by finding time to truly connect with other moms who get us? I just love when science proves what God has already said is true: "It is not good that man should be alone."
Do you want to know something else that's remarkable? In 2018, the U.K. appointed a "minister for loneliness." The government saw a clear link between loneliness and illness, and an official position was created to help address the condition. I point this out because it drives home the fact that loneliness is not a simple problem we can afford to ignore. We don't just need one another because we can't do it all on our own. We need one another because our health depends on it.
So what does connection look like in this season of your life? It might look different for you than it does for me. It's going to look different for you in this season than it did in previous seasons or than it will in future seasons.
If you have a newborn, it might look like having someone sit with you or fold your clothes or just come over and hold the baby so you can breathe and tell that person how you feel. If you have toddlers, it might look like having an unscheduled play date in a messy house, where you and another mom talk about how you're both really doing.
If you have older kids, it might look like saying to a friend, "My house isn't put together. My life isn't put together. Can you just come and hang with me and be a human who isn't asking me for anything?" It might look like asking that mom friend from church, "Can you meet me for coffee and listen while I tell you about my anxiety or depression or defiant kids or marriage that is in a hard season?"
Pause for just a second to think about how you can connect with a friend this week, whether in person, over the phone, or through Skype or FaceTime. It might not be perfect. It might not be easy. But we all need connection more than we realize.
We all need friends who will carry our burdens and place them at Jesus' feet.
Excerpted from Peace: Hope and Healing for the Anxious Momma's Heart. Copyright © 2020 by Becky Thompson. Used by permission of WaterBrook, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Becky Thompson is the bestselling author of the books Hope Unfolding, Love Unending, Truth Unchanging, My Real Story, and Midnight Mom Devotional. Becky also shares hope-filled truth through her top Christian podcast, Revived Motherhood. She lives just outside of Nashville with her husband, Jared, and their three children.
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