We started meeting about a year and a half ago. We knew each other from our home group through church. And we were friends. But each of us also had another connection—a desire to write. And so we began meeting weekly, the three of us, to encourage each other in that endeavor.
But six months in, things changed. Our relationship with each other had deepened, we three empty-nester transplants to Austin. And as so often happens in this season of life, serious issues began to hit. Adult children issues. Parent health issues. Personal health issues. Spouse health issues. Job issues. Grandparenting issues. And the list goes on. As so often happens, our desire to write, and to encourage one another to write, actually took a backseat to helping each other through life.
Suddenly each of us who felt the distance from our long-time, far-away friends had face-to-face friends with whom to share some of our hard history. We supported each other through the good days, the bad days, and the ugly days. Our meeting times turned from discussing writing projects to pouring out our hearts, to listening to each other, and to helping sort through feelings of loneliness or doubt or fear. In the past year, we’ve celebrated together and cried together, but mostly we’ve encouraged one another to look to Jesus no matter the circumstance.
What started out as our Word Girls meeting become unashamedly Therapy Tuesdays. Not that we don’t still talk about writing. We do. But we’ve come to realize that our writing isn’t the main reason the Lord connected us. He did it to give each of us a sense of home here in Austin. A safe place to process life as it happens.
Though none of us realized it at first, feeling at home in a new place means having a real person to connect with in those difficult moments. A person to sit across the table from you instead of on the phone with you. A person who can reach out and touch your hand or give you a napkin for your tears. A person whose arms circle you in a hug when you go your separate ways for the week.
I’m so glad that God gives us hearts that don’t max-out on love. That no matter how many people are close to us in spirit we have still more room for those new friends who are with us in the day-to-day.
And my friends and I fiercely guard our Therapy Tuesday time, our three(ish) hours of coffee and conversation. Because at this stage of life there is always something new going on in the sphere of our lives and family. And together we take comfort in the fact that God knew it beforehand, and He prepared a support for us here all along.