Being in community…

By now, we all know that community is really important to me. When I’m not in community with other people, I’m left to my own devices and the enemy uses that time to whittle away at me. I’m no good in that space.

Sometimes, for me, community might look like face-to-face time, or Facetiming time, phone call time, or online group time. All of the ways we choose to walk with others are good and pulls us out of the isolation easily used to drag us into deep pits. And I’m not talking about my introverted friends who need their time alone to recoup their energy, I’m talking about the isolation chamber we can find ourselves in if we’re easily discarding the importance of community.

I have communities for lots of things; cooking, bible study, single friends, Christians, church, work, writing, etc… each of those spaces are important to me and I’m grateful to learn from others and be able to pour into others too.

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With that said, I joined a community last week with a bit of reluctance, a lot of sadness, and a good dollop of anger. The Addict’s Mom community. It’s a nationwide group with chapters in each state. I’ve not spoken a word yet because I’ve been completely broken  reading through the posts of over 34,000 moms who are walking this walk too. Oddly, as broken as I’ve felt over it, I also finally feel as if I’ve found my people. My group of mommas.

I have always appreciated the advice my friends have given, but I’ve only been able to truly grasps bits of it to fit into the reality of life in our house. The mommas pouring into me haven’t had to walk into their kiddos rooms to feel whether the body was warm or cold, listening for shallow breaths. Most of them haven’t wondered if they’d walk into the home to see a kiddo dead from self-inflicted harm or happy. Most of them haven’t had their kiddo weep into their laps when friend after friend dies from overdoses of heroine, fentanyl, or other benzos and opioids. Most haven’t wondered where their kiddo is sleeping at night because they can’t find them or worse yet they have been found in a sordid state. Most haven’t sat up for days at a time, with buckets of self-blame, wondering where they went so wrong to create a kiddo with so much damage. I’m not saying my walk is harder, I am saying my walk is different, though.

This community of mommas – they get it. In part, I’m grateful for my own addict as I know some of these mommas have it a lot harder than we do. My addict hasn’t stolen from me. He hasn’t gone missing for weeks or months at a time. He hasn’t been to jail for longer than a day. He’s only had one stint in rehab, and not 15, 20, or more. I’m one of the lucky ones.

As I find my footing in this new space, I realize that some of my readers will find comfort in the words I choose to share and some may be triggered. My hope is that we find community. My hope is that if you’re walking down this road, too, we will come to know how we’re not alone. My hope is that God will continue to hear the cries from every momma’s heart that’s breaking for her kiddos. My hope is that we each find the strength to walk through this life with compassion and empathy for others, a growing desire to pour into our community, and a willingness to continue doing the hard work we have in front of us.

You, sweet momma, are not alone. This isn’t a club that any of us asked to be in, but here we are. Let’s walk this out, shall we?

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