You Still There?
Cousin Laura and her awesome two kids, my four blessings and the great Alumni of Ouachita Baptist, Brittany Green caravanned to Arkadelphia, AR., yesterday. As we drive home my phone was blowing up with text messages. The messages were about getting sick before seeing older family members, the angst of family coming or going and even what to make as an appetizer for the crazy in-laws. As much as we all love this gift-free holiday we are still bound to the emotions of the "what if's". What if Aunt Lo reminds Uncle Russ of this improprieties ? Or this is the first year without our dad, mom or grandma and what does that look like? So many emotions good, bad and ugly.
I want to share with you my love and hate for group text. I have a couple of amazing group texts that I alluded to earlier that I am in - both are amazing and allow me to see Jesus moving in these amazing women's lives. But if you are like me not matter where you are in life, serving or earning, no matter how many kids you have or don't have, there is the crazy moment, similar to a JH dance of when do you interact, when do you say yes to the dance, I personally find it quite nerve racking. So as I evaluate when do I get involved in the group text, I am sure my friends that truly know me would say I am over thinking this whole thing, but I totally have group text anxiety.
It is about the same amount of anxiety that I have about when to walk into a room full of people or when do I walk out out of church to go to the restroom. As I witness all the friends personalities coming out in the text with emojis and pictures it is amazing how much love, encouragement, standing in the gap with a sister, empathy and sympathy and joy can be felt in those moments.
But at times as I read this still struggle with when do I put on my big girl panties and respond. Or wait do I just like or heart it?
On a good day I am this is. easy but on a heavy, labor-some or emotionally exhausted day I am like I am just going to read and listen.
I love that I get to be in on these conversation and they are intimate and raw and honest. They struggle with kids, husbands, life, health and so much more. They are asking for prayer, guidance, relief in the form of been there, it is going to be okay or I am here for you. They are the ones wrestling with the life resulting from sting. They share biblical truth to encourage and help the friend get out the swamp of life.
Here is real time example of what I love about group text is that podcast Amy just texted me and Jennifer that she is in broken bow enjoying a long weekend with her sister and also being together after a one year anniversary of losing her dad - who meant the world to her. Then Ruth asking for prayer on her birthday because she is sick. She is not concerned not about herself but about her mom who she is going to see in a couple of days and then there is Laura who is on the podcast today. Her mom shared a great recipe with another friend who is making her recipe of a cranberry salad this thanksgiving and she wants Laura to let her mom know. Then another good friend Carrie chimed in and said great dip, clearly she was sitting on the onramp of the conversation and had no problem zooming on. :)
I share this because I am grateful for this way of communicating. I am thankful for group texts that ding in the middle of the night or suggestions of putting an onion under your bed to get rid of a cough. I love it all and thanks to Covid we call all appreciate the way community has morphed into different ways.
Remember at the beginning of our podcast 3 years ago, Debbie and I joked about our audience size of being 3? Well guess what we are thankful for the 15000 people who have listened and continue to send text messages and emails and stop us in the store to say they listen. We want to say thank you for sharing your stories with us and thank you for listening to them.
If we could send each of you Tiff's Treats we would as our grateful hearts look at where the Lord has brought us. Thank you for letting us know what works and what does not work. Thank you for the newcomers to the church who enjoy hearing our ministers stories and for the ones who grew up here and had no idea of their testimonies.
We can't say it enough - thank you! Gracias, Merci, Obrigado, Tack, Do Jeh, Dhanyavaad, Mam'noon.
We do this for God's glory and we hope you find encouragement in our friends stories who are brave enough to come on and share with us.
Grace and Peace to you all during this week!
Keep texting in a group, keep showing up, keep listening and keep giving God the Glory.
Amen and Hallelujah.