In 2004, my family moved to Virginia, where we knew no one outside of a few people in my husband’s office. Introverted Hobbit that I am, it was going to be difficult for me to make new friends, but someone at our parish office noticed that I wrote down that my kids were homeschooled and put me in touch with another homeschooling family. We were invited to their casual, once-a-month co-op of fun classes, which was meting at a parish across town. I went once and was completely overwhelmed by the experience. About ten families were there with all their kids (I think there were about 30-40 kids at the time), and I knew one person (barely). It was the end of their co-op year, and I was invited to go to one woman’s house for their end-of-year shindig. I nodded and thanked them and thought, “There’s no way Im going.”
My husband tried to convince me to go. He said it would be fun for our girls, then 2 1/2 and 5 1/2, and that maybe we might decide to join this homeschool group for social outings and the fun classes they were having. To say I was reticent is an understatement; I was terrified of going to a party that would be an even bigger version of the Very Scary Co-Op Day with Three Million People. I told him I’d think about it, which I did for about four seconds before deciding not to go.
About an hour before the party was supposed to start, I got a phone call from the woman who was hosting the whole thing. She wanted to make sure I knew about the party, in case someone had forgotten to tell me at that co-op meeting. She gave me her phone number and her address, then (to be sure I wouldn’t get lost) she gave me instructions on how to get there from where I live. “I don’t know if you can make it, but I hope we’ll see you later!” she said just before we said goodbye. I hung up and stared at the phone. I called Nathan at work and asked what he thought. “You should go,” he said (again). “Be brave. Go and have fun.” So I packed up the kids and their swimsuits (because she lives on a lake and there would be swimming), and we drove over for the party.
The kids did have a good time, and I met another few people, and I wound up joining the co-op in the fall. Nearly every friend I have has come from being involved in this co-op, and my girls have had more benefits than I can count from the experiences we’ve had there. The woman who hosted that party at her home changed my life.
And now she’s in trouble, for reasons I can’t share here. Her family is in trouble, and they need prayers. A situation that’s out of her control is coming to a head on Monday, and I’m asking everyone I can to pray for her and for her family. I’ve been praying Mother Teresa’s emergency novena daily, and I’ll be offering up my Holy Hour tomorrow (as well as anything else I can offer up). Please join me in praying for this dear friend of mine, and asking God to have mercy and to move people in a way that helps her family the most. Barb wrote about her strategy of praying for her here, in case you’d like to send up little prayers often throughout the day. I’ve been deeply moved by the number of people who are retweeting and responding to me on Twitter to say that they will pray for her. The prayers are all we’ve got right now, and there’s not much else that can be done. It’s in God’s hands, and we know that. But like the old woman who pestered the judge daily for a right judgement (and got her way), we are petitioning God on her behalf.
Please join me in praying for my friend and her family. Thank you!