by Whitney Hale
[E]very couple of weeks, I meet with a couple of girls, and we open up our lives to one another. We talk about addictions, the deaths of those close to us, the births of our babies, idolatry, estranged friends, our dysfunctional families (of which we are a great part of the dysfunction), the joys and woes of marriage, and even the challenges of education and career in the midst of motherhood. Our husbands meet with a larger group of guys, but we feel like three is a good number for us because, as we always say, “just the three of us already have too many issues to deal with.” I love these girls. When our lives are crazy and we cannot meet for a few weeks, I miss them, but I also know they’ve got my back and I can call them at any moment to fall apart. It is intriguing how living life together breeds intentional relationships. My girls foster many things in me—prayer, a need to reach out to those hurting around me, a longing to make my marriage better, a joy in the daily activities of a mom, and a peace in being broken together. I love the latest issue of Ruminate. I love the new design and tagline, art, font, and writing. I love the themes that are interwoven into every beautiful piece, and I love the vulnerability. Julie L. Moore’s poem, Kyrie Eleison, sings, “I look at my husband and love him more and more/ and want to call to him like these birds/ want to tell him that we, too, may be a song/ on some untamed tongue.” The mental picture of my husband and I sharing a front porch swing years down the road when our children have left us envelopes me. Our love is not despite our low points and our shortcomings; it is (in part), because of our failures and weaknesses. We are walking life together and loving each other through bad moods, chronic back pain, stomach viruses, addictions, and misunderstandings. It is not easy, and sometimes it is really ugly, but we are not giving up on each other. It is my need for Jesus that binds me to my girlfriends and my husband. Community is freeing because we need to know that we are not alone, and we experience God’s love through it. We have been created to live in relationship and are only fulfilled ultimately through our relationship with God. Recently, my dad gave my husband and me Milton Vincent’s A Gospel Primer for Christians: Learning to See the Glories of God’s Love. I will leave you with Vincent’s words about Christian community:
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