For this week’s Monday Minute, Michelle shares some tips with us from Acts 2:42 about how to find a battle buddy.
Finding a Battle Buddy
by Michelle Hieb
The interesting thing about meeting new people is you have no way of knowing that one day they will be instrumental in how you survive life’s many battles.
My husband and I were sitting in church when we saw Neil and Jennifer across the aisle. I don’t remember who nudged who and said: “They need to be our friends.” Thankfully, they accepted our invitation to dinner and, indeed, we became close friends. We became Godparents to one another’s children. We took vacations, prayed and carried each other through births, deaths, illnesses, and job changes that included my husband taking us away to the military.
I met Kelly and Janelle at a Protestant Women of the Chapel (PWOC) retreat. We sat together at an elegant lunch during a retreat and they didn’t laugh at me when I couldn’t eat much of my lunch due to some of my weird texture issues. Shortly after that retreat, Kelly invited Janelle and me to join a small group of women for weekly prayer time. We all had small children and for the entire time we were stationed together we met weekly and prayed while the children played. We spent hours together crafting, laughing, and crying. The visits and prayer coverage continue to this day, well after the Army separated us.
Finding Friends in Military Life
My husband introduced me to his coworker Josh and his wife Stephanie at a Unit Ministry Team swim party. We had a fun afternoon together and I invited her to PWOC. We had deployments coming up and she thought she may be heading home for the duration. I didn’t see or talk to her again until months later when she walked into PWOC-she’d decided to stay. With our husbands gone on deployment, we quickly began spending time together every day. Our children became like siblings, she became my Jonathan, and we along with several other women began referring to ourselves as the sister wives. We shared meals, changed diapers, disciplined, prayed, laughed, and cried. Again, the visits and prayer coverage continue to this day.
These are just a few of the names among many that I thank God for as I remember them. But you may be thinking, “That’s great for you Michelle, but how do I find those kinds of relationships?”
Acts 2:42 gives us a glimpse at how to find a battle buddy and build those relationships:
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”
- Go where the God people are. Find a chapel, a church, a Bible study, the co-worker with the Christian bumper sticker, or the praise music playing in the cubicle. Keep your eyes and heart open to the nudging of the Holy Spirit. Who is God bringing to your mind?
- Fellowship and Break Bread. Issue and Accept invitations; you don’t build relationships by sitting at home by yourself! Host a game night, find a walking partner, volunteer to host a small group. Share a muffin in a coffee shop or take the big leap and invite them for a meal in your home. Stop making excuses, take a deep breath and go! What is God prompting you to do?
- Pray. Who could be a better matchmaker than God himself? Ask him to match you with female friends and couple friends for you and your husband. Start a prayer group! Invite some women to meet together and pray for each other. Every one of these friendships I mentioned and many more, were covered in prayer. Pray now for God’s direction in your friendships. Thank him for specific friends from your past and present as he brings them to mind.
Read: Hebrews 10:24-25 And let us consider how to stir up one to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Reflect: What are we challenged to do and not do? What is your habit? Do you avoid or welcome meeting together?
Respond: Is there a friendship you have neglected? Who is God nudging you to reach out to? What will you do to follow through with God’s nudging?
Father, you created us for relationships and we see how relationships have made our own lives richer. Direct our paths Father, lead us to those you want us to do life with. Help us find our tribe. Lord, we want that Jonathan and David connection, we desire the fellowship celebrated by Paul in the New Testament. Holy Spirit, keep our hearts soft that we may be willing to start anew at each duty station while celebrating and grieving the friends we no longer see daily this side of Heaven. In the name of Jesus. Amen.
For more on being a good battle buddy, check out Muriel’s post on becoming a daughter of encouragement.