Social media brings people together, and it can also burn bridges. This weekend I had an opportunity to see women I went to high school with. Classmates decided to get together for a girls’ night out, and included me in the invite on a social media connection. Eventually, about 16 of us showed up at a bar and grill. I knew there would be drinking, but thought that since the establishment’s menu was more about the meals, I also thought the girls would generally behave. I was wrong.
Many were surprised I came, I live about an hour away. Most did stay sober, ate, and talked as normal people do. By the time I got there, a few were clearly drunk and planned just become more drunk. Immediately, I received high praise and shock for being a mother of many children. One woman was quite obnoxious about it all, repeating over and over with curse words that she could not believe I had so many children. I won’t even dignify her words with substitutions. As the night rolled on, women began to talk more and tell their stories.
It has been so many years, and many are becoming grandmothers for the first time. None have children as young as mine, but do have grandbabies the ages of my youngest few. These women have had so many experiences. Some are single moms with teenagers at home, teens they hope will turn out okay. Some have been called by the police to pick up their drunk child, only to be called back because there was so much alcohol in their systems, they headed to the hospital instead. Some spoke of husbands who had started into drugs, or had cheated on them. One spent some time sharing how she had been violently raped, and her family could not understand and could not believe her. Some were professionals, a few doing very well financially. Some were still living basically as they had the first summer they left home, in a small apartment.
I could not look at these women without seeing the teenagers they once were. Some acted just as they would have as a teen, rowdy, vulgar, and immodest. Some were more reserved, and others were flat out bitter. I was the odd one in the group. I had hoped a few specific friends would be there, but plans were changed.
There was much sadness in all the frivolity. There were so many hurts, and so much distance from God. Just the fact that so many were completely drunk at our age, and were loud and obnoxious in a business, made me sad. But to hear of the divorces, the homecoming queen had been torn apart from the homecoming king, not kidding.
And the spiritual condition of these women!!! I could only pray on the way home, and think about what they all had gone through. So now, we are in touch, and I am going to try very carefully, yet boldly, to share my faith over time with these women. But not as a target, just posting online, and being willing to listen. I pray something good can come from this, but I do not worry that it won’t. It’s up to God, and I just have to be there if needed.