17: The Bridgman Bible Babes

17: The Bridgman Bible Babes

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Just Us Girls

The Bridgman Bible Babes

We have been friends together
In sunshine and in shade.

~Caroline Sheridan Norton

My baby dared to defy me. What did my dear child do? The same thing his older brother dared to do two years prior. He went to kindergarten.

I used to be a teacher, working full-time, staying after hours, working weekends. Then when I had my children I began the not-so-smooth transition into being a stay-at-home mom. I mastered the diaper and tantrum stage, often commiserating with other moms at local playgroups, which was important to my sanity.

I began to miss the playgroup days, not just the time with my kids, but the time I spent with other moms going through the same stages in life as me. But many of those moms had gone back to work or made other commitments, our paths no longer crossing on a regular basis. It was time to find a new group to join. I needed to belong again.

About the same time I was looking for something more consistent to do, a friend from church told me about a group of moms that were starting a Bible study group. While I knew who several of the women were from the community, I did not truly know many of them. Meeting on Tuesday afternoons at each other’s homes, we’d begin with conversation, at first about our children, as had been my experience during playgroups. Then we’d spend time going over questions and sharing answers to the questions of whatever Biblical-based book we studied. I enjoyed the camaraderie, and I began to look forward to our time together. After the six to eight weeks it would take to finish a book, we’d gather to share a potluck meal.

By the time we met about our second book, it started to become apparent that we weren’t just a Bible study group. In fact one member of the group referred to us as the BBBs: Bridgman Bible Babes. Who says women in their thirties and forties can’t still be babes? Some husbands jokingly called us a cult because of our tight bond. We even signed a sheet that essentially said, “What happens in the group, stays in the group.”

Our second book was The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Dr. Gary Chapman. In the book, Dr. Chapman defines five ways people give and receive love: through words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch, acts of service, and receiving gifts. It was during this study that we started to really know each other, not just as “Connor and Luke’s Mom” or “Grace’s Mom.” We started to know each other as women. While the love languages caused many of us to want to learn how our spouses gave and received love to better communicate with them, we also learned more about ourselves. We started to share our fears and our insecurities. Our prayer concerns became more significant. And while we had all giggled at the confidentiality sheet we had signed, we now felt confident that it was binding, as if we’d signed with a drop of our own blood. We weren’t sisters, but we were fierce friends, and nothing was off limits as to what we would help each other through.

Several years have passed now since our first Bible study group. People have come and gone depending on their schedules. I have recently had to drop out due to a new venture into the work world. I miss these women I call friends. But the foundation remains strong. They have my back, and I have theirs. We’ve seen friends through failed marriages, mourning with them through the “ugly” cries. We’ve made meals and held tight to friends whose husbands became seriously ill. We’ve prayed for children struggling in school and hoped for the wisdom to guide them well. We’ve rejoiced in new jobs and new relationships and new babies. And we have laughed. Laughed hard. Laughed so hard we’ve wet our pants. Yes, when you have these kinds of friends, nothing is hidden.

What started off as something to do, something to fill the time and allow for the mingling of like-minded moms, has created a foundation of friendship that I didn’t know could exist in my late thirties. Perhaps we were all yearning to belong, for somewhere to be free to share our darkest secrets. Yes, we are moms. Yes, we may also be wives. But we are women, too, and women need other women, in good times and in bad. So bring it, life. The Bridgman Bible Babes are ready to weather any storm together.

~Marcy Blesy

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