I've often written about my Tuesdays.
They were the handful of women first on the scene when Robb died. They didn't know what to do, they didn't know what to say, but they came. Two days before Christmas, barely out of bed, without makeup or answers, they came.
They're the group of women who knew, in those early weeks, that just because a person wants to be alone with her grief doesn't mean it's a healthy choice. They said, "We understand you can't leave your house. We understand you want to be alone and you'll probably go to bed by 8:30. But we need to be in your home, in your space, where you are. So we're coming over. You can go to sleep if you need to, but we're coming. And we're bringing coffee. And dessert. Always dessert."
And they kept their word. They have come to my house on every Tuesday night (except when we switched to Wednesday) for nearly 70 weeks, by my estimation.
For a long time, they have been the only commitment I could keep. They have swept my children under their wing. They have sat with me as I wailed and pounded my fists. They have taken me to scheduled doctor appointments and catatonic trips to the ER. They let me talk outlandishly of my rebellious plans against God and my life, not even batting an eye or raising a brow as I threatened to throw my life away with stupid decisions.
I can't really describe how much I love them.
And as the weeks have unfolded, as my pulse found a stable rhythm, our Tuesdays became less 'all about the widow.' We have carried any crisis that showed up at the table. Really, all the worst things you can imagine.
One husband died.
One husband left.
Two babies died.
Chronic health concerns.
Sensory Integration Disorders.
The list continues. We don't carry a light load. But we carry it together.
And we laugh. We laugh, we laugh, we laugh.
Someday, I'll write a screenplay about The Tuesdays. And maybe you'll laugh, too.
Throughout these many months, many people have said to me, "How did you find your Tuesdays? How did you create that community? How can I find that, create that, make that happen in my life?"
For a long time, I didn't know the answer. I could only manage to explain that our hearts were knit together when everything had fallen apart, and there could be no extricating us now.
But that's not very encouraging to hear when you're the one looking for community. So, we need a crisis then? Is that what you're telling me, Trish? Awesome. Sign me up.
Donald Miller addressed this very thing at the Storyline Conference. He had longed for such a community, and he set about creating it. He called five different men whom he respected and longed to know better, and he invited them to meet him on a Thursday morning at a coffee shop in Portland.
The men showed up per his request, and they introduced themselves to each other. As small talk ran its course, they looked to Donald, "So, why'd you bring us here?"
"Well, I was thinking maybe we could all be friends."
He says he felt like a dork making such an offering on a social platter, but the men said yes. And they met every Thursday morning for over a year.
Just like my Tuesdays.
They didn't meet with an agenda; they just came. They talked about whatever emerged in the conversation, and eventually their conversations became about authentic life.
And sometimes they were intentional. They would say, "This morning is all about Chase and his job. We're going to think, talk, and brainstorm about his employment concerns, and he's not allowed to help us with any of our stuff today. We're helping him."
Just like my Tuesdays.
We start each night with a list. (The list has evolved from scratch paper to a bound notebook. It's all fodder for a screenplay, I'm telling you.) And sometimes there's only one thing on it: Tonight we're just helping her. She can't help us with our stuff, 'cause tonight it's about her.
So, Donald says, do you want that? Then choose your friends. Pursue them. Set the date and time, invite them to join you, and offer them friendship. Ask your friends to be who you want them to be. And if somebody says no, then ask somebody else.
I offer you the challenge. Claim your Tuesdays.
And then see what bubbles to the top. I'm pretty sure your cup will overflow.