I remember well the first time I was invited to go out to eat with two couples. Yikes! To be a fifth wheel! If they weren't Jim's sister and husband and Jim's best friend & his wife, I don't think I could have done it. Knowing that they cared much and were sensitive to me feeling like half a couple helped. But I still felt strange and thought about making up an excuse not to go. I did go and found out the wonderful news that Jim's sister was pregnant again after having miscarried previously. (She has since had my adorable nephew aka Prayer Boy.) Anyway, I was glad I went, but I will admit there was some painful times. Like when we tried to figure out where we were all going to sit (so the guys could talk and yet the girls still sit by their men) and when we prayed ( the girls just automatically reached for their husbands' hands and I just squeezed mine own tightly in my lap). They graciously listened as I shared memories of Jim or chatted about single parenting. It was definitely awkward for me, but it wasn't as bad as I thought either.
I read this in a Grief Share email today:
This feeling of loneliness and the consciousness that you are not part of a couple may cause you to avoid going into group situations where most of the other people are couples. God disagrees with the idea that three's a crowd. He reveals in His Word that great strength is available when three people come together.
(Ecclesiastes 4:12 & Matthew 18:20)
Tonight Ecclesiastes 4:12 really stood out to me. My mom had three kids, so all the time when we were quarreling as a child, I'd hear, "Two company, threes a crowd." I respectfully disagree. I think it is possible for three siblings to get along and be close knit. So I keep reminding my boys, "A threefold cord is not easily broken." It wasn't until tonight, that I realized this was for me as well. Being a third wheel in God's hands is powerful, not disheartening or drudgery.
Ahhhh, how Almighty God can breath life into what seems so negative. And make me see the priviledge it is to be that third person......