I recently had a conversation with a friend the other day, her very recent boyfriend decided to end things because he was possibly feeling things for his ex. (insert eye roll emoji). As the conversation proceeded she also told me that he had said she had all her life stuff together and I guess he didn’t really feel needed my the Independence of my friend and the life she has created for herself. Now my friend is about 6 years younger than me and she does have her “life together”; she has a BA degree, she owns a home, car, works from home, no kids, amazing body. My girl is amazing. And to me that read as a pathetic excuse to basically run back to his pass and with that being said she was better off without him, but whatever she’s over it so on to the next.
Now, being that I am older than her does, that make me feel some kinda way about myself, sure, but not in an envious way. More in a I need to push harder and be better than I was before, I want to be just as elevated as my friends, which led me to thinking about other friends I have and that proceeded to the tweets below.
You know I was just very inspired by the people I’m around; obviously I have other friends I didn’t mention, and actually last night I realized that most of the friends I didn’t mention are all mothers. My friendships with my single moms is very different than my friendships with my singles with no kids. I’m a little more guarded with my kid-less friends, I’m not as open with them but I enjoy the freedom of being friends with them a little more because of the actual freedom of us being friends. You know when you have friends with kids, (for great reason) their proprieties are different, they can’t make plans the same way, and sometimes my single/kid-less drama doesn’t seem as important to them so I choose to not burden them with my problems because you know, they’re just over there living life trying to raise a human being in a tough world. With my single moms, I am much more open with them, I’m not sure why, maybe because they’ve been so open with me about their life stuff. My kid-less friends seem to take more caution in opening up. And if I’m being all the way honest, I’m an very private and I don’t share a lot of myself right away either. I’m peeled in layers.
One thing I love is that I have a very open range of friendships, I have people I tend to connect with from different circles, and when I see those circles intercept I smile, because sometimes when looking from the outside in it looks more like they would be the connecting friends and I’d be the outsider but nope, I’m that thing they have in common and I love it, not just because it’s nice feeling needed, but just connecting and being intimate in your friendships and bringing two people that may not have necessarily connected before together.
I’ve been listening to Jen Hatmaker’s For the Love podcast and I absolutely love it. I don’t know if the whole podcast will be geared towards friendships but the first two episodes were absolutely about “doing life together” and as someone who can’t wait to start their own small group ( a small group or life group is a group that’s usually formed through a church and meets inside or outside the home) and I just want to do it right and meaningful. I’ve been apart of two small groups and they both had their pros and cons but if we’re walking in Christ together I want an intimate relationship, I want to build a strong home team and I probably cherish that more than that of becoming a wife. Here’s a small excerpt from the transcript from the first episode with Shauna Niequist:
Jen: Absolutely. I would say the exact same thing. Our moments of joy are where so many of our delightful memories come through. But it’s really in the hard moments, I think, that a tried and true friendship is truly forged. I heard you say in an interview once that some advice that you wish you’d have given yourself when you were younger, was to invest really deeply in friendships and make memories together and take risks together. I love that! I love the wisdom that the older us would love to go back and tell the younger versions of ourselves. Are you doing that right now? What does that look like elsewhere in your life?
Shauna: I would say one of the things I’ve learned along the way is that friendship is one of those things that has like an unlimited positive return. The more you put into it, you get exponentially so much more out of it. It’s like a formula that I don’t screw around with anymore. I put a lot into my friendships because they’re that important to me. Of all the things I do with my life and my time, friendship bears out. It’s worth it every time.
So, we did that last week. I’m so thankful for friendship and I’m thankful for the way it carries heavy things. In this season, this is not a particularly heavy season for me in those ways. But it is for her, and I want to be the first one in line carrying heavy things, because she’s been there for me one million times.
Jen: I like your wisdom in that. You’re probably like me; I have women ask me a lot about friendships. I’m fully in team Shauna here. I am in your camp. I invest very, very deeply and heavily into my friendships because I cannot envision my life without them. I hear from women a lot who struggle or they’re lonely or they’re craving the depth of relationships with other women and don’t quite know how to find them, or secure them, or keep them. The truth is, and what you just mentioned, it takes work. It really does. They don’t just magically find their way to your doorstep. It’s not sorcery. It is picking up the phone, it is getting on a plane sometimes. It is taking that time out and, really, I think maybe time is the key. There’s no shortcut to it. It is hours and lots of them and over lots of months and, ultimately, lots of years; and what you get on the other end of that is just, absolutely, as good as gold.
I learned so much from this 40 minute podcast, and can’t wait for more episodes. I felt such a relief because on one part she said “we’re all busy doing life” and sometimes you can’t just be there for your friends in the way they need you to. I loved that! It’s a relief to know that you can still be friends even if in the hard times you aren’t able to be their physically for one another. I also loved how she knew how her friends affirmation. I am totally for handing someone a Myers-Briggs test and love language test upon meeting so I know these things up hand, or just show me your certified laminated results (Ross, F.R.I.E.N.D.S.). I can’t trust for you to tell me what you think you are, too many times we think we’re one way and then we take these type of test we prove to be something else, we end up resonating with those answers we could’ve sworn we were nothing like five minutes ago. I want to how you need to be friended, what are your boundaries, how deep in this friendship can we go without it become weird, how can we serve each other and inspire each other while on our walks with Christ. Because trust me I’ll let you know my boundaries if I know you’re sticking around long term.
Obviously there are tons more, but these are definitely my top favorites, these are the ones that if I’m watching I feel that pang of jealousy but hope that one day I’ll have it. It’s been years since I’ve had that one on one everyday living life together friendship. I think that’s why I’m striving so hard to learn all this stuff about friendship and being a better friend, so that when I get to Phoenix, I can go right in and create those bonds I’ve been praying over a decade for. I definitely plan on writing more on friendship at a later date. I want to touch on, how just because you’re in fellowship together with other women that doesn’t necessarily mean a friendship can be built there. I think that’s been a very sobering lesson I’ve had to learn since attending First Baptist. We may love the Lord together, but that doesn’t mean we have to be in the trenches and go to dinner and drinks together (my perception).
Friendships should be like a rainbow, beautiful because of the sun but reflective of the storm that just passed.