I don't even know how to start, cause once I say this I can no longer control whether or not you still see me as the calm, cool, collected blogger you now see me as (right? Right? just play along and let's all pretend that's my online persona). Once I admit this you might see me as a sad, pathetic, needy woman who doesn't understand personal dignity in correlation with the internet.
Or maybe you will just say what I suspect lots of us are saying: "Yea, me too."
I have this hunch that I'm not unique in my feelings whatsoever. I don't think it's a generational thing, or a technology thing. I don't think it's a working mom thing or a stay at home mom thing. I'm not even sure it's a mom thing at all. I don't think it matters what we believe or where we go to church or if we go at all. I don't think that everyone always feels this way, but I know that someone does.
I have to believe I'm not the only woman out there who is shaking in her boots months after moving because I haven't found "my girls" yet. I have to believe that someone, somewhere is aching for friends to laugh with and admit how long it has been since their hair was washed or vent about toddler drama. Surely I’m not the only gal fighting back tears when she watches Toy Story with her kids and hears “You’ve Got A Friend In Me.”
Friendship takes time to find and build upon. I have some awesome friends already, which (in those pitty party, ungrateful moments) can easily make me impatient to find more of those kinds of friends. I see women out there (you know “there” aka the social media vortex) hosting monthly supper clubs and girls weekends away and living their bliss and whatnot. But the older I get the more I realize that making friends is hard, it’s not as romantic and whimsical as we all imagine it to be!
Most of us are lonely.
If you are like me you had this glorious phase of life called college when we had as much sleep as we could possibly desire and the energy to dance the night away. We were free of distractions and able to give our complete attention to contemplating life and our dreams as we sipped lattes in quiet coffee shops. We scheduled our classes or job the we wanted them to fit into our social life. Plus, we literally lived in the same house (or tiny dorm room) as our best friends. And hold that up against the drastically opposite season of motherhood where you are tired, distracted, busy, and your nerves are worn down to tiny frayed little nubs. No wonder feeling that magical friendship connection with other women is so hard. We’re running on fumes and trying to cultivate the same community we had in college and we feel defeated when those magic sparks don’t start flying between diaper changes and whiny, hungry kids.
Then starts the oh so familiar cycle of frustration/fear of rejection/self pity/dillusions (and Netflix binge, let’s be honest the Gilmore Girls make pretty great fake friends)about everyone else’s Thelma-&-Louise-Ya-Ya-Sisterhood-Babysitters-Club friendship around you .
As soon as I heard that verse last Sunday I knew immediately; friendship is my treasure.
Friendship is the treasure I base all my future hopes on. Friendship is the factor my identity is hinging on. Friendship is the idol stealing my joy. Friendship is holding my gaze. And because of that, I’m grumpy, I’m lonely, I’m weepy, I’m stuck.
Friendship is a beautiful and life-giving relationship, but only as much as it flows from our friendship with Christ. He invited us to be his friend. That’s a big big deal for two reasons: 1. God of the universe, the Creator of all life cares about little ole me enough to call me friend, 2. He’s the best friend we could ever have, he is never too busy, never leaves, never gets fed up, never betrays, never moves on, never outgrows, never drifts because of differing stages of life. He always endures, always loves, always gives rest, always listens, always speaks the truth in love, always provides, always helps, always cares.
Friendship with women is great, but only because it’s purpose is point us to Christ.
No one could know me more, no one knows my story like He does and no one ever will. With my eyes on that friendship the ache softens. Of course I still want friendship with women around me, but with my eyes on Christ it’s not so hard to believe that He can and will provide friendship for me and He will continue to grow the friendships I have now. Feelings of rejection can’t stand in the light of the immense accept I have in Jesus Christ.
And then we will all hang out and sip lattes with our clean hair and without gaining a calorie while we wear real-non-yoga pants and watch our children peacefully sharing their toys with each other. Then we will all ride through meadows on the backs of our unicorns. Ok yea….stop while I’m ahead. Grace covers a multitude greasy, messy buns and toddler tantrums anyway.