It should be easy.
I watch my children as they effortlessly make friends everywhere- the park, the library, church. They find someone with common interests and just start talking. Before long they’re playing together and I hear all about their new friends when we get back in the car.
Friendship, to my children, is easy.
Why is it, then, that the years seem to take that simple act of friend-finding and complicate it, turning it into something elusive and complex? The playful friendships of elementary school make way for middle school insecurities and fickleness, which later fade away in favor of the more subtle mask-wearing relationships of young adulthood.
By the time we reach the challenging life-stage which perhaps includes marriage and parenthood, many of us are more isolated than ever before. And we may not even know how we got to the island we’re living on.
Is it that the deeper our issues get, the less likely we are to share things below the surface?
Is it that we ourselves have forgotten how to just accept someone as they are in favor of trying to make them like us?
Is it that comparison robs us of the ability to truly connect on a heart-and-soul level with other women?
When you boil it down to its barest, and most honest, essentials, what does true Christian friendship look like?
I have been on a journey.
~I have battled loneliness, even amidst a group of friends.
~I have cried out to my husband, expressing my heart’s need for friends who truly understand me.
~I have prayed with hands clasped in sadness and grief over friendships that I thought were true but fell apart, deep down wondering what I did wrong.
~I have met a few women, and longed to have their friendship, but ignored the desire of my heart, assuming that they had plenty of friends and didn’t need another.
~I have reached out in friendship, only to have my hand pushed aside.
~I have found it infinitely easier at times to hide behind a wall of perfectionism and smiles, than to show brokenness and risk rejection.
But, even with all of these experiences, I have tasted enough of true friendship in my life to know that I want more of it.
Do any of these resonate with you?
If so, join me for the next two weeks and we can explore together how to fill the void that opens up when we find ourselves without true friends, soul-deep friends, with whom we can be real.
It’s time to remove the mask.
I am sharing this act of journeying with five wonderful women, also writing about the travels of their hearts:
Heather~ Journey Toward a Prayerful LifeKris~ Journey Out of FearErika~ Journey Into the WordEmily~ Journey Toward RestNicole~ Journey of Providence