What Comes Next – Friendship

The summer is rapidly passing, and soon, I will be directly facing the next phase of my life. In less than a month, my older son will be back at college starting his senior year while my younger son will be starting his first year of college. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this topic as shown by my blog posts of the last few months. Today, I thought I’d start talking about different parts of my life, and the choices I’ve made as I’ve stood at the crossroads.

First up, friendship. A few weeks ago I spoke of how I felt inadequate in my friendships because I depended on seeing people in a certain place. I also talked about how I felt some friendships fragmented after too long of not seeing each other. Yes, some friendships can pick up right where they left off after a long period of not seeing each other, but what has happened to truly putting effort into a friendship? Are we, as a society, that selfish? Are we too overcome by inertia? Are we too busy looking at our phones or working for the almighty dollar? I thought of this while standing at the crossroads, and I was ashamed because I’m just as guilty as anyone else. I also thought my lack of putting effort into my friendships might have something to do with my loneliness as I feel I’ve not fit in anywhere for a while.

So, I decided to do something about it. I contacted a friend who gets me, who gets me in a way not a lot of people do. I see her more during the summer as she teaches during the year. We talked and laughed. Had a great time as usual. I told her about my idea, and she was all for it. We committed to getting together once a month during the school year. We decided to add another friend too. It did my spirit good to know we were all committed to our friendship, and the burden in my heart eased. I don’t have to depend on seeing them in a certain place to maintain the friendship.

As I thought about how God had worked, I realized two other people have shown me the way with this over the past few weeks. Last week, or the week before, a friend invited me to a Pampered Chef party she was hosting for a friend. I hesitated about going because our finances have been tight this summer. I didn’t want to be the only person who didn’t buy something. But, the text said I didn’t have to buy anything, and I decided to trust it.  I had so much fun! The food was good, and the conversations were even better. No one knew who was ordering and who wasn’t, and I didn’t feel awkward at all. At the end, she told me she had hosted the party to help the other lady out and for the fellowship. I was so grateful because it eased the loneliness in my heart a little more.

Finally, another friend noticed I was having difficulty last weekend. The uncertainty of what’s next and the broken trust issues I’ve been having just hit me. I didn’t want to go into details, and she was fine with that–just gave me acceptance and love. We decided to send each other messages of encouragement during the week, and it has meant so much. The words I needed came at just the right time. It was a God thing.

The encouragement of these friends helped me know I haven’t done as bad a job with friendship as I thought I had done. They made me feel like this quote from L.R. Knost might possibly be coming true for me.

“Tell your story.
Shout it. Write it.
Whisper it if you have to.
But tell it.
Some won’t understand it.
Some will outright reject it.
But many will
thank you for it.
And then the most
magical thing will happen.
One by one, voices will start
whispering, ‘Me, too.’
And your tribe will gather.
And you will never
feel alone again.”

May God bless you all today!

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