Sunday, March 4, 2012

On friendship...

This is in response to a recent (in) courage log... I've had incredibly long spells of friendless seasons. Once, for 19 years (really!) we lived in a place and I called it "my 40 years in the desert", it was pretty lonely. I knew many people, but didn't have a girlfriend; not a kindred spirit to be found. I learned a few things, and still am learning from that season. One of the most important things is that if I had the friendships I wanted and expected, I wouldn't rely on God so much. I need Him to fill those shoes, and what kind of friend am I (or follower!) if I don't take time with Him? Another thing is to not limit myself with my expectations. As a young mom in CA I was a popular trendsetter, an encourager, a prayer warrior and often in spots to assist others. In the small town we lived in, few of those things held water. The friendship circles were mostly made of family ties, and I was a nobody! Needless to say, my ego took a quick hit, and I struggled with depression. The few acquaintances I had were unexpected! An elderly woman who taught me to quilt became a surrogate mom, and another new mom to the area became a lifelong friend...even though she moved through the area quickly (I was so jealous!). God knew what I needed, to grow in new ways. I also leaned on my old friends some...but not too much. It was before Internet, so phone calls spanning time zones and toddlers naps was difficult... But if I needed prayer, I had somewhere to go. Because we made unpopular choices, like homeschooling, and not joining the biggest church in the small town, we ran into circles of people that didn't relate to us completely. That's ok. We maybe had one thing in common - not enough to build a friendship on, but some sort of common ground. The biggest thing is what I've learned on the other side of it all- hopefully to be a better friend to God, to be willing to be a sister to other women who are new to an area, to find common ground and to not sweat the differences...especially age! We are all women, and can encourage each other in our walk with Him! Ps- perhaps God is leading us to stretch outside of our Christian circles, and to build bridges of friendship with unbelieving women?? I loved watching the Bridges study from Crescent Project, and encourage others to pray about applying it to your life... Reaching out to Muslim women to share friendship (and Jesus!) with them.