Saturday, October 12, 2013
These past couple of months have been an encouraging time, for the most part. Recall during the summer that I have had a friendship restored that required healing on both of our parts and am I ever glad that this has occurred. This person really has been a blessing to me. She has been encouraging to me and has prayed for me. Since getting to know her better, I have found her to be fun and funny. I love that our children get along so well when they're together. Even when we weren't friends, I always appreciated that she was so sweet to my daughter. Her daughter was, and still is, a very sweet friend to Jackie. I really look forward to developing a closer relationship with this friend.
There is something that I've been wanting to express for quite some time that relates to this particular friend. When I first met her, I thought she was nice but I purposely didn't pursue a close friendship with her or anybody else. It's difficult for me to get close to anyone, especially when they seem to have it all together. This person seemed to have it all together. She has the looks, the sense of style, the friends, the strong faith that I knew I would never have. In fact, she never seemed to lack self-confidence. Frankly, I felt inadequate next to her. I knew I could never measure up. About a year after we met, I wrote about something that she didn't like and it caused a rift between us. I found out later that even though the comment was not about her at all, she felt hurt by it because it was about a topic that she cared very much about. The comment was just an honest (not malicious) opinion about something that happened at church. I never intended to offend anybody. I figured that since I was already not a valued friend, it didn't matter that we were no longer talking after that. But... deep down inside, I had regard for this person, mostly because she was (and is) always so sweet to Jackie. Knowing a little bit of this person's background already, I couldn't help but wonder how she had such confidence about herself. I found it intimidating at times. I realize now that part of my problem with her self-confidence is because I wanted that for myself. I wanted to feel good about myself like she did. I wished I had that ability to exude such confidence like she did. In the past few months since we've allowed healing to take place between us, I have really enjoyed getting to know her and learning more about her story. I have learned that she and I have more in common than I ever knew. I can relate to her in many ways. I sincerely hope and pray that we can continue to develop our friendship and that by hanging out with her, that I can learn how to exude a good self confidence, too. And learn to be bubbly. And sweet. And everything else positive like this friend. I really look forward to us being life-long friends and that our children will also be life-long friends.
I have also been blessed to get to know another friend better, thanks in part to the above mentioned friend. This particular friend has blessed me in so many ways. She has been encouraging and has prayed for me along with the above mentioned friend. She is also so very sweet and loving with my Jackie. She also has a neat story of redemption. And I enjoy being around this person for just about the same reasons as friend above. Together, these gals have made me feel more comfortable at church, they have listened to me, they have helped to make me feel like a part of something. They even invited me to help them occasionally with Sunday morning skits in the children's department. They have helped to give me a sense of belonging around them at church. They have welcomed me at their homes. They are such a joy to be around. And they help me feel more confident around them.
I have been blessed by another person who has recently stepped up to "mentor" me. She offered to do a private study with me which I accepted. I've never really felt comfortable attending large group studies so I'm really looking forward to this one-on-one time and learning more from the bible and how it applies to me. I have enjoyed getting to know her better, too.
Even though I have been feeling so blessed by these friendships that I've developed, there is one person who has been on my mind so much during these past couple of months. She was one of the first "real" friends that I met since moving here 9 years ago. We're no longer in touch and I don't know what is going on with her but I do miss her friendship. Recently, Jackie has been asking about this person and why she hasn't seen her. So, Jackie misses her, too, which makes my heart hurt more. Another friendship recently came to an apparent due to a sense of betrayal on my part. Despite the betrayal, I was never angry at this person. That's not to say I wasn't upset, though. I still considered this person a good friend until I realized that she had written me off. That hurt but after some realizations, I'm starting to feel okay about it. I still care about this person and I don't feel resentment toward her but the ball is in her court now.
Throughout these past few months, I have discovered once again, what real friendship is about. I have learned what makes a real friend. Friendship is about trust. It involves time. It involves loyalty. And love, and compassion, and having fun together. It's about encouraging one another and being there in time of need. Friendship is like a flower; you have to water and nurture it in order for it to grow and stay healthy. With neglect, it withers away until it eventually dies.
When I first moved to this area, I intentionally avoided developing close friendships because I just knew that we would be moving away in 3-4 years. Beside, nobody could replace my friends back home. Well, that was 9 years ago and since it doesn't look like we'll be moving away anytime soon, it's about time that I allow myself to develop close friendships here. So, I'm going to go nurture these new friendships so we can weather storms together.