Day 8: I choose to do LIFE with OTHERS.
A couple of years ago I wrote a pretty sad blog about being lonely and desiring close friendship. It seemed that everyone around me had a best friend and I was jealous.
After that blog I had a few ladies tell me that they felt the same way. Surrounded by acquaintances but no real deep friendships. This is not how it’s supposed to be!
God modeled relationship in his very Being: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We each bear a unique image of our Creator that is magnified when we come together.
We were not meant to live in isolation. That is where soul sickness begins. We were designed to do life with others. To be in the messy middle with people- not virtual “friends” on the internet.
Finally, in my thirties (I can say that for 3 more days!), I have deep authentic friendships with women that I adore and look up to. Things started to shift for me when I started to become the friend I was seeking: Real. Trustworthy. Encouraging. Non-judgmental. The friends that God has brought into my life, the old friendships that re-surfaced and the new ones that God has gifted me have been real, trustworthy, encouraging and non-judgmental. The energy I put out into the universe is the energy I received in return.
Maureen has a magazine worthy home and is a boss-mom and amazing wife. She decided recently to try painting with watercolors and she’s incredible! Always trying new things. Open to being changed and renewed daily. I owe her a debt of gratitude for introducing me (not literally) to Mo Willems and the re-discovered world of picture books which is now my career! She is also my girl when I need to give or receive inappropriate memes and gifs. And if I called her right now and told her to meet me at midnight for a “thing” she’d show up in a ski mask. No questions asked. That’s a friend.
Tara- my incredibly intuitive friend reads me before I can tell her anything. She has spoken so much truth and prophesy into my life since we‘ve been friends that it has absolutely blown my mind. She is adventurous, fiercely loyal and filled with a super-human amount of grace for people. A free spirit who gives others the freedom to be their truest selves. She is also learning to “long board” which is skateboarding to those of you who aren’t cool. Because clearly she is.
Steen is my mommy/author/artist friend who’s creativity has no limit. She can paint with words and actual paint. We share a love for books and words and when we’re together we laugh until it hurts. I feel lucky just to know her- let alone be in her “circle” She inspires me to be better mom and wife. She just took a dream trip to Italy (the setting of her first novel) with her husband and I photo stalked her on FB while she was gone. It filled my heart to know that she was living her dream. Seeing my friends happy makes me happy.
When Rachele and I are together we just pick up where we left off. We’ve been through some serious stuff and we can laugh our asses off about it all. (We can also dance our asses off.) She’s done some pretty damn hard things and still radiates JOY. I have watched her selflessly become the full-time caregiver to her in-laws and serve them gracefully until they left this earth. She has shown me the face of God in the way she loves her family. And I know she is a safe place for me to be me.
I have friends who won’t flinch when I confide in them my deepest confessions.
I have friends who are my loudest cheerleaders when I have something to celebrate.
I have friends who won’t judge me when I just need to vent.
I have friends that will look me in the eye and tell me that I’m screwing up.
I have friends that will sit with me in stillness and share tears.
I have friends who will shake their booty’s with me to some 90’s rap music…
My joys are greater and my sorrows are less because of them. THIS is how it’s supposed to be.
Surround yourself with people who encourage you to be you and inspire you to be better. Friends who want you to succeed and who will pick you up if you fail. If a person’s life is judged by the quality of their relationships- then I am winning.
I choose to DO life with OTHERS.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” – Ecc. 4:12