Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Friends

Last night I had the chance to step out of my own comfort zone and take dinner over to Lizzie, a gal who had recently broken her foot and was housebound.

I don't know Lizzie at all. Well other than on a surface level.I know her face but not her soul. She's one of our group bible study leaders and I'm rather new to the group.

And yet, I felt compelled to take a meal, and really get to know her.

To get to know someone means you are willing to step out, be transparent and talk to someone on a deeper level.

I was a bit nervous. Meeting new people is hard for me.
And yet, it was lovely.

Lizzie and I talked about life, family, work and our love of God. And with each moment we shared the more I think we realized that we really had more in common than either of us realized. And to be honest, had it not been for Lizzie's need for company, I'm not so certain that outside of our weekly bible study group we would have ever taken the time to really visit and girl-talk.

What was so completely amazing to me is that in our conversation I began to realize something. Women need women. God designed us for friendship. God is Himself a relational God. The good Lord is always drawing us near to Him in one way or another so I'm not so sure why I thought I could handle life alone.

Maybe it's because I've gotten myself in a rut. So busy being a working mom, taking care of the kids and my husband's needs that I completely disregarded my own needs for relationships with God and other women, but I have.

It's my own fault. I chose to put everyone else first even to the exclusion of myself.

Now loving and caring for my family isn't in and of itself isn't a bad thing. But what I did, which was to make them my entire life meant, I was giving to them and I suffered.

But last night, with just a pizza box, a side salad and a new friend I learned, that I've put myself in a box that's not designed for me. That's not how the good Lord designed me or you. He wants us to have friends so we can relate to one another and not feel isolated. So we can encourage and reach out to help one another when there's a bump in the road like a broken foot or like me, someone who needed a new friend.

I had a great time visiting with Lizzie. She's an amazing woman. Funny, smart, bright and her whole face lights up in joy when she laughs. 

Through those few short hours, we both realized that our life experiences somewhat mirror each other and while she's slightly ahead of me in life experience when it comes to raising kids, the age gap wasn't so great that she couldn't groan and roll her eyes with me when I said the word, teenagers.

Oh how we laughed!

God designed women for friendship.

Now I'll be the first to admit that I've struggled with friendships my entire life. I've never been good at it. I'm not so sure why except to say that maybe it's because deep down I don't feel like I measure up to the incredible women I meet on a day-to-day basis and that I feel I don't have anything to bring to the table. And sometimes I feel like that awkward, shy kid back in grade school who got overlooked when kids were choosing kickball teams.

Those feelings still resonate with me. Each time I go to a women's bible study or just simply go to the gym to workout I feel this weirdness that somehow I just don't measure up.

Ridiculous right?

I agree.

You'd think at this stage of the game that those feelings wouldn't exist. But they do and they're hard. And if you're like me, those feelings tend to isolate us from the very thing that God designed us to be and have. Relationships.

There's not a single man on the planet that can ever understand how a woman feels when she suffers brokenness that comes from a divorce. Or the loss of a child. Or the heartbreak of an empty, loveless marriage. Except another woman who's walked that mile before us.

So today I want to encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone like I did and make a new friend. Go with an open mind, an open heart and trust that the good Lord will meet you in those awkward moments and bless the time you share with one another. I trust you will be sweetly surprised.

Love and best wishes,


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