Sunday, April 20, 2014

You Are My Friend, You May Not Even Know It

Elyse, my oldest, my 4th grader, is really struggling. Girls her age are mean. I don't know if you remember being that age but I do. I was definitely mean. My friends were mean. It was a big mean old world. 

This is the world Elyse is in right now. She is not innocent. But she is, sometimes, the victim and it breaks my heart. 

I have very much wanted to call up a mom or two or four and give them a piece of my mind. No doubt a few moms have wanted to call me up as well. (Nana, if you are reading this, yes your precious granddaughter indeed can be mean, ask her brothers.) 

I keep telling her that it is going to get easier. As she gets older girls get nicer. Women, in my general experience are not near as mean. 

I have had the privilege over the past couple of years, of making some great friends. 

When my husband and I were house parents to some amazing teenage kids we did not really have opportunities to invest in grown up relationships. (still wouldn't trade it)

We then spent the next four years in a tiny, itty bitty town were friends were hard to come by, and the majority of our time was spent with, teenagers. (we really are mature, I promise) (and still wouldn't trade it)

I am a closet introvert. Yep that's a real thing - on the outside, upbeat and friendly - on the inside - crippled with fear, exhausted by the time I leave a social environment because of the energy it took to pretend to feel comfortable, much preferring to be at home, quiet, reflective, perhaps writing my thoughts and feelings. 

God has basically had to arrange situations that drop me in the path of other women that have sought me out and demanded a friendship! 

It's a small circle of women, my relationships may not even look like what you would call a friendship. There is a really good chance a few of these ladies would be surprised I consider them a close friend. But over the past couple of years I have been overwhelmed and blessed by these girls and their companionship means to world to me. 

They have quietly come in and set up shop in my heart. These are the few that remember that my life has recently taken an odd turn. Most conversations with these friends begin with, "how are you feeling?". They think to pray. They think to check in. They ask about Isaiah, knowing his situation is near and dear to my heart. They quietly ask if they can take over a task, knowing it hurts me. It's really that simple. Occasionally we meet up for some late night, mommy type fun. Mostly we have a sporadic texting conversation that may take an entire day between bible studies, nap times, second and third trips to the grocery store. But that's ok. I feel encouraged, I may get a good laugh, I am stirred to pray for somebody other than myself. 

Thank you ladies, for taking an interest in a mess like me. Thank you for reaching out when you get in return insecure, socially stunted, self centered me. 

We have met up on many different platforms - from MOPS, to message boards, through sharing our thoughts, hearts for healing and desire for answers for our little boys suffering with tourettes. From preschool pick up to the convenience of living across the street. YOU reached out, YOU kept reaching out. You smiled, laughed, prayed, encouraged your way into my life and I am eternally grateful. 

I find it difficult to help Elyse, to teach her how to be a friend. I have long been out of touch with what that even looks like. You, my friend have been an example - not just to me but to a precious little girl, very hurt, confidence crushed by the actions of others, likely every bit as insecure as her. 
You remind me what friendship looks like and I in turn am finding it easier and easier to teach my daughter. If you don't know who you are, I am sorry I have failed to tell you what you mean to me. You have hung in there all the same. In my book that makes you amazing. 

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!   Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
Thanks for lifting me up!  


1 comment:

  1. Excellent - though I have to say it breaks my heart that you stubble with friends and feel insecure in that area - I know how it feels and hate you have to feel that way - NO - not my Elyse - she doesn't have a mean bone in that cute little body.


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