Your job’s a joke, you’re broke, your love life’s DOA.
It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear,
Well, it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.
I’ll be there for you,
I’ll be there for you,
Friendship: 1. The state of being friends. 2. A relationship between two individuals that share a mutual bond of trust and liking as well as commitment and personal feelings and experiences, which allows them to benefit from each other.
Yesterday I spent two hours sitting in the sun at a cafe on Pakington Street “having coffee” with my best friend. This morning I spent three hours “having coffee” with three girl friends in a cafe in Torquay.
The phrase “having coffee” doesn’t roll off my tongue very easily for two reasons: (1) I don’t drink coffee (try saying “I’m catching up with friends for hot chocolate” or “I’m going out for a Pepsi-Max”. It doesn’t sound quite right does it?) and (2) I don’t often hang out in the middle of the day with friends. It seems like an extravagance. A luxury. Ok, I’ll be REALLY honest, it seems like a waste of time when I know how many other ‘needs’ are screaming out for my attention back at home.
As I drove home this morning (after enjoying my hot chocolate), I began thinking about the importance of friendships between women. In my experience, friendships between women are very very special. I have one amazing friend in particular who has helped shape who I am as a wife and mother and I know she will continue to shape who I will become. At times she has helped me remember who I really am when I have felt lost. She has pointed me in the direction of truth on more occasions than I can recount. I simply couldn’t do life without her. Another friend and I have shared the joys of three pregnancies together. For a special season we were even next door neighbours! Our children (now teenagers) have grown up together and I delight in watching them develop their own friendships with one another.
The girls I caught up with this morning are not close friends of mine. But they should be. So, what has caused me to hold back in developing relationships with these girls? Because, honestly, I have held back. For the past two years something has stopped me from pursuing a relationship with each of these girls as individuals and with them collectively as a group.
One thing I have discovered about myself (thanks to the the difficult season I have just been through these past three years) is that when things weren’t going well in my life, the first thing I let go of was my friendships with other women and I pushed all new relationships onto the back-burner.
It was hard enough keeping my own life and family together without having to put a smile on my face and build new friendships with women.
It was hard enough holding on tight to my existing friendships.
It was hard enough just holding on.
So I pushed these new friendships away. I didn’t pursue the relationships when I should have. I backed off.
And then I pushed my friendship with God away too.
It was just too hard.
Too hard to be interested in (and happy about) all the great things going on in their lives. Too hard to listen to their stories of God’s blessings. Too hard to put up with their complaining over petty little things such as their coffee not being to their liking. Too hard to even listen to them talk.
Unfortunately, as I pushed these girls (and others) away, I forgot what the Bible says about the importance of friendships: “Two people are better off than one, because they can help each other succeed. If one of them falls down, the other one can reach out and help that other one up. But pity someone who falls alone and has no one to help them up. They are in real trouble.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)
Oh how dangerously close I was to getting into real trouble when I pushed my friends away in my time of greatest need. If I’d kept pushing them away I would have had no-one to help me get up again. I’m so grateful my ‘old’ friends helped pick me up. And I’m so grateful my ‘new’ friends didn’t push me away when I finally called and said let’s get together and “have coffee”. I’m so grateful and thankful that they immediately responded “yes!”
Right now some of my friends are in the same place from where I have just come. Life for them right now is hard. Tough. Scary. Sad. Lonely. Full of hope. But full of fear and the unknown too. But, unlike me, they are reaching out, not pushing away. They are helping one another stand up again. They are not alone. They are true examples of what the Bible says in the book of Proverbs: “Godly people are careful about the friends they choose.” Proverbs 12:26. My friends have chosen wisely. They have chosen other friends to stand by them in their time of need.
Oh that they might choose me!
I realized today that all the times over the past three years I shut myself in, locked myself away and pushed away new friendships, thinking that “having coffee” was a waste of time, I was wrong. Friendships with amazing Godly women (both long-term ones and new ones) is so incredibly important.
So I’m thinking that maybe it’s time I took up drinking coffee!