when friends love me DESPITE of & BECAUSE of who I am.....
When you get a text from dear friends for over 15 years that we can book round trip plane tickets to visit Kim in her new home Cali for $150 you jump on it!! Always.
I'm so grateful for their faithfulness even when I am flighty and that when I was young and dumb we crossed paths and became friends. Even though it took an army (thank you army) of folks holding it down at home to make the trip happen. Also, can I say the struggle bus was so real of fitting everything in one backpack (no purse!) for Spirit Airlines! I opted for my camera and cute shoes instead of undies & toiletries because that is how I roll (#TMI).
This time is so dear it is hard to even put it into to words. After 2 1/2 days with these sisters I got to my gate at the airport and sat down and cried. Because to be known and loved DESPITE OF & BECAUSE OF who you are is a gift from God. A true blessing that requires time to tend & walking through each other's lives in troubles, rejoicing, growth, pain, laughter, & everything in between.
These friendships are built on a foundation of being FOR one another, of knowing we need this community to grow in our desire to love God & others, of speaking truth to each other when that is easy AND when that is hard. We laugh (a LOT), we cry without judgement or the need to fix it (some of us more than other ...ahem!), we call out in each other what each one can forget or that which can be choked out by the struggles of life, & we celebrate the journey together. We are different in many ways but I am so profoundly grateful for these dear women to walk this journey of loving God and loving others, complete with our many flaws, together. Being outside in warm weather and talking all day until the wee hours was so good for my soul. We spent 2 days in God's creation celebrating real community- which is His idea: GRATEFUL.
Sisters, investing in deep friendships is worth it. Always. if you are seeking true friends my small piece of advice is to be real. Share your life even if it is hard. Say you are sorry when you are wrong or you hurt someone. Be open and know you need to learn. Be honest when you are struggling- someone else is too!!! Speak your truth & don't apologize for it. Encourage one another. Know that you are great at some things and you suck at some things and don't be threatened when someone else is using their gifts and living fully alive! Celebrate them & accept when they celebrate you too. Be vulnerable and don't be afraid of sounding pathetic when you need help, your ability to ask for help gives someone else permission to do the same when they need it. Ask for help & receive it. Don't run if (when) it gets difficult. Share; your ugly, your beauty, your weakness, your gifts, & trust that it is worth it. Don't go this journey alone. It is too hard & not the way we are meant to live. I am more and more convinced through this journey that behind every reasonable well functioning, joyful, & confident woman there is a tribe of other women who have her back.
I am thankful I have these women to help me up, sharpen me, forgive me, and point me to compassion, humility, patience, & grace. That we can walk together in love through life is a gift.
Having friends that are FOR you: this is truly a good gift & reflecting on this time is an important part of my personal journey of gratefulness.
May your journey include covenant friendships & grace. (and laughter- because #ThisPicture #WhenSelfTimersGoBad #CannotStopLaughing)