I had a wonderful conversation with a friend last week. We live many hours and miles apart, but we’ve been friends for over 20 years (am I really old enough to make statements like that?), and our lives have intertwined in interesting and providential ways that make too long of a story for this blog post.
We’ve both been very busy lately – me with a husband in ministry and a two-and-a-half-year-old and life as a stay-at-home mom, her with a husband in ministry and helping her family adjust to life in a new city following a recent move. But when I hit a wall last week – sickness had invaded our home and had determined to linger, deadlines were piling up, and my attitude was hitting a low – I needed to talk to her. To hear from someone who had survived the toddler years and was on the other side. Someone who has lived through some similar situations that we are now facing.
And the great thing is, although she had really no words to offer other than “I’ve been there,” it was the perfect conversation. We talked about kids, ministry literature, music, and trying to find our place in the world as moms and wives when we sometimes don’t feel like we fit anywhere.
After our conversation was over, I was so thankful – for the opportunity to hear from a good friend, but also for the opportunity to share my heart with a someone who understands. As I grow older, I realize how very rare these types of friendships are. We’re still working out what it means to be ourselves, and although I really thought that I would know what that meant by now, maybe it’s okay to still be growing, learning, changing. And it felt okay because she is struggling with some of the same things.
Making new friends – and even reaching out to old friends – is risky, whether you are almost 17 or almost 37. We want to know that we can share our common human experiences with someone who gets it. We want to know that we are not alone on this journey.
And the great thing is, I am learning that I am not.