A year ago, I was convinced I was the only woman who didn’t have a “crew” or “squad goals”. I was a social media bystander, scrolling through the coffee dates, pitch-ins and inside jokes all while I was struggling through a few of the hardest relational years of my life. I was left feeling emotionally bruised and became more relationally insecure than ever. Soon, that bruise became a scar that I allowed to have an unhealthy permanence in my life. I had a difficult time trusting, loving well and being intentional. Because of one experience, I put that stamp on every friend. I became distant and unapproachable with a lot of bitterness and hurt coiled around my heart.
And then I wondered why I sat there lonely; snap chatting my life away. (But really, I look adorable in the bunny filter.)
Each decade of my life, I have believed that the next season would be easier/better because I would have grown and would “know myself more.” Who knew that I most likely didn’t want to know myself because what am I other than a messy human being?
But I do believe that’s what women want—a sense of realness. That’s what I want. A glimpse into each other’s homes, lives, marriages, parenting failures and successes and what keeps them up at night. A sense of deep loyalty to hold onto your precious secrets and to fight for you because you are worth fighting for. To defend you when it’s uncomfortable and to call you out with love. Friends that make you a priority even when it’s inconvenient, simply because you asked. Friends who assume the best in you, even when they don’t fully understand.
I realized I wanted those things without having to put any work into it. I took past pains and projected those conclusions on all friendships. I wanted to be pursued without pursuing.
Only by looking back at the life of Jesus on earth did I get some better perspective. He didn’t need his crew to teach or heal. He was fully capable of handling what was set before him. In fact, his buddies, at times, did more harm than good. But Jesus wanted the community and connectedness He could only get with other people. I picture him laughing a lot, late night dinners and prayers, dreaming together, listening, crying (the kind of crying only bros do together) and inside jokes. I will always believe that Jesus had the best jokes.
I am going to close with a challenge, not an answer. What if we (I) become women that love each other well, without unreasonable expectations, manipulation, our own insecurities, selfishness and without gossip because we are too intimidated to talk about what’s happening within our own hearts.
Let’s rise up to be women who listen well, who are honest, who become pursuers, who open doors to our cluttered/dusty homes even when it’s inconvenient. Women who are ‘includers’ and squash the mean girl revolution. May we remember that we aren’t just coming into contact with another face, but we may hold a piece of their heart, and when we continue to love while not being loved well back, we are choosing community over isolation at all costs which is a beautiful gift.
Keep fighting the fight for each other my friends, you are not alone.
"Friendships will mold us and we will feel it. The minute we open our doors, our laptops, our comment boxes, our homes, our churches, our celebrations to others we simultaneously open our hearts. People will come in and traipse great, big, muddy, footprints all over the spaces and places we hold sacred. We don’t learn to love each other well in the easy moments. Anyone is good company at a cocktail party. But love is born when we misunderstand one another and make it right. When we cry in the kitchen, when we show up uninvited with magazines and granola bars, in an effort to say, I love you.” - Shauna Niequist