Nothing can remplace face time with girlfriends. (Real face-to-face time, not FaceTime.) The past month I’ve been privileged to forge a couple of new friendships, strengthen a longtime friendship and invest in some other women that are a part of my daily world. My soul is so much better for it.
If you’re like me, you probably live far away from many of the women you’d consider your closest girlfriends. How many times have you said, “Oh I wish I could just grab a cup of coffee with you”? Or, if you have kids, you wish you could see them playing with your friends’ kids. But alas, we live in a global world that’s taking us across the country or across the globe and our souls still need real time with other women– friends, friends who hear our hearts and don’t run away.
My dear friend Corinne has been that kind of friend. We were able to squeeze Saturday mornings in at the park with our kids or chatting after she babysat my kids on Friday mornings so I could go to our staff meetings. Now though, her kids are in full-time preschool, she’s back to work full-time and weekends are fuller for her. Shortly after her new job started, our family moved a quarter mile to a new apartment with a lot less families and another dear friend moved away. I quickly missed the brief interactions with other moms and dads (and their kids) as we went throughout our days. Then one day things started to change.
A friend from church, Xiaoyu, and I decided to meet for the first time outside of church with our little ones. While at the lake halfway between our apartments I ran into an acquaintance who was with another mom, Elisa, with a son the same age as Chloe and Xiaoyu’s daughter. Long story short, we made the semi-awkward exchange of phone numbers, met up at a park a week later (even though it meant short naps or no naps for some of the kids) and a friendship has begun. Sure we text in between seeing each other but the real gift is seeing each other face-to-face. Once, Xiaoyu dropped her daughter off at daycare and then stopped by to say “hi” to me and my kids for 20 minutes because we were at a playground near her house. She just wanted to say “hi” in person. It was lovely.
Lastly, there’s a couple of women I’ve started to pray with in the last two months (Elisa is one of them). We get up early, meet up, share the parts of hearts that are hurting or where we’ve seen God move and then we pray for each other. Thanks to these women my heart and soul are thawing out and I’m being vulnerable again. Here’s what I’ve learned about making new friends in this global world (and as a mom with little ones):
- Sacrifice is required: the awkward exchange of phone numbers (someone had to be the “needy” looking one). The getting up early to pray together: I have a 18 month old who still wakes up multiple times a night, and I’m just tired. The being vulnerable part: I didn’t know these women well and yet the first time we were all together I was bitterly honest about where I was at– and so were they. And, they weren’t afraid to speak into my life and move toward me. The I’m busy part. Babysitting for another couple when you are super tired and want to go to bed early but they need to reconnect during a difficult season. It is worth it.
- We all need girlfriends. These women that I’ve gotten to know the last few months need community just as much as I do.
- The perfect moment is now. Yep, tired, unorganised or whatever. Make a move for change now.
- My husband has been a rockstar in all this. He’s getting the kids ready and Lexie off to preschool twice a week right now, because he knows how much good this prayer time is for my soul.
- Once the juices start to flow it is a lot easier. It’s easier for me to make some extra soup and pass it on to a mom who needs a break from cooking because she’s going back to school or her mom has been diagnosed with cancer. It’s easier to invite a few more people to Thanksgiving because they need some face time with us, their friends.
There’s more I could write and more you could write on this subject. But I need to go to bed. (Ha ha.) But, if your soul is longing for community, I urge you it is worth the risk of those first awkward encounters or invitations or “real” responses to the question, “how are you?” Be bold and go for it!
If you have a minute, tell me an unexpected way a friendship has formed in your life. Bonne nuit!