Until I met HER!
I’ll admit, I was completely taken aback by her at first. I mean, after all, she introduced herself to me as, “I’m not a stalker, I promise, but I know you from Facebook. I recognized you by your hair”. I am sure you can picture my wide-eyes and curiously big (not so real) smile as she proceeded to fill me in, which by the way, sounded far less creepy as she went on! We talked for probably a full 20 minutes, cutting some of the fat from the meat already, which left me intrigued by this seemingly confident gal. We parted ways and that was that. Until the next week, when our co-op brought us together again. Again, we talked endlessly and I found I wished our time didn’t have to end.
I liked her.
There was something different about her. I didn’t see her for several weeks, but she crossed my mind several times and so I stalked her on Facebook, because honestly, isn’t that what we do now? Be honest! I sent her a message and coffee ensued a few days later. We talked as if we had known each other forever, but my inner voice warned me not to get too close because she would just leave once she knew things about me or over the first disagreement or something… (I wish I could say that we out grow our pesky insecurities, but it seems they rear their ugly little heads in unexpected ways, like this)
A few weeks pass with texts and calls and we eventually meet for coffee at a crack dealership, I mean, bookstore! With Americanos in hand, we strolled the aisles sharing our thoughts about this book and that book, when she abruptly stopped and insisted she was buying me Glennon Doyle Melton’s “Carry On Warrior”. Uuuuhhh, there was no way my pride was going to allow her to buy me this book, so I bought it myself and read it cover to cover in a few short days (In case you aren’t reading between the lines here, I totally recommend this book).
The next time we met, she assertively said, “OK, this is how this is going to work. We’re going to be friends. We’re going to be vulnerable with one another and it’s going to be uncomfortable and we’re going to be OK with that, OK?” Sunned, because no in all the world talks like this (do they?). I think I only nodded my head and took another sip of my coffee. I mean, what is the proper response to that? Was it bold and daring? Yeah. Was it risky as hell? Yeah. She’s courageous; perhaps the most courageous person I know.
I’ll admit, at that point she only knew what I wanted her to know about me: the good stuff, the flattering stuff. I have shame, regret, and so much more stuff— and as much as I cringe when I share some of my stories, they are also the very ones that have shaped me into the woman I am today. To not share these parts of us not only dishonors our journey and the hard work accomplished, but also the One who enabled us to work through the muck and the mire. And it is through these very stories that Christ continues to shape and refine us more into His likeness.
So, I risk it.
I bare my soul right off the bat. I face my incredible discomfort; completely willing to endure another disappointment because deep down I know I am worth this kind of friendship. I know I am worth the risk. She is worth the risk. And you know what she did? She cried with me. She hugged me.
Brene Brown points out that “We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t choose both”.
Friendships go through ups and downs. It requires work on both parties. It requires legitimately putting ourselves out there. It means being willing to embrace where our friends are, where they have been, and where they dream to go no matter the wounds that still sometimes fester, scars that remind them of battles both lost and won, and struggles they won’t have to work through alone because you will be by their side and vice versa.
I’m not good at surface-y friendships, but I’m learning to be pretty good at this “badassery” kind!