I can talk myself out of friendship. I can fall heavy on the introvert side. I can tell myself I don’t have time, or it will require too much, or it won’t be what I need it to be. I hate to admit how many times I have allowed social anxiety to cancel plans.
Earlier this week I had a conversation with a few people who I feel like I have been pursuing for years to be friends. I thought we had somewhat similar interests, kids the same age, etc. I had convinced myself if I kept showing up or inviting maybe they would take an interest in me as more than an acquaintance outside this particular environment. At some point in the conversation some word, or phrase, or expression made it inexplicably clear. This was a waste of time. At least in this season. There was no interest and in the basics of human nature we had really nothing truly in common. Small talk was painful for both of us.
Counter that with the last 24 hours. I had dinner with a Bestie last night. In the space of a hour Bestie made me laugh, cry, question the universe, seek out godly truths, challenge my reasons for living. The diner we sat in just permeated with truth, love, and acceptance. There was no chasing for attention.
Tonight I had some girlfriends over for Pajamas and Pancakes. I had life long friends mingling with new friends. I had friends older than me and younger than me. They all could laugh and poke fun at me as I tried to interweave their stories together. They each knew a specific and unique side of me that the other didn’t. We laughed and giggled as we add whipped cream, sprinkles, and chocolate syrup to one of my favorite comfort foods of pancakes. Conversation drifted into religion and politics, parenting and marriage. I loved watching each one almost accidentally share parts of their stories that weren’t necessarily socially acceptable to be met by shared experiences. Maybe they had not set out to say exactly what they said to these new people. Pieces of conversation that moved past dinner party small talk. I loved seeing them accepted for who they were even around strangers.
This week is reminder lesson for me. Reminders of lyrics like, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Reminders of phrases “Make new friends but keep the old.” Reminders of scripture that tell us to have choose the virtue of love to bind us together in unity. Reminders to make intentional times to be loved on by friends and to love on friends. Life is richer with those we allow to see all sides of our souls.
True friendship is about meeting in the place of truth, and loving and supporting each other there. Anything else is just a paler shade of polite. -Nancy Colier
Photo by Annie Theby