I’m thinking about friendship today. I don’t have any pretty words on the topic, because when I think about my friends, I am speechless. All I can get out is one of those guttural Anne Lamott prayers – “Wow.”
My friends might on my mind more than usual today because I turn 28 on Sunday, and I am spending the weekend surrounded by the friends I’ve walked with in so many different stages of life. All of these decadent relationships built on trust and laughter and sharing all IN ONE PLACE.
I can’t even process how amazing this will be.
Tomorrow I pick up my soul sister Julie from the airport. We met thirteen years ago on a missions trip to Romania when we were both on fire. (Hey, there’s a catchy title for a book!) Since then, we’ve walked through breakups and disappointment, college and messy careers, faith crises, marriage, moves, illnesses, deaths, and birth. And here we are.
A few weeks ago, I sent a text inviting her to my birthday party. She lives 700 miles away, and we see each other twice a year at best, so the text was more of a joke than anything. Ten minutes later, she texted to tell me that she had booked a flight.
“Pick me up in San Jose at 11:15,” she said.
To say I did a happy dance would be me trying to make my reaction sound cooler and more put-together than it really was. I ran through the house, shrieking, bouncing. I think I twisted my ankle jumping down the steps of our patio.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is Emily. We haven’t even been friends a year, and she lives a block from me. But our relationship is deep and real and built on trust. We ran into each other at the park one day last summer. As our girls played on the swings, our conversations rushed quickly past name introductions to our vulnerable thoughts on faith and motherhood. (I HAVE TRIED THIS BEFORE AND IT SCARES MOST PEOPLE AWAY.) She found me at a time I was desperate for real connection with someone else muddling through motherhood.
What if I hadn’t gone to the park that day, I wonder. Wow, God.
Joining us Saturday is Meghan, my friend who came to me at a crucial time when I needed someone to tell me I was OK. And Laura, who I met when I was a pimply 18-year-old with braces and a broken heart–yet another friendship that has stood strong against the tides of change.
And so many other people I love will be there. My heart is thumping with happiness.
The fluid, constant giving and receiving in a friendship does nothing less than a miracle in my heart. Friendships connect me to the earth and to God. My friends have stood by my side. They have called out my crap. They give me a space to belong. They show me the power that can be unleashed when a soul is truly known.
So here’s to friendship. Those people who have stuck with you? You know who they are. Call them today. It’s Friday after all, and none of us is as busy as we pretend to be. Don’t send text or Facebook message. Use that phone for its original purpose. I don’t need to call my friends today because I GET TO SEE THEM TOMORROW.
But I’m not gloating at all.
I spent last weekend with some incredible women Faith & Culture Writers Conference in Portland, and even though we are spread out around the country, I consider them my true friends. Here are some links to their writing. If you are looking for refreshing, vulnerable writing, read these women: