It’s easy to isolate ourselves when we are dealing with our own stuff such as our feelings related to relinquishing our children and being birthmothers. But as women we were made for relationships. We need them as surely as we need air.
So how do friendships work? I think it’s kind of like dating without the kissing. Well, look around and see who you see. Is there a woman in your Sunday school class that seems to understand that life isn’t always perfect? Is there someone in your small group that you really seem to click with? Invite that person to coffee or out to a meal. Talk about topics that interest both of you.
But please be discerning about what you share and how much of it. You don’t want to invite a new friend out to coffee and overwhelm them with every sordid detail of your life. They may not be a friend for long.
For a long time I depended on my husband to meet my emotional needs. When I finally matured enough to realize that his needs and my needs were very different, I looked for girlfriends. I didn’t have much practice being a friend, so it took several tries before I found friends that were willing to stick around.
My biggest hindrance to friendship was that I was not comfortable in my own skin. I had faked it for so long that I really didn’t know who I was. But then I finally started to relax and be myself, warts and all. And guess what happened? All my friends left!
Yes they did. But it was okay because I learned a lot from those experiences. I learned to take risks. It gave me the courage to try again. And I learned how sweet it was to have women love me and nurture me. So I tried again. And again. And I actually have friends right now who have lasted more than a year.
This kind of friendship takes commitment to communicate in a real way and to share our real lives. It also takes a commitment to spend time together. Facebooking alone is not real friendship. Just like we spend time with God to really get to know him, we spend time with our friends to really know them experimentally.
Friendships with other women are vital. It takes a lot of courage to step out and be real with another person. Really real. The kind of real that may make them walk away. We're all busy. But too many of us use that excuse not to connect with each other. We are stronger when we are together.