Friendships: the precious life edition

So, I am tired and I am going to be subbing in HIGH SCHOOL for the next two days, so I hope I survive till the weekend, but…I wanted to write about something, so here it is:

AWESOME FRIENDSHIPS!!!!!!  Between girls.  Yes, it’s possible.  It seems hard, though.  I mean, girls all know that the worst enemy of a girl is not a boy, it’s another girl.  Girls know how to go for the heart.  Girls know how to pick and tear and plant a seed of paranoia that will sprout into head games, that will bloom into a big ole MESS.  And some girls thrive off of that.  I read on Ann Voskamp’s blog entry on {in}courage website that female friendships can really, really damage or build us.   She writes about a fictional girl whose mother sang the song of her soul (almost like the song God sings over us) and this girl grew up singing it, but she eventually forgot the song.  In later years, eventually her friends (sisters) sang the song to her.  I love the way she writes this:

Her sisters/friends sang her beauty when she saw herself ugly.

Her sisters sang her wanted when she saw herself broken.

Her sisters sang her hope when she only felt hurt.

Her sisters sang her beloved — when she couldn’t believe.

It could be like this — It could be honest, what her sisters sang:

This is a fallen world. So everyone has broken edges. So everyone is going to hurt you. So commit who you will suffer for.

At the end of the post, Ann asks if we’ve ever been hurt or healed by friends.  You know the hurt from my other post, but I have been healed by friends, too.   I have three sisters and they are, honestly, my dearest friends.  People might say that family is biased–they have to love you and all that–but I think that my sisters give me the most honest appraisal of myself that anyone besides my mom would give.  They have seen me run the gamut of emotions; on my best days, on my worst days; they have seen me fly off the handle; cry when stressed; be loving and serving with people.  They have the most unbiased view of anyone because they see all of me and they love me anyway.  We haven’t always loved each other well.  And we haven’t been able to love each other well (healthy and whole) which can only be done by Yeshua (Jesus).

Okay, if you thought sisters as friends is a cheat, I also have a few dear, close friends that I love.

1. Met Li her in grade 9 and became friends instantly.  Love everything the other did.  Old souls together; watched loads of black and white movies together (Abbott and Costello, Casablanca at the park); went camping together; laughed and giggled about boys, then wrote emails back and forth into her engagement and marriage to the man of her dreams.  We are the kind of friends who could go without seeing each other for years, meet up and feel like nothing had changed.  We recently reconnected over Facebook and it’s been amazingly fun!  She has been a listening ear (or a reading eye??) on Facebook as I have handed over bits and pieces of my heart that’s been broken by previous friends.  She said to me the other day, “I see you.  Like on Avatar.”  And I freaked out because 1) movie quotes are a family tradition (or lovely family heirloom…name that movie) and I loved Avatar and all that “I see you” stands for.

2. Met Jo when I left home to do my teaching internship.  Moved across the country to a wild, vast land with beauty I am still trying to comprehend.  She is the type of friend who would do anything for me…and sometimes did.  And she’s the type of friend who demands and gives honesty.  We have laughed silly till tears pour from our eyes, we have seen each other on our best, worst, and in-between days.  She shared her family with me and included me at every turn when I was away from my own people.  She is the friend I have had deep God conversations with into the night.  She is the friend who told me that I was a good friend…she sings my song to me over and over again, teaching me good things about myself, writing a new story in me, seeing all I am meant to be…and calling it out of me!

3. Met La when I moved away to do my teaching internship, too.  She and I literally hit it off from minute one and we often said, “This is amazing, we’re neither one of us very good at making friends and the Lord definitely wanted us together.”  Amen.  We felt like we had always known each other; eternal friends more than kindred spirits like Anne would say.  Anyway, she and I had our shared insecurities and we could talk about anything and everything and often did and we never, ever felt judged by the other.  Ours is an easy, yet deep friendship built on doing what we say we will and investing our love into each other.  For Christmas, she bought me a bag of Ruffles chips, gave me like 8 baby oranges (because we spent one night eating a whole box of them together) and drew me a precious picture of the two of us smiling together.  She’s precious to me.

Over the years, I have had friends come and go and I always thought I was the key ingredient as to why they never seemed to work out.  But, friendships are hard.  And I praise God that He has given me these three precious (and my three wonderful) sisters and more friends that I am starting to get to know and share with and love…and it’s awesome.  This is the point of life: to take the painful with the glorious…but the glorious always comes!!!!!!


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