My friends husband recently was in the hospital for over 2 months with major liver issues. He was on dialysis and totally unconscious for a few weeks. They have a little girl that my friend had to think of as well as her husband.
She posted daily updates of her husbands condition on Facebook and it was a great reminder to pray for him, for her, for them.
She would also post pics of gifts people brought them: food, flowers, cards, time, love, babysitting. What joy to know you have such great friends thinking of you! Especially at such a trying time in your life. Many friends might (and probably did in her case) disappear during a time like that.
Then I realized something. It hit me like a fiery falling star or a mac truck.
I was that disappearing friend.
Who knew I was a magician!
What brought me to this tearful realization is while I scrolled through her Facebook feed, seeing these pics of gifts and notes of utter gratitude, I was wishing that I had friends that cared enough to think of me during a hard time. During a time when I needed a friend the most, during a time when I just wanted to laugh.out.loud. I was envious of my friend that was receiving all this love. I wanted that love. I wanted her friends to be my friends. I wanted to know the joy of having such caring and thoughtful friends.
If I want those kinds of friends, I have to BE that kind of friend first. I have to make the call/text. Give the hug. Take the time. Write (and send) the card when I think of it. I need to be the kind of friend I want to have.
There are days when I feel really lonely. When I crave other women. Women who get me, who tell me that being me is just right but gently push me to be an even awesomer version of myself. Who let me gently and lovingly push them to be awesome, too. Who love God and they’re willing to get into deep conversations about Jesus. Women who encourage me and who would be willing – like, for real – to take my kids overnight so that Jeremy and I can have a datenight/staycation. Or even just come over for a movie night! (FUN!)
In our society women have HUGE expectations. Like, seriously, it’s a little ridiculous. No, it’s way ridiculous. And honestly, I think we’ve put these expectations onto ourselves.
We’re expected to be the BEST friend, the BEST wife, the BEST servant at church, the BEST mother, the BEST crafter, the BEST housekeeper, the BEST cook. We’re expected to be healthy all.of.the.dang.time. and even if we’re craving a cookie we dare not eat for that sneaky ‘lil beast, Guilt, is lurking around the corner. We’re told that in the midst of all of our other expectations that we need to make sure we’re taking time for ourselves (which, by the way, I totally agree with! Hot bath, anyone!?)
Uhm, excuse me, Father Time? Yeah, hi there. Is there any way you could add, like, an extra 2 hours in the day? That’d be great, thanks!
**sigh** if only.
I think if we took one hour a week – HA! or even one hour a month! – and dedicated it to spending time with a girlfriend on the phone, at the coffee shop, at your home or her home, we’d feel less lonely. Because when you actually communicate with other women, you end up finding out that they are just.like.you. You end up feeling less lonely.
And if you want better friends, then you just gotta be a better friend. However, you do not need to put this at the top of your to do list, because honestly, sweet friend, your other girlfriends are just as busy as you are. But they’re also as lonely as you are, and that phone call might be just what the both of you really need. <3
Check out this fantastic post from a Christian Blogger that relates to this topic. It’s about what she learned when she failed to be a good friend.
Also, just send the dang card already! 😉