BFF’S

I am going to be calling a few people out this morning.  Yep, I am naming names.  Today there will be no where to hide if this blog is about you.

Roberta Fisher

Colleen Metzler

Laura Nevarez

Rhonda Burchett

Ashley Felice

Deena Volk

Denise Grace

These girls are my oldest and my dearest friends.  They are my best friends.

I used to think I didn’t really need friends to much.  Like I could take them or leave them, but really,  I would be o.k. without them.  I mean I was grateful to have friends and I loved the ones I had but you know, hold on loosely and all that.

I have even have argued the point with my friend Laura.  She just laughed at me and said “right”.  LOL  it’s what good friends do when you talk crap.

But I was reminded this morning by my friend Roberta just how precious girlfriends are in our lives.  I was reminded of beautiful and joyful memories that were the building blocks of a friendship that has survived through some hard stuff over 25 years.

Nowadays I think I was kind of crazy to believe that I didn’t really need friends.  Now I know my survival, my growth and my abundant life depends as much on my girlfriends as anything else.

My girlfriends are the ones who remind me I am better than I think I am.  They are there when I fail to remind me of grace.  They believe in me when I don’t believe in myself.  They love me when I am unlovable and without reservation.  My girlfriends encourage the best in me. They have walked through my ugliest moments with me…..

Conversely they call bull**** on me when I need it.  They are there to let me know I am acting and thinking crazy.  Sometimes when I trip…..they LAUGH at me……and help me not to take myself soooooo  seriously.  My girlfriends have not so gently let me know it’s time to get my head out of my butt.

Who would have ever thought that I would be the one saying we all need girlfriends like that?  Not me.  But here I am typing away to tell all you girls out there to take the risk and find your lifer friends.  The ones who you will hurt and be hurt by in return, the ones who you will love and be loved in return.  The ones who you will accept as they are and who will accept you as you are.

They will be few and far between.  They will take time to find.  It is almost like mining for gemstones.  You are going to have to sift through sand and debris, dig through mud and get in and get dirty to find them.  You will find a lot of fake gems out there, but keep going.

We think we can live in isolation on a desert island like Tom Hanks from Castaway.  But isolation changes you and not so much in a good way.  It makes you some kind of crazy.  I mean for crying out loud his best friend was a popped volley ball. If that isn’t crazy I don’t know what is.

Rhonda sees some crazy good stuff in me.  I don’t even know how she sees it but she does.

Deena rejoices in my happy with me, and sends comfort when I am down.

Ashley, now she is something.  20 something years younger than me and she ADORES me.  I didn’t even have to earn it.

Denise has a real kind of grace and wisdom that touches deeply.  She speaks not from things learned so much from a book but from a life lived with truth.

And Colleen, she is my other kind of crazy.  The good kind of crazy that makes you snort water through your nose.  We have laughed at each other and cried for each other.

I have been privileged to have them in my life, and privileged to have been allowed in their lives.  I have been well loved and been allowed to love well by these girlfriends.

These girlfriends have spoken life in my broken relationships, they have watered my soul.  They have built me up and helped me grow.  Every season of my life they have been there loving me.

Thanks girls, this life is so much more beautiful with you in it.

 

 

Good Good Father

I’ll be honest, the first time I heard this song I not only hated it but I also made fun of it.

I know why, I cannot and  choose not to relate God in any way shape or form to a father figure.  Because to me that lessens who God is in my heart and mind.

I had a father that was supremely more interested in forgetting his shame (read children).  A father who would rather lie in the puddle of his alcohol than play in the light with his kids.  A father who made promises and never, ever kept them.  I had the father that left us, left me in situations he knew were dangerous and we could and would be harmed. And I was.

He did not protect, he did not fight for us, rather her deserted us.  He deserted me.  I keep including my two brothers because I feel that we were such a unit.  But I keep correcting myself because it is not for me to tell their story.

With age I understand that my father was a wounded man.  I know he wanted to be different to some degree.  But he never wanted it enough.  He never wanted me enough.

Why would I ever want to lump the God of the universe into the same category as my father?

I am unable to wrap my brain around a fathers love.  I see it.  I see men who are fathers that I admire and respect.  Both of my brothers for instance are amazing dads.  I know their kids love and respect them.  I have seen them protect and sacrifice and love their kids without hesitation.  But I still can’t ……. I can’t feel it.

If you tell me about a beautiful ocean I can feel the description in my heart, I can see it in my mind and I can love and appreciate a beauty that I am not seeing with my eyes.  But the dad thing I just can’t get.

And so this song bugged me.  It was ….sappy….ugh.

And then one Sunday the band at my church played it.  I can’t explain it but for some reason I liked it.  Sam I am, I like green eggs and ham!

Now every time I hear this I feel a sense of peace in that place of chaffing.  I believe the song.  I believe that He loves me and that I am loved by him.

I still don’t understand a fathers love, at least not in a personal way, but I believe it is real.  I have an assurance that a fathers love is real.  I have never felt that way before.  Ever.

I was blessed with a man once who loved me unconditionally.  He chose me when I had nothing to offer him and he gave me everything that he could.  Every day that he lived I knew I was loved by at least one person, that I was chosen, that I was valued.  I knew that I would always be a choice he made.  It was kind of like being adopted.

I understand that part of God.  I understand the God who loves unconditionally.  I understand the God that chooses me.  I understand what it is to come into a relationship with absolutely nothing to offer and everything to gain.  I totally get that.

I love this song.  This song about a concept that I don’t get.  This sappy song that repeats itself.  I don’t know that I will ever get the father part.  But I get the love part…I totally get that.

It is amazing that something like a simple little song can change everything without anything really changing.  It doesn’t change what kind of a father my father was to me.  It doesn’t change the fact that I never knew his love.  It doesn’t change the fact that I grew up in much worse circumstances than if he had been a good father.

My father is like a cracked mirror.  Every time I looked into it to find my worth I saw a warped little girl.  I saw a warped love.  I saw someone who was not worth loving.  Every time I see myself through the eyes of my father there is less and less to appreciate and approve of.

Somehow this song causes me to not look at the warped reflection from my father but to look directly into the eyes of God.  and what is reflected back for me to see is a love that is not warped.

I am not my fathers daughter.

Who I am is loved by God.

 

SEE? He is doing a new thing…

Isaiah 43:18-19

I have been torn between two lovers lately.  That sounds a bit dramatic but it gets the point across.

I am so lonely that some days I feel like the loneliness just drips off of me like beads of sweat.  I am happy, I am content, I have joy in every other part of my life.  But in the friend department…..well, it’s a bit sparse.

But I am also an introvert.  An introvert who has stuck my neck out more than a few times in the last few years and gotten whapped in the face for the effort.  I like to be alone…..a lot.  I like my phone not ringing….but I hate it when it does…..and I hate it when it doesn’t…but then I feel relieved…..

I think to myself often that who really needs new friends anyway?  I have my old friends…when they are not living their own lives…..when they are not teaching and leading their jobs and families.  We live in such a busy world, gone are the two hour chats on the phone while we all did dishes and our little ones trashed the rest of the house.

So I am lonely but not particularly motivated to do anything about it.  Because of past disappointments, because it is hard to make new friends and I am tired.  Because I am kinda crazy and it is difficult to find people who are not repulsed my oddities.  And being the sensitive type rejection in any form is hard for me.

I had a friend once who didn’t care who liked her and who didn’t.  She never understood my caring what others thought….but I never understood her not caring.  She did teach me a lot about not getting offended at stuff like that, but even though I am better in that area, it is still a battle I fight.

But then I remember the amazing women I have had in my life on a daily basis.  Women who have poured so much wisdom and grace into me.  Women who would sit and have theological discussions with me.  Women who laughed with me and at me.  Wept with me and rejoiced with me.  Women who have prayed with me and for me.  Women who have allowed me to be all of these things in their lives.

I have been privileged.

And I miss that.  I miss them.

And so I am torn between two loves.  The love of my introverted ways, and the love for my life with friends.

I break into a sweat every time I walk into church and think about having to greet anyone and I burst into tears every time I walk out having no friends.

I don’t know how God is going to do a new work in this one.

My heart is screaming JUMP….but my soul is screaming just as loudly STAY.

“Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. 19“Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, Rivers in the desert

I cannot live on past friendships.  Not that they still aren’t my friends, but I need people in my day to day life who connect me with where I am now.  I need to have others who’s roots are planted where mine are.  I need community not just out there, but in here, where I live.

I never thought I would hear myself say it, but I need friends.  I need women in my life.  I need to be a friend to someone else.

So, I will keep this scripture in front of me until I can close my mind long enough to take the leap.  But I have to not know what I am doing.

Taking a leap off of a cliff into a deep, blue pool of water is dangerous.  I have missed the pool more times than I can count and it hurts to jump to shallow or miss the pool altogether.  So my mind can’t know I am doing it.

The alternative is to not jump into that water.  To stand at the top parched and dry and watch everyone paddling around in the pool. And while in the short term the isolation sounds appealing, in the long term I am not so sure.

It’s a conundrum for sure.  And I have no answer for it right now.

I love my aloneness and hate my lonliness.

that is just where I am at right now.