And then I met them…
Women from coast to coast. Beautiful women with beautiful stories. And, by “beautiful” I mean, real, candid, authentic, raw, not watered down, genuine, broken, not shattered, but broken wide open to reveal true heart and true grit. My kind of real. No sunshine blowing, yet tons of laughter and joy. No competition amongst us, yet damn strong fighters. Beautiful, beautiful women. New girlfriends. I am humbled I had the opportunity I did to be there with them all in that space and time.
On Saturday my friend Jessica introduced Kristin Armstrong to the group. In her intro she shared a bit about her own love of girlfriend-time and a time in her life when she was really feeling drained without it. This is the counsel a minister gave to her:
He said, “Girlfriends are sacred. They are part of your spiritual formation.”
I wrote that down in ink and on my heart. Wow! The retreat could have ended right there for me!
Then, when Kristin shared with us, in her fabulous young 41-derful years, she spoke as a peer, unassuming and so candid, yet her wisdom was that of a true and faithful friend of 100 years. She set the tone for authenticity. It was a safe place for all of us to share, and that we did.
Each one of us went around and shared our hearts.
And then she said it…
…the hook, line, and sinker of the whole weekend for me, driving home what Jessica had stated earlier…
Kristin said, “Having girlfriends is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. It’s mandatory.”
She also told us how she has recently boycotted the word, “Busy,” from her vocabulary, as well as not allowing her friends to use it around her, either. Of course we’ll ALWAYS have stuff to do, places to go, blah, blah, blah, but the truth is, since deep heart friendships with women are sacred, we need to make the time.
This year God’s been teaching me to love myself. As I mature, if you will, each year, I will say I am more and more self aware of my needs or desires, here on earth. Clearly I need water, some food, shelter, a pair of jeans and comfy flip-flops. But in order to be a better me, I also need: time to quietly sit with God’s word each morning, hot mug in hand; date nights out with my husband; and couch-time snuggling with my 10 year old daughter as we dig into a great book. And, I need to kiss my son on his neck and cheek, smell him and then tickle him so I can hear laughter from deep in his belly, a laughter I’m not able to conjure up on my own most days because I’ve seen too much. I need solitude, too.
And I need time with girlfriends. It’s not always going to look like a weekend away without any responsibilities. I know that. But time with friends is something I long for and something from which I walk away refreshed. I’ve loved it ever since I was a little girl and still cherish it as a grown-up.
So here’s our takeaway:
- · Girlfriends are sacred.
- · They are part of our spiritual formation.
- · Girlfriends are NOT a luxury.
- · Time with girlfriends is a necessity.
If the word “Busy” were deleted from your vocabulary, is there something else that is holding you back from spending time with life-giving friends? It doesn’t have to be hours on end…even just a half hour is a step in the right direction.
It’s time for women to start building bridges for friendships to be nurtured and grow. Imagine a world where healthy, beautiful friendships were everywhere we looked because they were established on trust and authenticity.
|We all have stories…What is yours?
The world doesn’t need more superficial relationships based on mistrust and name brand jeans. The world needs women who are willing to go deep, women who are willing to cherish one another.
Yep. That’s what it needs…
Now, let’s go carve out some time for the relationships in our lives which matter most!