Summer tends to be a time when I am removed from my routine and most of the people who populate my schedule. While I see a lot more of my husband and children, I see a lot less of my friends. With different travel schedules, it is harder to 'run into' people I know. If I don't schedule a date to see someone, it is easy to go for long stretches without some good 'girl' conversation. This has me thinking about friendships and what ties us together.
We may seek friendship with others based upon shared activities such as tennis, golf, hiking, or travel. These friendships tend to last as long as you are able to participate and keep up with everyone else. If you hurt your shoulder or need knee surgery, your tennis friends might bring a meal, but they will need to replace you on the court until you recover. These relationships are important because we need to stay active and have fun. But, typically these friends are not going to support you if you are unable to return to the activity that brought you together in the first place.
I have often forged friendships with other women as we worked alongside each other volunteering as room mothers or in a charity clothing closet. Each of these friendships was important for a time. Unfortunately, the relationship was never deeper than a casual conversation about what was happening at that moment. Once I moved, the Christmas cards stopped coming because I was no longer present to work.
There have been friendships that, I realized only after the fact, were purely transactional. This often happens in neighborhoods or on the playground. I'll get your mail if you get mine. I'll pick your child up from school if you pick up mine. In this type of relationship, there is a scorecard and everything needs to remain balanced otherwise, the 'friendship' ends with hurt feelings. In this case, you don't realize that the relationship is transactional until you are unable to keep up the pace and are left behind when your 'friend' won't return your phone calls or texts.
Over the next few weeks, I want to shine a spotlight on some female friendships that are grounded in the love of Christ. Friendships where women enjoy spending time together, are able to be authentic, pray for each other, listen well, and persevere through tough times together. These women do not compete and compare-- they elevate and energize. These friendships help all of us witness the presence of the Kingdom of God, today.
Despite what we sometimes tell ourselves, God did not create us to maneuver through life alone.
In an increasingly fractured world, we are more isolated from each other than ever and many have lost a sense of the type of friendships that Christ asks us to establish. While he gave us biological families, He also provides us with fellow pilgrims on our journey- other women who can walk alongside us on the narrow path. We need to hold fast to the ties that bind us to our sisters in Christ and let go of the strings that entangles us in relationships that are pulling us away from the women that God created us to be.
When we are truly tethered together in friendship by a shared love of Christ, we will be able to move mountains together.