I’ve been trying to explain to my tween daughter how important girlfriends are, which isn’t always easy when they’re starting the boy crazy phase! My history hasn’t helped as unlike my daughter, who has lived in Kansas her entire life, I moved around a bit.
By the time I was seven, my family and I immigrated from England to Montreal, Canada. While in Montreal I attended three different schools before moving to Kansas, where I finished my 7th grade year and went on beyond college. As a result, I have one childhood friend from England who actually came to Kansas to be my maid of honor in my wedding. We wrote letters back and forth for a few years but now it’s down to maybe a Christmas card. In Canada I had a dear friend that I lost touch with after we attended different high schools but found each other on Facebook a few years ago. I had a few friends when I was in high school but because I focused on school and yes, boys, too much, I neglected to build true friendships. Those friends are now friends on Facebook, but we don’t usually keep in touch unless we happen to go our class reunions.
College started off well as I had 2 fabulous roommates but after meeting my husband-to-be during the summer following my freshman year, my focus had once again changed and I transferred schools to be closer to him. He did turn out to be the love of my life, so I don’t regret that, but I do regret not building relationships with my girlfriends.
As an adult I have friends in book clubs, friends with neighbors, friends as fellow teachers, etc. You know, the people you’re friendly with but not the ones you would call if you needed to vent. As I mentioned in previous post, I had a tough school year last year. When the principal of our school shook things up and moved around grade level teams two years ago, I had no idea what I would be in for; in fact, none of us did. It turned out to be the biggest blessing ever. With my fellow teammates, we developed a bond of friendship that is so strong, nothing can break it. We have tackled many, many setbacks and not only did we survive, we flourished. For the first time in a long time, I’ve felt accepted, supported, and can be totally me. Some of that might actually be due to feeling more comfortable with who I am, something I’ve struggled with for a while, but seem to have gotten much better since turning 40. I can speak my mind and not be judged. They laugh at me and with me. And they truly know me. I now truly have that special bond with my girlfriends. Now I’m trying to explain to my daughter how important girlfriend relationships are. And due to these absolutely wonderful women, I can now at least model this type of bonding with my own special group of girlfriends. I am so blessed to be able to call these women my friends. I love you guys!
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
– John 15:13 (NLT)