Lately, I’ve found myself with a bit of time on my hands. Big Jon travels for work occasionally. In fact, when the boys were younger he traveled almost every week. Back then I had loads of friends. Friends from church, friends from work, friends from my ladies bible study, friends from the boys sports teams, and on and on and on. If I wanted to meet a friend for a diet Coke or a movie I had options.
Fast forward a few years…. Big Jon changes jobs and we move to a different state. New town, new church, new job, new sports teams = new friends, right? It’s just not that simple…
Somehow, thru the formative years of child rearing, it seemed so simple to build relationships and collect girlfriends. It’s like a sisterhood of women, all working part-time, or full-time, raising kids, helping at school, or homeschooling, teaching Sunday school or serving together in another ministry. There are tons of opportunities to spend time together. Lots of chances to chat, get to know one another and build lasting friendships. But what about now?
Now I’m 50. I’ve lived in our new town for several years, been in a church for the past two. I should be well equipped in the friend department, right? Not so much. See it’s just not that easy. By this age, many of us already have as many friends as we really need for our life. Many just aren’t looking to add a new one to the mix. But please remember… Be nice to the new girl.
She just might be lonely. She might really need someone to talk to. She might need you.
It’s hard. True friendship takes both time and emotional investment. Often it seems that the women I meet don’t want to take the time to develop a trusting relationship that will last. Life is busy and people are busy and relationships take time and energy. Don’t misunderstand, I’m not talking about acquaintance type friendship. (There surely is a time and place for these relationships also) I’m talking about true sisterhood; ones where you share the deep secrets of your heart and soul friendships. Isn’t that the kind of relationship that God has called us to invest in?
If this is the desire of my heart, why is the process so difficult? Why, at 50, is it so much harder to meet other women, chat a bit, get to know each other and develop a friendship? Is it me? Am I asking too much? I don’t think so. Perhaps it’s that we are all so set in our ways – comfortable – almost lazy. We don’t want to spend the time required to truly know another person. What’s with that tho? My purpose here on earth is to love God and love others. I should consider it my privilege to invest in others and that includes investing my time learning about a person’s heart.
As usual, The Lord has a plan here. Love. Love. Love. When seeking friendship, love. Love freely. Give. Give. Give. Give of yourself to others. Whether it be time, service, or encouragement. Just give. Be kind. Say hello. Go. Go everywhere you are invited. Smile. Invite someone for coffee. Smile some more. Be open to others. Send a card of encouragement. Don’t judge, jump in! Don’t limit yourself. Guess what? A 50-year-old woman can be great friends with a 30-year-old woman. Someone with 5 children can be friends with someone with 1. A homeschool mom can be friends with a public school teacher. The possibilities are endless. 🙂
Be nice to the new girl. Take a chance. Love her. Invite her to join you. Call her. Do whatever it takes to include her. In return, she will respond, invest, welcome and love. You will never regret adding another friend.