From my spot on the gray and white front porch, I never heard them coming until the driver tapped his car horn. My eyes bounced from my laptop to the white car driving by, and I immediately recognized the two friends inside. I sprang up, hooked one arm around my laptop just in time to save it from tumbling to the ground. I pumped my other arm so hard waving I nearly took flight right off the porch.
When the car rounded the corner out of sight, my tears came out of nowhere.
What is your problem? I scolded myself. So now passing cars make you cry?
I plopped down on the wrought iron bench and shook my head. I knew exactly what my problem was. Once again, I found myself in a season of changing friendships, and it took a mad wave at friends in a passing car to make me realize just how long I’ve gone without solid, in-person girlfriend time.
When we moved to Colorado Springs in the summer of 2010, we reveled in a family first: built-in community. From the moment our feet hit the high desert ground, we delighted in military friends and other family friends who hitched their horses here, too. Unlike our usual circumstances where we began friendships from scratch, we found ourselves knee-deep in quality relationships that all but fell from the sky onto our doorstep.
But a few months ago, one of those friends went back to work full time in a demanding job. Soon after, two other friends moved away. Other changes came as well. And just like that, my built-in community up and left the building, and it feels like our family moved again even though we haven’t gone anywhere.
Now, when it comes to goodbyes and making new friends, this ain’t my first rodeo. I am adjusting to the change faster than in the old days, but that doesn’t mean the season of without or waiting isn’t hard.
I mull this over as I peck keys at my favorite café when two girls my age sit down at the table next to me. They are laughing and sharing in equal amounts, painting a picture of friendship worthy of an art gallery. The one closest to me has a kind face, and when she mentions having an 8th grader, I smile and say to myself,
Me too! Me too!
I would love to ask her where she lives, where her kids go to school, and oh, by the way, could she use an extra friend? But it isn’t quite that easy.
On the other hand, prayer is easy. So over my blended honey vanilla chai, I whisper,
“Whomever I’m meant to be friends with, Lord, please just work it out.”
As the words of my prayer soar upwards, I trust He catches them.
You can trust He catches yours, too.
If you find yourself in a season of waiting on friends, please know this: God values your life so much, He gave it a higher priority than that of His own Son. You can rest assured that every component of your life – including your friendship needs – is tucked inside His care.
Yes, I could be in a season of waiting on friends because He wants my attention elsewhere. But God is a God of follow through and finishes, and I am learning to live in each friendship season with hope-filled contentment.
“We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!”
1 Corinthians 13:12 The Message
It would be a little dramatic and a lot of fun if I could tell you that kind woman from the coffee shop showed up at the park or the PTO and we became fast friends. She hasn’t, but He has. The view is muddled and I can’t see how this friendship season is going to work out. But in my heart, I hold undeniable signs of God’s care today woven with His faithful promises of tomorrow.
And one day it will all come together, an unimaginably beautiful picture of friendship.
Do you have a picture of friendship worthy of an art gallery or are you in a season of changing friendships (or maybe both)? What are you learning when friends seem far away?
Kristen Strong, hopes high at Chasing Blue Skies