Life's so F U L L. Full of chaos. Full of change.
Full of garbage. Full of all the things we don't need.
But it's also filled with things we do need.
Filled with peace and love and HOPE.
I have recently had the pleasure of having some very memorable conversations. Some of them were deep, some of them were awesome, and some were just raw life. I wrote a few days ago about my friendships and even since then things have blossomed. And I'm grateful. Some dear friends are going through some very intense times and I've had them on my mind. A LOT. But, I'm not worried about them, I know they will be fine. But they have certainly been heavy on my heart. HEAVY. The beautiful thing? Instead of being ready to run for the hills and pray they don't call me, hoping that they make it out alive without dragging me into their drama, I've been so drawn to them. I want to call them and text them and plan a sleepover just like when we were younger.
I used to think that the friendships you had as a kid would always be close to your heart... After all, during those awkward teen years, who could know you any better? They went through the highs and lows WITH you. Those were the years of my truest friendships. There were no boys to seperate us. No fiance's or husbands, no screaming infants or blabbing children. There were very few bills to pay and meals to cook (chips & salsa is considered a meal, right?). There were the endless hours on the phone and sleepless nights where we contemplated every possibility of the future. There were poems and singing, O glorious singing!
I was as real as I could possibly be during those years and I've carried away a wealth of treasure from them. But despite those blessings, as I began to navigate adulthood, I began to question whether or not that same level of depth could ever develop (or be sustained) later in life. They WERE close to my heart, but could that ever return to present-tense?
Recently, I've concluded that the beauty of childhood friends is not lost with the responsibilites of adulthood. It can be. It can mean that we push each other away. It can mean that we are more worried about the laundry and dishes than connections. It can mean not fully disclosing ourselves, our hopes, our fears. We can choose to stop asking our friends the big (read: heavy) questions. We can choose to hide our biggest failures and frustrations. We can hide behind a myriad of walls (jobs, spouse, media, activities etc.). We can, very easily, make sure we don't have time to invest in each other. We can pretend that things are so different and we are so different.
But we aren't.
And we don't have to.
We don't have to go through the messiness of life alone.
It takes guts to pick up the phone. It's hard to know how to start. Sometimes it's hard to tell someone how anxious, scared, worried, hopeful you are about your marriage, your baby, your finances, your family, your body or your future children. Sometimes we are so used to saying "Oh, I'm fine" and quickly citing the weather or how we lost our contact this morning. But what else?
Oh, I know. I know that it doesn't just come out. It doesn't just happen that you pour your heart out. Your heart has to be full before it begins pouring out. That stuff has to be brewing inside before it's ready. Timing is important and so is the vessel you're pouring it into. You can't just pour it into someone that you're not sure is really concerned. Your "sensitive material" can only be given to someone you know understands how precious it is. Someone that knows you're not nearly as strong or confident as you appear and won't ever throw anything back in your face. Someone that has, somehow genuinely invested her heart in you.
My husband has frequently reminded me of my own loyalties and of the HIGH value I place on relationships. It's true, but I've never seen it so vividly. Relationships are a HUGE vessel of change. They are the vessels of peer pressure and destruction as well as hope and redemption. Those positive relationships are the voices of warning when we are wandering and the encouraging words during our storms. They are so much more than the words in every self-help book or logical answer. They are the words and peace and hope and joy and love of our Savior in flesh. And without them... yes, I would be lost. LOST.