The Friends We Are & the Friends We Have

As a child I remember the most jarring part of moving was saying goodbye to Serge, Vikram, and Evangelia. They were the friends that made recess at Waters Elementary worth the wait and gave each of us someone else to blame when the walk home took longer than it should because we stopped at the little store to buy a piece of candy. We were the best of friends and having to find new friends was scary. It still is.

I suppose that is partly why after reading The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women & a Forty-Year Friendship by Jeffrey Zaslow, all I want to do is get together with some of my closest college girlfriends to catch up, cry, laugh, drink some wine and eat. K, P and C are not the childhood or young adulthood friends that are chronicled in the book, but they represent the closest I have come to the deep and enduring friendships I have just read about.

My husband said that though we hadn’t known each other for very long before our marriage, meeting my friends, watching us, and hearing us taught him so much about me. He was watching both the kind of friend I was as well as the kind of friends I had, and he continues to watch as some of my friendships enter a third decade while others are just starting out.

There was a season in my life when there was little space for new friendships. I craved connection to other new moms, but the demands of motherhood when life was full of infants and toddlers and preschoolers made establishing new friendships seem impossible. But God surprised me with new friends, some of them women I had known of or known years ago.

So now that there is a different pace to motherhood I find myself longing for friends like K, P and C to be both near and far.

To maintain the friendships from far away we have used technology to help us connect through three time zones. We have made celebrations and professional conferences as perfect excuses to get together. We will see how crisis and death in the future play into our reunions.

And to build new friendships I am simply trying – trying to set aside my own insecurities, competitiveness, and other character traits that desperately need God’s redemption and trying to be the kind of friend I have been so blessed by. Trying to be open to new things, but I’m really not sure I have the time for scrapbooking. (If any of you are reading this you know who you are 😉 Thank you for reminding me that I am still invited even though I joke about it being a cult.) Trying not just because I’m an extrovert but because we aren’t meant to do real life all alone. Trying because my daughter is watching and hopefully learning how girls and their friendships grow into women and their friendships. Trying because friendships have been good for my soul, made us more into the image of God we were created to be. Trying because laughing and crying and coffee and wine and a good book or a bad argument are always better with a friend.

How old are some of your most precious friendships and how have you weathered life’s transitions? How have you nurtured new acquaintances into deeper friendships? How have your friendships changed you?


  1. ablycker February 28, 2010

    I am still thinking about your post and the questions you posed. Thank you. Good stuff and I look forward to reading More Than Serving Tea and all that I will learn from it.

    I am an utter failure at scrapbooking too…

    Angela Blycker

  2. Greg March 1, 2010

    My closest friends I have had for almost ten years; each of which I no longer live nearby. Together we have weathered life’s transitions mostly by phone, and newly phone picture text message.

    Ok, with new acq. into deeper friendship: mostly through one-on-one conversations via phone, or meals. And I must admit, depending upon the content of our conversation is when I choose to enter into a deeper friendship. I tend to ask deeper questions in those conversations. If they can enter into those questions, then I play back.

    These friendships have changed me with experiencing my joy, clearer conversations, and unexpected grace and mercy. I think mostly of a conversation I had in the St. Louis Arch museum with a new friend. She told me what she did for me, and I told her I’m not familiar with the grace she showed me. Thanks MC.

  3. CL March 4, 2010

    I’m still young, and far, far away from reaching three decades, much less having friends last that long, but I’m entirely refreshed by the fact that such long lasting friendships actually exist. My parents have close friends back in The Motherland, but their lack of technology usage I think greatly limits the communication between them.

    I’m glad then, that I was born smack dab into this technology era, and as much time as I waste on social networking websites doing absolutely nothing productive, at least I have the ability to connect with people across the country – a luxury I guess my parents don’t have so much.

    Anyway, I look forward to hopefully developing friendships that you mentioned, that span years and years and time zones and borders and whatever else.

    Thanks for that encouragement 🙂

  4. Kacie March 5, 2010

    My closest friends are old friends, and I find it very difficult to make new friendships with women. This may be partly because I grew up overseas and I feel the culture barrier, partly because I’m and introvert, and partly because moving so much leaves me with a pattern of withdrawal and some insecurity.

    I want to read Beth Moore’s new book, So Long, Insecurity specifically so I can address the pattern of insecurity in making new friends in my life.


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