When I told my girls that my friend, Jeni, was coming for a visit they were a little concerned.
“What do you mean she’s your friend? You’ve never met her.”
Beatrix worried, “But what if you don’t like her? What if she’s too sassy? What if she thinks you’re too sassy?”
(I wonder if Miss Bea has ever gotten in trouble for being too sassy? 😉 )
I relayed these concerns to Jeni, and she replied, “I’m extremely sassy. Better have a game plan.”
I wasn’t too worried. Despite the fact that according to my girls we weren’t really friends because we’d never met, after nearly seven years of phone calls, I felt far more excitement than trepidation about Jeni’s visit.
I’ve written before about taking chances when it comes to friendship and I still really believe in that. I believe in friends! But we all know the reality is that friendship is risky, challenging, and sometimes downright painful. I bet there are some of you reading who have given up on it. It’s hard to make the time, especially if you’re like me and surrounded by children who seem to need you around the clock. It’s scary to take chances when there is the opportunity, because what if you get hurt in the process?
I’ve concluded that for the handful of really beautiful relationships I have with other women, it is worth the risk of failure.
Because sometimes it works out: That voice on the other end of the line arrives with a big smile on her face and spends day after day snuggling your kids and encouraging you. She doesn’t get annoyed when you take her to visit your quaint little city and you get stuck under an awning for half an hour while a storm rages around you. In fact, when you decide to make a run for it and race barefoot through the rain back to your car, she laughs with you, and you both find yourself feeling like teenagers rather than grown women. When you lose power for close to twenty-four hours, and she makes the best of it, singing hymns with your daughters in the glow of candlelight, you know you’ve got a keeper.
And maybe you get a little emotional driving her to catch her train back home, and you worry that maybe you shared a little too much…But the next morning you get a reassuring text saying simply, “Miss you already.”
Guys, sometimes it works out. And somehow you just know, you’ve got a friend for life.
So I’ll say it again today: take chances on friends. Put yourself out there when you can. Accept that there will be lonely seasons, times when you simply can’t sneak away with a friend for an evening, or even squeeze in a phone call, but look for opportunities when you can be available and grab hold of them. It’s worth it.
p.s. While she was here, Jeni re-designed my blog. I was a little afraid of the change, but it’s beautiful, isn’t it? (And I’m sorry to share that Jeni doesn’t do design work anymore, but if you’re looking for a phenomenal blogging coach, she’s your girl.)
p.p.s. I would LOVE it if you would share your own happy stories about meeting “online” friends “in real life.” 🙂