Here is something I wrote for my friend and writing mentor, Heidi McLaughlin, for inclusion in her new book, ‘Sand to Pearls’. You can pick up your copy online at Amazon.ca, Barnes and Noble, from Heidi McLaughlin, or at your local Christian Bookstore.
This morning I had the opportunity to sit with a vibrant young girlfriend of mine over a cup of ‘Americano’. We sat on stools at the coffee shop window, and talked about stuff like relationships and jobs and the economy. An hour later we hadn’t come to any conclusions. Yet, as I headed out the door to my day, I felt something shift — a hopeful kind of energy had begun to percolate inside me.
My life is full of these type of girlfriend encounters. God has splashed the canvas of my life with a colourful collection of women who overwhelm me with their unique beauty. They widen my understanding of friendship with their hilarious and serious, gracious and goofy, energetic and organized, wise and spiritual, artistic and technical, youthful and experienced selves in my blessed life. From my type ‘A’ friends to more reserved ones, the ones I see often, to those who I know only virtually, my life is rich and fun and livable because they are all my friends. I would be lost without them.
When I was a little girl I had dreams. And, like other little girls, I dreamed that I would someday become a teacher, an artist, a veterinarian, even a heroine in a fantastic story. I also dreamed of having a best friend — another human being who understood me completely. Like Anne Shirley and Diana Barry, I longed for ‘a bosom friend’ with whom I could share life, through thick and through thin.
This notion of having one special friend that was ‘closer than a brother’ effected many relationship decisions I made. I tried, trusted, and then mistrusted females in my life who didn’t fulfill my vision perfectly. And I experienced broken relationships, including ones where I did the breaking. A lot of pain in my life was caused by this childish fantasy of finding one ultimately fulfilling relationship.
Mid point in my life, I’ve finally come to realize that God never planned for me to place a ‘BFF’ on the pedestal of my life. No girlfriend or husband or child is meant to be there. That place is reserved for God alone. God wants to be my best friend forever. So I’m trying to lean into that truth, and remove the pressure of my needs on my human friends. How could I have been so blind for so long?
With God in his rightful place, I can see that he has given me exceedingly more than the realization of my dreams. God has collected a wonderful plethora of female friends and said to me, “Here, these are for you… these unique, timely, divinely assigned friends are for you, just as you are for them.” My God given girlfriends custom blend of humour, grace, wisdom, soul wrenching honesty, and spiritual connectivity, are just what I need, at precisely the time I need, for whatever God needs me to learn, change, grow in or go through.
So I thank God for each one of them, and for the way that he uses them to plant tiny seeds of hope in me. And when he brings along someone new, I get quite giddy dreaming of the possibilities of how God will work through this girlfriend-in-waiting. I trust that he’s got that all figured out, just like everything else.