Hanging on

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Last week around this time I was scurrying to pack up for a quick little two day-ish visit to one my long-time best college girlfriend’s house in Tennessee.  To my shame, I haven’t made the trek to visit her in probably 3 or so years, though she has graciously come to visit me or meet up somewhere multiple times since then.  The busyness of these days, the super tight budget that makes a few hours drive a costly luxury–these are the things that have kept me away.  Then one day you realize you hardly talk anymore, and it’s okay because you know you have a long stretch of history to draw from and that you will pick up again where you left off.  Even still, life is whirring by, some of our children are school-aged, and the easy on-a-whim hang outs are becoming harder.  I think as I’ve gotten into these years of parenting a handful of little ones I’ve come to realize how difficult it seems to be to make new friends.  I’m not giving up on it, but the challenge has certainly made me treasure my old friendships more and long to do a better job keeping up with them.  I’m sure it’s the introvert in me, but I’d rather have a few friendships that go deep than to have my arms stretched full wide with a bunch of shallow ones.  Anyway, these days are often lonely and can leave you bewildered wondering who are the friends who are really in the trenches with you?  Who you can call or text and ask for prayer in a moment of weakness, desperation, darkness, or celebration?  Who are the friends who will stand by you when you are at your worst and gently call you back to the truth?  Who are the ones who will be brave and faithful enough to speak words that feel a whole lot like wounds that later prove to be kisses?  These are the friends I want to hold on to.  The ones I want to make space in the budget for.  These are the ones I hope to be roomies with again one day, when we are old widows clinging to rickety walkers, after we’ve buried husbands and kissed great-grandchildren’s newborn skin.  These years with young ones will stretch our friendships to the max, but I hope we can always pick up again and find our way back to each other.  It was a true gift to spend this time with my sweet friend and her three girls.  What a profound wonder to see our little ones all playing together, to share hearts late into the night as we barely hold our eyes open.  She sent me off on Thursday with a travel mug full of fresh hot coffee, and in every way I felt full.  Hang on to your friends, girls.  It’s so worthwhile.

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