Last night my heart was warmed by a friend with whom I haven't had the opportunity to talk with in months! It's sad really, but our lives are constantly running on different tracks... so it just happens.
She asked about our upcoming plan to move to Indiana. I told her the details and as usual she asked how I felt about everything. I was honest and told her that I am feeling torn between joy and heartache. Aren't all the great things in life hard? She smiled like she does and said: "Yes." And then I told her that I'm a seasoned "mover" and even though it never gets easier, I know better what to expect. That's often one of the most difficult parts of moving... the insecurity and anxiety of expectations.
In moving I know to expect loneliness and friendlessness. I expect long weeks without heartfelt face-to-face conversations. It's natural and without these seasons of desert times we don't appreciate the seasons of harvest and rain (thank you Beth Moore for this spiritual visual).
After discussing this with my sweet friend, she replied: "You know Beth, you're really great at putting yourself out there. You just open yourself up and make yourself available for friendship. It is a great thing to have something like that in your personality when you have to uproot and start again."
Excuse me while I wipe the tears away from my eyes...
I'm not sure if anyone has encouraged me in such a way before I take a leap of faith in my life. After hearing this, I realized I haven't always been this person. I haven't always been outgoing, brave and confident. I was the girl who relied on invitations and being included. I worried about the thoughts of others or opinions of who I appeared to be.
These words of wisdom were not only flattering, but empowering. It's a beautiful thing when a friend can empower you to be who you're good at being, and send you out into the world in confidence.
I was quickly pulled away and our conversation ended... but her words will never leave me; or my heart. I'm sure she didn't intend to come to the party to impart heavy words of spiritual guidance on me, but our sweet moment together changed how I see myself. Rarely do we change the way we envision ourselves... especially for the better.
I'm going to hold on to this forever.
I'm a little less worried about finding friendship, community and other women in our new town. If I'm open and warm and "make myself available for friendship" I imagine God has some pretty awesome relationships in store. And those relationships will be opportunities to speak wisdom into each others lives, just as I have experienced recently.
Although, every friendship leaves a mark on your heart... that never goes away. So yea...