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The Joy of Friendship

by Melissa Abarca April 09, 2019

The Joy of Friendship

During the month of April, we are celebrating one another! Recognizing the women who make up our tribe. They surround us each and every day with text messages or coffee shops dates. It’s a month full of encouragement, joy, and giveaways!

I was sitting at my dining room table last week when I felt my heart ache for just a moment, I thought about those reading our post this month and feeling the sting of “missing out”  whenever they had no one to tag in the comments below.

In 2014 I moved from New York to Illinois after my husband and I got married. Quickly we both settled into our new life. I would return to New York and hug the necks of my besties and laugh until all hours of the night.

Eventually, I had to admit to myself the joy of friendship was only found with those who didn’t seem to share my zip code. I would cry and tell my husband “I wish I was happy here, I wish I felt more at home here.”

Last Spring I traveled back to New York for a wedding for one of my dearest friends. Throughout the weekend there were times I didn’t get the inside joke or reference. When I walked into my friend's house, I realized the picture frames that used to have my face in them had been exchanged for fresh, new and exciting memories.

After departing from lunch the day after her wedding and getting in my rental car to head to the airport, I cried. I actually wept, let’s be real. I clutched the steering wheel and wiped tears from my eyes.  I went home and knew I had to make a change. I realized that I had pressed pause on my life in 2014 and spent the next several years reliving memories instead of creating new ones. It was healthy for my friends to build new relationships, they were still investing in me with text messages, cards, and video chats. They understood the importance of living life well with others too.


“Life isn't an Island, you have to have other people in your life.”
― Lauren Conrad

Weeks later I approached a gal in our church and asked her to be my friend. We had worked together on a couple of church projects and sang on the praise team with one another, but I had never intentionally gone out of my way to hang out with her.

When I say I asked her to be my friend, I actually begged her to be friends and 100% cried whenever I asked her to hang out with me. In just a short amount of time, Rachael became one of my closest friends.

God is right on the other side of loneliness, patiently waiting to fill the void.

Social media is so cool, I love getting to keep in touch and double tap my friend's cute pictures. But has a double tap on Instagram every hurt your heart?  When you see a party you weren’t invited to or maybe a girls night that didn’t seem to have enough room for you. A text message no one responded to in a group message.

Social media can also create unrealistic expectations for your friendships. Social media can creep into your mind and make you think “I never get pictures with my friends, are they embarrassed by me” or “maybe they don’t like me that's why they never ask for a picture together.”

We start to compare ourselves and then we build walls up around us because we become so afraid of getting hurt that we try and act like it doesn’t matter. Can I tell you it’s okay if you feel lonely? It’s okay if you feel insecure and afraid to let another friend into your life who may walk away.

Okay, now that we know our feelings are real let’s remind ourselves that they are not always true.

Girl, you are WONDERFUL, the Bible actually says so!  “I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works."

When I opened up my heart and reached out to Jesus, He helped me turn to the next chapter in my life. I still text and chat with my friends from NY, and whenever I visit I do just that, I visit. I no longer live in a state of mind that my past memories are better. Instead, I am living life in this chapter, God brought me a wonderful friend. She carried me through one of the darkest times in my life, literally pushing me forward. Just a few nights ago, she held me as I cried out to God for direction, while she prayed protection over my husband and I. 

If you are in a place at your life right now where you feel alone, I encourage you to reach out. Even if you are an introvert like me ;) reach out. Read our captions this month and find people near you who fit those descriptions and ask them out to coffee or plan a shopping date.


You are enough, now go out there and build your tribe!

 

-Amy Crossen 



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