I had a rather long / hard week and weekend. It didn't start off bad; it was great, actually. Just long. But I'm an introvert who needs lots of refueling, and so, I hit a wall. I reached my capacity — emotionally and relationally.
Whenever that happens, some sort of meltdown often follows. I don't say that to sound dramatic or humorous. My feelings are quite real in those times of breaking down. I truly feel isolated and alone... and naturally, I start missing home. When I feel like there's "no one who understands," I really start missing my best friends.
Tonight, I literally sat in the bathtub crying because I just wanted to talk with Jennifer or Jenny (and not over Skype). I just wanted to flipping sit across from one of them — in person — at a table, in a living room, or on a tailgate for all I care. I wanted to sit there, alone, and spill my guts. I'm talking about those deep, dark, "scary-to-anyone-but-a-best-friend" parts of the soul.
That's one of the hardest parts about moving to a different country (or really far away)... You miss out on a lot of things that provide comfort and support when the going gets tough. (Namely, best friends, Hot Tamales, and Mexican food.)
I know the blanket Christian answer here is, "But God wants you to lean on Him first and foremost!" I totally get that. But in all seriousness, right now, I just want a best friend and a tissue.
I think God's OK with that as long as we don't "land" there. You see, we all need the space and room to fall, to feel, to hurt, to wrestle... and I think He gives us best friends and tissues for those really messy, teary times.
Here are 3 things I very dearly love about best friends:
1. They "get" you when no one else can.
Best friends just "get" you. They remember who you are, and they let you be. I can complain, moan, and groan about anything — from "How on earth can my husband generate so many crumbs?!" to "Why is electricity so expensive in South Africa?!" — and they simply let me. By remembering that I'm really not a terribly vicious person, they give me the space to feel through moments of negativity, sadness, and frustration... without feeling the need to fix or correct.
2. They give you space to hurt, and ultimately, to grow.
Like I said, I can tell Jenn and Jenny absolutely anything — even the bad stuff. And although they don't always "side" with me, they empathize. By doing so, I'm granted 1. the freedom to feel and 2. the opportunity to mature — on my own and by the grace of God, not because I was forced to. They're for my marriage. They're for my character. They're for my relationship with God. But they don't force any of it... because they know they don't need to. God is in control, hallelujah!
3. They call you higher with their love.
Jenn and Jenny definitely call me to higher ground. They always have. Jenn calls me to seek understanding and to be kind, compassionate, and merciful. Jenny calls me to pursue people — to be interested in others, to love them passionately, and to just have fun (although I doubt she'd think so)! At the end of the day, when all is said and done, these two women point me to Jesus — not through judgment or finger pointing, but through love. That's my favorite thing about them.
Best friends are truly amazing. They're people we can laugh with when the times are awesome and openly cry with when the times get hard. A best friend is nothing short of a gift from God.
I've been friends with Jenn and Jenny for about 15 years now. We've done a lot of life together, and if I was ever blessed to live in the same city as either of them one day, that would be one of the coolest things ever! Until then, Skype and the annual visit will have to suffice.
Jenn currently lives in Portland, OR with her husband Daniel and their spaniel Honey Pup. Oh, and they bought a canoe. How cool is that? Jenny lives in Nashville, TN with her husband Brady, and she's become a most beautiful mother to their little one Malakai. These two women are most dear to my heart.