By Lisa Littlewood
As I inch my way further into my thirties, I realize that I just might be getting a little too old to use acronyms such as BFF. You know, that acronym that teenage girls like to use as a secret language to communicate in a semi-elusive way that they are, in fact, “best friends forever.”
As a young girl, relationships could loosely be based on things as simple as wardrobe preferences or an affinity for the same movies. These days I’m looking for women who will be gracious enough to not judge me on said wardrobe (because they understand how hard it was to get out of the house with small children in the first place!) and who might offer an encouraging thought or scripture reference to brighten my day.
My true friends, my “best” friends in the last decade, have been the women who have baked muffins, brought them over and sat on my kitchen floor with me on a particularly difficult day several months into new motherhood (true story). They are the women who have sent meaningful cards to brighten a hard week or who have sent emails of encouragement when it comes to using God-given gifts for a bigger purpose.
They are the women who know when to ask if I should be taking on one more thing and yet somehow also know when I am shying away from something I should be trying because of my own fears or insecurities. They are the women who are able to ask the tough questions and offer the right advice.
They are the women whose addition to my life, even when life seems overly full, seem to make the fullness easier to bear.
As I look back over the last decade of my life, through the many changes and new stages and even new places, as I ponder at times where it is all going and why the road looks different than I had expected, one thing seems to be a constant. Even when I am unable to see clearly how God is directing me, he has always provided incredible friends-strong women, encouraging women, brave women, to help me along the way.
When I think about it, maybe that is all I needed. In her book Cold Tangerines Shauna Niequist speaks often of the importance of friendship in her life. “Friendship is acting out God’s love for people in tangible ways,” she says. “We were made to represent the love of God in each other’s lives, so that each person we walk through life with has a more profound sense of God’s love for them. We get to remind one another about the bigger, more beautiful picture that we can’t always see from where we are.”
Hmm. Now I can see God didn’t want me to see clearly on my own, but to see things through someone else. Friendship is about teaching us that we are only capable of so much on our own, but of so much more together.
Now that is something to BFF about.
Lisa Littlewood is a freelance writer from Buffalo, N.Y. who has a heart for writing about how God uses imperfect people to accomplish his perfect will. Her articles have appeared in Buffalo Rising, Thrive Buffalo, Bay State Parent magazine, Unite magazine and The Buffalo News. She also blogs about faith, writing and life as a mom at www.littlewritermomma.com.