I sat across the table from her.
It was a gorgeous summer evening, and yet, the air was heavy.
She was not her usual upbeat self, in fact, the deep grief was palpable.
She had called me asking if I could meet last minute.
I knew, from previous conversations, that this day was coming.
As she shared, so vulnerable and honest, we wept together.
This began a season of friendship between the two of us in which I had the beautiful privilege of being there for her through one of the darkest seasons of her life.
Fast forward to almost two years later.
She asked my advice about something, and knowing her history and having been asked to walk that road with her, I gave her my opinion. I believed the decision she was making would be detrimental to her and her kids. She agreed. She asked me to pray for her that she would stay strong.
I heard through another that she had relented.
I called her.
She would not answer her phone.
I emailed her to check in and let her know that I felt compelled to respond as she had entrusted me to help keep her accountable.
And then she wrote me a scathing email completely annihilating every aspect of me she could think of, and blocked me from every form of communication with her possible.
Seasons of friendship.
We all have them.
And oftentimes, I believe The Giver of All Things places people in our lives, in our very times of crisis, to carry us through.
Sometimes those friendships then might in fact fade into the background –
a memory that brings a grateful heart to the forefront.
Vulnerability takes some of the biggest heaps of courage.
Pouring out our hearts and sharing our story is not the entirety of where the courage lies.
In fact, I would argue that it is far easier
the accountability part.
I have areas of my life built in that I know will always bring about an ebb and flow of grief.
I also know, through counseling and wise mentors, that in my humanity, I have the propensity to default into some unhealthy patterns especially during those times of grief.
Over the years, I have been so fortunate to have had seasonal friends – ones that the Giver of All Things put in my life JUST at the right moment.
And although those friendships may not be as deep now, I think it is very important to not only acknowledge those people, but to be sure and take the time to thank them for the role they played at that time.
Take her out to coffee.
Tell her face to face that her role in my life at that particular time was a vital part of my very survival and healing.
Over the years, I have also come to value the part that has taken far more courage from me than being vulnerable about the hard parts in my life.
As I have gotten older, I have come to place high value in those friendships that have not only weathered more than one storm, but have required that I ask for accountability.
And most crucial –
the ones in which I have been able to accept and often alter my course based on the wisdom received.
Do you have people like that in your life?
If not – have you ever taken the time to ask yourself why that is?
It is so easy to be the one who bounces from friendship to friendship in direct correlation with life’s fire to fire.
And once the fire has been put out, the friendship is extinguished as well.
And when we move on,
we leave hurt in our wake.
My girlfriends are not here for me at my disposal.
Those in my inner circle are sisters who have not only been there in the flames with me,
have not only compelled me to do better and be more,
but it is also mutual!
I get to do the same for them!
And it is beautiful when there is mutuality.
It is worth the effort,
the mutual vulnerability,
and most importantly –
the mutual gleaning, sharing, and acceptance of the wisdom we both bring to the table.
Not every friendship will look like this.
In fact – I would argue that only a handful of women will ever come into my life that I will enjoy that deep sense of mutuality across the board.
At the same time –
I do not want to be the type of friend who
May I honor the Sacred in friendship
as the Giver
as the Recipient.