I am convinced that moving has put us, once again, right where we’re meant to be. But in this place of being undeniably and securely placed, there have still been discomforts. It’s not easy to start over. I’m a girl’s-girl. I don’t mean that in the traditional, super glitzy, can’t get dirty sort of way. I'm referring more to the fact that I require girlfriends. I love having other ladies in my life; true blue girlfriends who are deep and soulful but are also good for a belly laugh. I’m not a friend hoarder. I don’t need 50 or even 10. In this season of life, I'm incapable of pouring into more than a handful of friendships well. But in spite of being stretched across the needs of my family and home, leaving little for me, I still have a deep longing to feel known, understood and irreplaceable to my fray-nds. (Side note: The word ‘friend’ has a twang. It’s the way it sounds in my head. I don’t know why. I’m not from the south, so the twang wasn’t put there by God.)
At the time we moved, I had a sense of security and safety in my friendships. I need to confess that the task of making new friends in the Northwest really tugged on almost all of my insecurities for a while. Suddenly I was thrust into the dating world again (in a sense)…but dating friends. I was putting on the best version of myself, trying to be honest and open, but not an over-sharer. I wanted to be fun and funny and interesting. I tried to keep conversation rolling. Ideally, this would be less of an effort and more of an easy exchange. As one who’s been married for a good number of years, I’d kind of forgotten how exhausting the dating process can be. I found that the more I extended my heart and invested in these seemingly uncertain ‘friendships’, the more it felt like something was crawling into my deep, hidden places (hidden even from me) and dragging out all my fears and insecurities for me to look at. They were undeniable and crippling and times. I tried hard to look confident and lighthearted, but on the inside I felt paralyzed by an intense fear of rejection. Isn’t it interesting that after years of working on healing my old wounds, this move had the ability to place me right back where I thought I never be again. I had forgotten what makes me undeniably valuable.
As the fog began to lift and clarity settled back in, what I ended up coming to is this: what I perceive as acceptance or rejection from others is entirely separate from my true and constant acceptable state. I’ve known this for years and years, but my belief had wobbled to the point of a near topple. Being acceptable, lovable and valuable cannot be rooted in the flexible feelings of people (including myself). It’s defined not by partiality, but by the thoughts and statements of the one who creates and defines all. I had to decide to place my security back into the only fixed and immovable source. I chose to anchor my worth again in the one who constantly wants me, loves me and values me- just as I am. (Big exhale). It's honestly a daily choice. I'm easily one overly exhausted, under fulfilled moment away from feeling all the insecurities of yesterday. But today, I feel freer as I take another step into this new chapter of making friends. Truthfully, I'm finding some pretty special fray-nds!
Writer and fellow traveler on the road of life.