“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Friendships of Women

Sheri and Colleen, BFF (1980?)

Well, I have decided to take you on a little journey. I'm not positive where we'll end up. But we are going to explore The Friendships of Women by Dee Brestin over the next month. This is a book I read probably around 1995 for the first time. I remember... it was a time in my life that I wondered... Why don't I have a Best Friend? That one girlfriend that you talk to every day. You share confidences with.... You laugh with... you cry with... The one who notices that you weren't in church today... and actually calls you to see what's up. You go out to coffee, shopping, and plan holidays with... I didn't have one... and it just wasn't fair!

I was probably around 25 years old, and I remember my counselor at the time trying to tell me that as we become women we normally don't have ONE "best" friend. We may have a friend who we go to coffee with... or a friend who is similar in status to us (we were DINKs at the time)... or a colleague at work... or a friendly face at church... but basically, I was out of luck.... there was no such thing as having a Best-est Friend as a woman... or at least it was very, very rare. One woman who would meet all my needs for coffee talk, shopping, and emotionally. I just didn't believe her. I saw other women who had these friends. I just figured I hadn't worked hard enough to find mine.

So began a lifetime of exploring my relationships with other women. I still don't have this all figured out. It's so complex. When I look at who I really am... I see a girl who has grown into a woman... who hasn't really changed. I have always had a lot of friends (or are they "acquaintances"?) and that was always where I have focused my energy. Getting to know everyone... it doesn't leave much time for getting to know one person very intimately.

In the past couple of months, I have been speaking with other women about their friendships. Realizing that perhaps we need to look at this in a little more depth. What is it we are really looking for? Who are we as a friend? What does it mean to be lonely? betrayed? outcast? intimate? unique?

I met Colleen in 2nd Grade. I had moved to a new school and we became best friends immediately. Colleen and I still keep in touch through Christmas cards every now and then. But, it's funny... my heart beats faster just looking at her in the photo. Remembering how precious we were to each other... so many, many years ago. Colleen, ILY,DNQ!


yardenxanthe said...

What an adorable photo! :) I have found that it is really hard for me to spend enough time with anyone to call them a "best" friend... at least at this time in my life!

Colleen said...

Sheri - This is my favorite picture of us. I have this one and keep it close. I think about our formative years a lot. I remember going to the lock-in at Babcock and truly accepting Christ. It took many more years for me to free myself from my denominational bondage. Although I am still a sales director with Mary Kay (11 years now), I am also working part-time at my church - Hunt Valley Presbyterian Church. I am working planning weekly church services and leading music worship. I wouldn't have made it through this year without the support of my church family and my faith. Travis had brain surgery earlier this year to remove a benign tumor. He is recovering well. We really need to talk soon! This is my first experience with "blogging". Pretty cool. Your forever sister in Christ - no matter how far apart we are!