“Let’s connect this weekend at church.” “Let’s meet for coffee next week.” Sure, as long as I don’t have to share any of my personal issues. I’d love to hear about YOUR struggles, though.
Only, real life community doesn’t work that way. It’s got to be a two-way street. Give and Take. Mutual sharing.
Years ago, I was baffled and hurt when a friend suddenly turned on me and said, in essence, that she couldn’t be my friend because I was perfect and had the perfect family, and she wasn’t and didn’t. Hadn’t I been a good enough friend? Hadn’t I listened as she lamented her unsaved husband? Hadn’t I sympathized about her child with disabilities? Yes, I really had.
But, what I had not done was let her into my very imperfect life. Sure, my then-husband professed Christ while hers did not, but I didn’t share my loneliness when he was at church functions. Or the fact that he has major issues with porn. Or the fact that one daughter may have been ahead academically, but the other one wasn’t. And the fact that I had no idea how to deal with my kids’ ADD/ADHD tendencies.
I wish I had shared my imperfect life with my imperfect friend. Because when my perfect wall came crashing down on my head, maybe I would have had a friend to help me dig out from the carnage.
Maybe if I weren’t so afraid to connect with other women now, I would have a bosom companion, a kindred spirit, who lives here in my town, even though I don’t live at Green Gables. Someone who would call me first with her good news or her bad news.
Don’t get me wrong, I dearly love my long-distance kindred spirits! I just sometimes long for one who lives just on the other side of Avonlea.
What about you? Have you checked your connection status lately?