Recently I spent the weekend with a group a women at the beach house of a friend. Some of the women I knew, most I did not. Our tie that bound us together was the woman who owned the beach house. She decided to open her home to the mothers around her who might need a weekend away. There was no agenda, no schedule, just an open house, clean sheets, and an overwhelming sense of peace and freedom that comes from having nothing planned. Nothing to do.
As the weekend went on I had a few conversations about friendship and community with different women there. There was one group of four that came together, another pair and then a few of us came alone. There were some women invited that did not feel comfortable coming because they wouldn't know everyone. I was one of the women who came alone so that struck me. I was just so incredibly thankful for a place to get away, a place to sleep in, a place without the demands of kids or schedules. I was thankful for the time alone even. I was grateful that I was being forced to spend some time with myself for a change.
It made me think about how we view friendship in our world. Oprah has Gayle. Rachel has Phoebe, Monica and the boys. Some of my friends talk with their sisters every day or so, in person if possible, on the phone if not. Some neighbors have an open door policy. I do not have friends like this. I don't talk to anyone on the phone every day, except my husband if he is traveling. I don't have that one go to friend. I don't know if that is because I move a lot or if that is because life changes. I just know that my friendships ebb and flow over time.
I spend a lot of time at the rink during hockey season and have gotten to know those families really well. And during hockey season, I know what is going on in their lives and they know mine. If someone needs help with a ride or missing gear, if someone needs a kid watched or a baby held so skates can be tied we are there for each other. But then the season ends and we go our separate ways. For a time these are quantity friendships, friendships that get lots of time together.
And then there are the few quality friendships that I have. Friendships that can go to that deeper place, where we share our fears and hurts, our joys and triumphs. We may not see one another often but when we do there is instant connection and meaning. I may move away and we not talk except through Facebook but when I come back we can pick up where we left off. We may live across the country from one another, but we truly love each other, always wanting the best for each other. Praying for each other and encouraging each other. And while we cannot seem to get our schedules to line up as often as we would like, I know that if ever I needed one of these friends, truly needed someone by my side, they would be there. Because I know that I would jump on a plane at a moments notice if one of these friends needed me.
While I may not have a bestie, the truth is I do have a Gayle or two in my life. One is my husband, the very first person I would call. The person I check in with each day.
The other is God, my heavenly father. The truest of true go to people. The person that will always answer the phone and is always available for a coffee date. I just wish sometimes that He could actually sit in the chair across from me at Starbucks. I guess that may be why we are always looking for a bestie. We were made to have that kind of relationship. We were made to have a best friend in our lives every day. But in this world we have tried to fill that void with the people around us, we have tried to find a bestie.
I don't want to do that. I love my friends. I have been blessed by the friends God has brought into my life. But I never want them to be a substitute for God Himself. I need to figure out how to let God be my bestie.