When I was a new pastor’s wife, loneliness was my constant companion. Moving away from the Midwest where I found it much easier to make friends, I was at a loss as to how to approach women in the inland northwest. Independence is a “god” here. After a couple of years of fruitless effort, I did something desperate. I asked the Lord to give me a trustworthy girlfriend, someone who I could talk to about anything and who wouldn’t carry tales.
Trust is HUGE in the kind of friendship I need. Being the “go to” person for a pastor’s wife means that the friend hears things of the heart – things that an untrustworthy person could use to malign the character of the pastor’s wife and possibly the pastor. Too often people get freaked out when they discover the pastor’s wife is as human as they are. Go figure.
Well, the Lord heard my desperate prayer, and He gave me friends . . . not just one friend but a few friends. My cadre. My girls. My tough warrior princesses. My snort, giggle and hiccup pals. Oh, Dear Lord, how I love these women!
One of them read an article to me (sorry, I can’t remember where it is so I can’t give credit where credit is due) about investing time and care into girlfriend relationships because those relationships equal as much health as doing aerobics every day. Can you believe that? I can.
We laugh. We cry. We pray. We talk deeply about difficult things. We kick each other’s butts. We hug. We wipe away tears. We hold up mirrors to each other. We go to war with and on behalf of each other. We share grief and victories. We know where the bodies are buried and how deep we buried them.
I love my husband deeply. He and I share all kinds of things – many of the same things that I share with my girlfriends. But there is a difference. Girlfriends share a unique kind of relating face-to-face that men are not wired for. No slight to men intended. Men relate shoulder-to-shoulder and use a few words only when necessary to solve world problems. Women relate face-to-face and talk, cry and laugh in the process of solving every day challenges.
If you are a woman reading this, take time to cherish and build up your inner circle of friends. If you’re a man reading this, urge the women in your life to invest time and effort into their female relationships. When a woman has a trustworthy girlfriend, she and all the other people in her life benefit.
Aerobic friendship. It’s good for the heart.