Tuesday, June 12, 2012

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

 "Somebody's gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car;
Hit the gas, get there fast
Never stop to think 'what's in it for me?' or 'it's way too far'
They just show on up with their big old heart."
               -Tracy Lawrence

 007 on the xbox, fudgsicles, and my friend C. These were the therapy of long 16 year old nights. Life was shockingly complicated given the lack of responsibility. But the uncertainty of what in our young minds was such an unguaranteed future loomed over our heads enough to send us reeling.
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a friend like C. The kind of friend who would drop everything to listen to your latest teenage drama, and somehow convince you that everything is going to be ok.
She's always been "cooler" than I am, prettier, and smarter. But not in an intimidating way. Even now, as I work part-time with my nursing degree and raise my two boys, she is finishing up a grueling pediatric residency during which she bore three children. But rather than making me feel less, her strength through all of this, which has ultimately been drawn from God's strength; has only made me feel encouraged to be more.

Finishing high school, away we went to different colleges but similar wanderings. Questioning our faith, our life, our purpose. There were often weeks or months between conversations. There was simply nothing good to say. But we never lost touch. C is not the kind of friend with whom you lost touch.
We’ve grown and changed and put away childish ways and returned to childlike faith.
We’ve studied the bible together, prayed together, joked, and cried together. We’ve surfed so long that our arms were collapsing under our weight, and said goodbye too many times to count. But have always known that it wasn’t forever.
We spent the better part of 8 years agonizing over whether we would ever fall in love, and what an honor it was to be there when she walked down the aisle to the love of her life.
She returned the favor less than a year later.

7 months after that, I debated how to tell her that I was pregnant. I knew she was “trying” and hoped she wouldn’t feel discouraged by my news. But it was too exciting to hold back: “I’m pregnant!” I announced. “Me too!” she laughed.
Our boys were born 10 days apart.

They both cried way more than we thought they would, and slept far less.
Motherhood hit hard, and my short conversations with Tennessee did much for my sanity. There is something special about joining the ranks of motherhood with someone who shares your convictions and heart for your children.
I’ve never been great at making new friends, and mothering small children is an especially difficult time for this. Working part-time is somewhat ostracizing when everyone else seems to be staying home. Add to it a husband who is always up to some new project and well…there isn’t much time for forming new friendships.
Whenever the loneliness for female companionship reaches new highs, there’s a voice on the other end of the line. My friend, C, driving home from a 12 hour shift. One of the few women my age I know who knows the agony of leaving your 6 week old and driving to work. Who knows what it feels like to go almost 4 years without a solid night’s sleep. Who I can share all of my feelings of inadequacy with, and somehow find the humor in it all.
I’m excited for her now, as she wraps up an amazing and difficult part of her life and begins officially practicing in Wyoming, even though I wanted her to move to Florida.
Today I am thanking God for my friend. I’m looking forward to many more years of conversation, letters from our boys to each other, visits here and visits there; and sharing in each other’s lives. I’ve found that distance doesn’t have to change a friendship. A real friend is not someone who lives close by. It is someone who lives close to your heart.

"So if we get the big jobs and we make the big money,
When we look back now will that joke still be funny?...
As we go on, we remember
All the times we had together;
And as our lives change, come whatever
We will still be friends forever."
            -Vitamin C

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