Once, when I was learning Spanish, my teacher asked me what I was going to do after language school. I wanted to give her a good Christian Missionary answer, so I told her I was going to build relationships with other women.
Well, that's what I meant to tell her. What I actually told her was that I was going to “have relations” with other women.
But I meant what I said... I mean, I meant what I meant.
I really was hoping to get to know other women. I wanted to hang out with other chicks, talking and drinking coffee and doing chick things. And, since I've never really had any shortage of friends, I honestly thought it would be kind of easy to get out there and meet new people.
But it's hasn't been easy at all – In fact, it has been freaking hard.
The whole language thing kills me. My Spanish sucks, which makes taking friendship beyond anything totally surfacey close to impossible. I thought I might befriend some of the Moms at school, but that hasn't exactly been a cultural cake walk. I'm still figuring out a lot of the social cues that make me look like a weirdo, so while it's definitely getting better, I'm pretty sure I'm still “that weird white lady” to most of them. So, it turns out, making friends isn't as easy as I thought it was gonna be. And while I do have a few friends here, these last few years have definitely been the loneliest time of my life.
That's why I'm so excited that... well...I've met someone, you guys. It's true. I met a girl. And I think she's kinda special...
We met on the sidelines of a football game a few weeks ago, when our husbands were both coaches for the Costa Rican National Team. She's cool. And chill. And funny. And she's devoid of that “fake” vibe that totally turns me off. She's basically everything I look for in a friend.
So I gave her my number.
I never really realized how much making friends can be just like dating - until the other night when I sat down to tap out a quick email to my new acquaintance. I wanted to let her know how glad I was to meet her and that I'd love to hang out sometime. No big deal, right?! I am a secure, confident, grown-ass woman! I am not about to labor for ten minutes over two sentences to find just the right tone (one that says interested but not desperate and relaxed but not aloof). …Ok. I did that. But only because I don't wanna screw this up; I like this chick!
I know. It sounds like I want to date her... except that I don't want to get into her pants, I want to get into her heart.
The thing about dating, I mean friending, is that it's kinda risky. You have to be a little vulnerable, a lot honest, and totally willing to be rejected by the person you're trying to connect with. It can be awkward and even a bit painful. And, really, I'm okay with all of that.
The truth is, I love the process of getting to know new people. I love hearing their stories. I love meeting someone in a certain moment, and then hearing about all the ways God worked to bring them to that place in time. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a life-story. And I love the connection that happens when someone risks baring a little bit of their soul and it culminates in a compassionate, “Hey, me too”.
Yes, making the first move can be awkward...
Hello Hi there, Remember me? Hi Hey Hey, It was so Hey, Wanna get toget
Hi, It was great meeting you last night.
But if you get a friend out of it? I say, suck it up.
Go on and build relationships, or have relations, or however you say it in your language – make friends. You know what they say:
"Friendliness is close to Godliness."
….or something like that. ;)
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Have you ever felt compelled to try and build a friendship with someone? Did it work?
If you're struggling with loneliness, leave me a comment - I'd love to pray for you about that!