“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
Last week, I mentioned that I went through a “dry spell” in best friendships during my 30’s. There were several factors that contributed to my lack to bestfriends during that time: I was a new mom (I gave birth to my daughter when I was 30 years old) struggling through postpartum depression for months, and just as I was beginning to feel better, my dad passed away from lung cancer.
During my pregnancy, I was working full-time while taking my dad to chemotherapy, meeting with his oncology team (I was the translator at many of the appointments because my dad spoke limited English), and going to my own prenatal appointments. These things filled up my schedule pretty quickly, and by the time I gave birth, I stopped making time for bestfriends. By the time my mental health and emotional health improved, my husband, daughter and I had already moved out of California and had started building our new lives in Texas. I lived in Texas for almost 10 years with a lot of great friends (including T.W. that I mentioned last week), but none of those friendships felt like the ones from my 20’s. Even though I saw other women with their “ride or die” besties, I told myself that I probably wouldn’t have those types of best friendships as an adult… but that all changed when we moved to North Carolina.
We moved to Charlotte, North Carolina at the end of 2015 (you can read about the reason for our move here), and shortly afterwards, I met L.P. L.P. was one of the moms that served in our middle school ministry in The Charlotte Church, and we bonded quickly. She was (and still is) a drama teacher at a private Christian school, and I could tell right away that we were going to be really great friends. Our first hangout was going to the Twenty One Pilots concert together. Shortly after that, we made it a point to hang out as much as our schedules allowed. Being that her younger son and my daughter became bestfriends also made it easy for us to spend time together. L.P. is truly one of the most amazing women I have ever met. She and I are both creative souls, but we’re opposites in many ways. She has taught me how to be more compassionate and vulnerable, where I — according to her — have taught her how to have better boundaries in relationships. We have made some wonderful trips together to Georgia, Tennessee, and California. Although we now live over 1,000 miles away from each other, L.P. is someone I know will be my bestfriend for the rest of my life. She has shown me that it is possible to have the kind of best friendship that I once had in my 20’s.
Another bestfriend I have in Charlotte is C.M. C.M. and I have the kind of friendship where we don’t talk often; in fact, our keeping in touch averages about 45 minutes every other month… but when we do talk, it’s as if no time has passed between us. She is never afraid to speak the truth in love to me, and I’m grateful that I can do the same with her. I have learned to really push myself in loving people in spite of how they may treat me. She is a woman who will love people with all her heart, not because of them but because of God’s love for her.
Now we come to 2021. My current bestfriend was one of my closest friends in my 20’s, but it wasn’t until my family and I moved back to Texas last year that our friendship became what it is today. M.R. and I went to college together. I have spent numerous nights at her house, and we have made many unsuccessful attempts to study together (they all ended in her falling asleep and me watching T.V.). Even though we were close friends back then, I don’t think we really considered each other best friends because she had her circle of besties and I had my own circle of besties. She and her family moved to Texas shortly after her second son was born, and once my family and I made the move to Texas in 2005, we tried to grow our friendship; but being that we were both moms to young child(ren) and lived about an hour away from each other, we found it a bit challenging to really invest in becoming bestfriends. Fast-forward to today; we actually now live about 25 minutes away from each other, and her boys and my daughter are now grown… so this makes it much easier to spend time together. I love how she is so down-to-earth, approachable and sincere. I’m grateful that she and I share over 25 years of friendship and that God intended for us to be in each other’s lives for all this time — and for me to learn how to be a best friend as an adult — before M.R. and I became bestfriends.
One lesson I’ve learned as to why I didn’t have many best friends in my 30’s is because I didn’t know how to be the type of best friend that I longed to have. I couldn’t have deep friendships because I closed off a huge part of my heart when my dad died. Because I felt hurt by a lot of people that I felt weren’t there for me when I was grieving my dad, I closed my heart from having vulnerable and deep friendships. Of course, this is all in hindsight and I’m still working on these things, but I have been seeing a huge shift in the quality and depth of my friendships because I am finally willing to open up and be vulnerable.
Next week, I will introduce you to all the guy best friends that I had and the impact they’ve had on me!