A Few More Comfy Friends

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” ~Proverbs 27:9

Yesterday I introduced you to five of my favorite comfy friends.  I want to tell you about a few more.  These women are some of the few women on Planet Earth who I dared to share my real, true heart with this past year as I tentatively ventured out into this world of blogging.  I was terrified.  Terrified of letting people besides just me and Jesus read the words that are ever-spilling out of my heart onto paper or screen.  Terrified of what I might find inside myself as I gave myself permission to really dig down and hash out so many of the issues and relationships that had for so long been tormenting me.  Terrified that I might write something and then later on change my mind about it all and then someone might hold my previously posted words against me.  But these women were people I knew I could trust with that level of vulnerability.  They would keep my “secret blog” locked up tight as long as I needed it to be locked up.  They would let me vent, let me rant, let me take as long as I needed to find my voice as a writer.  They would let me be the messed up, imperfect, work-in-progress I am.  And they would still love me at the end of it.

These women love me for real.  They aren’t afraid to let me be me and they also aren’t afraid to give me honest feedback.  Priceless.

So let’s meet today’s lovely contestants: First off, you need to know about Anna.  Anna is the cousin I have been closest to my entire life.  For a couple years, when we were youngsters, we lived next-door to one another.  She and her big brother Josh would come over in their pajamas before the sun had even risen and knock on our door wanting to play with me and my big brothers.  We would play school and play house and cuddle kittens together.  As we grew, her family moved away— first to Oklahoma, then to Hawaii, then to Oregon.  So we’ve been long-distance buddies for many many years now.  Yet Anna is one with whom my heart is knit forever.  Every time I see her— even if it’s been 3 years since our last face-to-face meeting— it’s like I’m home.  She stuck by me even though I was a total B to her when I was a hormonal junior higher and I’ve stuck by her through her own ups and downs as well.  We have had the honor of supporting and praying for one another through broken relationships, lost babies, and all the joys and challenges that come with being married to good men and making beautiful babies with those men.  Not necessarily in that order.  We have rooted for each other every step of the way.  She is one of the dearest people to my heart.

And Kelly: I met Kelly when I was pregnant with our first daughter and she and my brother-in-law were googly-eyed teenagers falling in love.  She quickly became and has remained a trusted, loving, always-God-seeking woman of integrity.  Though we’ve had our ups and downs, as all great and “real” families do, Kelly is a wise and safe soul.  She inspires me with her courageous work with moms going through chemotherapy and I have absolutely loved watching how her family’s move across the country has brought out a level of faith, independence, and confidence I hadn’t seen before.  My favorite quote from Kelly? “Someone who doesn’t feel loved by Jesus is a ball of crazy waiting to happen.”  Yep.  Been there, my friend.  So true.

Thea is another safe and comfy place for my heart to land.  The first time I spent time getting to know Thea was on a hike near our old neighborhood.  As we hiked and chatted about faith, our recent miscarriages, marriage, and life in general, I soon realized several things about Thea: (1) she was in ridiculously good shape, (2) she had that rare gift of being both a great talker and a great listener, (3) she is a fellow old school, let’s-have-a-good-long-heart-to-heart kind of girl, and (4) she still loves and enjoys her husband after all their years and trials together.  She was a kindred spirit indeed.  Thea is comfortable in her own skin, she doesn’t mind being different than everyone else, and she simply, elegantly exudes peace.   I always feel welcome and important when I’m with her.

I’ve known Kari since our husbands were starting their careers together ten years ago and have had the blessing of seeing her graduate from law school, become a wife, a mother, and a growing, courageous woman of faith and integrity.  Kari is one of the smartest, bravest, most insightful women I know.  She loves to read, is a gracious host, and, like me, desperately wants to be the best version of herself she can be.  I always leave my times with Kari feeling affirmed and encouraged to keep growing into the me God wants me to be.

Michelle is another friend who made the “Safe to Tell About My Blog List.”  She’s a fellow mom from school who has a beautiful hunger for God and a yearning to pray with and learn from other women who have known God awhile.  Her pure, honest heart and her teachable spirit refresh me every time I’m with her.   I love when she and I get together with or without a few other girlfriends to pray for our kids and their school.  She has been a gift to me.

And lastly for today: my amazingly awesome friend Toni.  Toni is another one I don’t get to see too often, but her mark on my life is indescribably huge.  You can read about Toni here, but the gist of my story with her is that because of Toni, I know God better and I know how to talk to and hear God better.  She basically saved my life when I was going through one of the most challenging seasons of my life.  No doubt about it: my heart and my journey are safe with her.

Honestly, I could go on and on about other friends who have impacted my life and been safe landing spots for my heart.  There is Alia whose words have brought life and vision to me in special, life-changing ways.  And my newfound mentor-friend Suzie whose openness and wisdom is bringing a new level of insight to areas of my life that had long been stagnant.  And my new Tuesday morning Bible study crew.  And my Mom2Mom ladies.  And Robyn, who has been a faithful friend of mine since high school.  All these women are good, beautiful, wonderful souls and I am honored to be able to continue growing alongside them.  They have each made me better by their presence in my life.

Thank you, friends, for all the countless ways you have blessed me and helped me along my journey.  I love you each and am so grateful God has allowed us into each other’s lives.  Here’s to many more years together, many more walks and talks together, and many more laughs and tears we will no doubt share!

 

I pray that you, too, have found some comfy friends with whom you can just be you.  Please read yesterday’s post to learn about a few more of the incredible women I am honored to know.

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What about you?

Can you please tell me about one or two of your dear friends and what makes them so special?

Please share your journey in the comment section below.

 

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