Generation to Generation- A word on friendships
For many years, my friendships were with women just like me…or a lot like me. Close in age, in similar seasons of life, and sharing a love of coffee. This meant we were fast friends. There’s comfort in sameness. There’s a knowing of souls. There’s familiar territory and terrain.
I still love familiar friendships and have three women I can’t imagine doing life without. But in the past few years, God has been stretching me beyond the familiar. We started attending our son-in-law (Nick) and daughter's (Jess) church to support and pray for them, not planning to stay because it was a young church. Most attendees are in their 20’s and early 30’s. Then we felt called to stay. As mentors or disciplers, or so we thought. Somewhere along the way, and as recently as last week, I realized these precious souls were becoming friends.
We’ve been included in their weddings and baby showers, parties and other celebrations. Most importantly, these young friends pour into us and stretch me beyond what is familiar. They also bring a newfound joy into my life! A small example is this, Melissa and I shared a conversation one Sunday about the color of her top and how I was looking for the same to match a skirt. A few weeks later, she brings a top in that exact color for me at church! Not just any top, but a J Crew she found on a Goodwill search. That’s a friend!
Last week, I met another younger woman for coffee whose journey has been vastly different from mine. We listened to each other’s stories and I was so drawn to her depth of courage, capacity for pain and intense love for Jesus…at the end of our time I reached out for a hug and said “I want to be your friend.” This was so unlike me, someone with high walls, and low walls to embrace friendship so fast. I didn’t want to mentor her or be treated as her elder. I wanted to share life with this incredible soul.
As I took these thoughts to God over the next few days, He gently reminded me of the beauty found in diversity. Women who are different from us can stretch and enrich our lives. Dreams become bigger and the horizons of possibilities are grander. They make me braver when considering the future. I’m hopeful the friendships will equally bless, but my eyes are on them to learn. Who’s in your immediate circle of friends? Do you need to stretch and include some other generations? Let’s help one another and see what is somewhere over the rainbow.