Thursday, January 17, 2013

Friendship, Girlfriends and Intimacy

Today was extraordinary. Today my cousin Anita surprised me with a gift that was delivered to my office. Oh my word was I ever surprised by this gift. It's was a just because gift. A gift that said, I love you, I appreciate you and I want you to live your best life. Whoa! What a blessing. Thank you Anita! You made my day and I love you so much! Thank you for always being such a giver and for your thoughtfulness. We’re more like sisters than cousins for sure and I’m thankful for our sisterhood relationship.

Later this morning I received an e-mail from my friend Margie who thanked me for calling her a year ago during this time of the year. She shared with me that she was doing some reflective thinking and was remembering that particular day a year ago and how she needed me to call her at that moment because that day was a really hard day and the timing of my call was impeccable.

My friend Margie had just lost her husband of 25 years three weeks prior to cancer when I called her. Her husband was my childhood friend. He got cancer, just like me only I survived and he didn't. I can't even imagine what Margie was feeling a year ago today. It was an incredibly painful and difficult time in her life to say the least. Her e-mail today was a note filled with gratitude and love and it made me cry. I had no idea what that call and what my words meant to her. Thank you Margie for reminding me that words matter and I'm glad that my words that day blessed you. I love you. Thank you for your note. It made me feel special and it blessed me for sure. You're a pillar of strength and beautiful as ever. 

Then I had another friend who I called to check in on because she's been experiencing some health issues and today she opened up to me and shared with me that this is one of the hardest seasons she's experienced ever. It was heart breaking to learn everything she shared with me. I was glad I called and I was glad to be available to listen and to learn what she has been struggling with because I had no idea and now I know and because I know, I now know how to pray for her and love her during this season.

I shared with her how much I loved her and how I appreciated her brutal and raw honesty. She's one of the bravest and strongest women I know because she has endured so much in life and has overcome so much. And although this is a really hard season that might feel like the death of her, I know that God is with her and He will turn it around for good and she will emerge stronger and wiser and better. I love that she trusts me with her deepest and most intimate thoughts. She's probably the only person I know that opens up as much as she does with me and I love how she's not afraid to admit her short comings. It takes courage to open up to another person the way she does with me. I wonder if she realizes that. And I wonder if she opens up to me because she knows that I recognize how imperfect each of us is and that I will always love her no matter what. That conversation today reminded me why we have such a special connection and why I love her so much. 

Today I’m glad that God placed her in my life, because through our friendship, I want to love her through this and stand in the gap for her and pray for her and with her and hold her hand until she gets to the other side. Conversations like this give birth to what real intimacy and authenticity is all about. I just love her bravery and I'm glad I could listen and be there for her when she needed someone to really hear her. I love you baby girl. I will not disclose your name in this post but you know who you are and I promise that it will get better. And until it does, I will hold your hand and remind you that you are never alone because next to God, you will find me, walking this journey with you. You’re stronger and braver than you feel. You really are and together we will get through this. I promise. I love you more than more.

What an extraordinary day! Today I'm thankful for the gift of friendship and girlfriends and intimacy. These are some of the things that I love most about life because intimacy and relationships are what connect us in meaningful and special ways. We need trusted friends to do life with and to call on when life feels hard and dark and unfair and just as equally, we need to become those trusted friends that will reach out with love, to care, to listen, to pray and to practice grace. 

Until next time, may you experience extraordinary moments in the ordinary through your friendships, and through your sacred relationships filled with great courage as you practice love, grace, and vulnerability with great authenticity.

xx, Ruthie