At the same time, Jason doesn't fill the girlfriend spot in my heart that some pretty amazing women do, and this post is about them.
When we arrived in Denver almost 12 years ago, sure I was excited to live in a beautiful part of the country, but I was 31, really pregnant, and only had one friend 45 minutes away, who was a new mom. Jason was busy at his new job 45 minutes the opposite direction, and I was in a daze, without a car, wandering amidst the dust and debris of the old house we had just purchased and gutted over the previous weekend.
I washed lettuce in the bathroom, in the mauve bathtub, because the kitchen was in the dumpster in the back alley.
Our fresh vegetables kept freezing in the refrigerator because it was out on the back porch. As a result, we ate a lot of take-out, frozen burritos, gelato, and Clif Bars. And, if that wasn't bad enough, I would sit in my house, covered in sheet rock dust, and watch Soap Operas.
I'm not even kidding. Did you know Bo and Hope are STILL on Days? True story! (At least they were back in 2002...)
It was a low time in my life, let's be honest. My friend who loves chocolate and sewing felt so sad for me from a distance, a beautiful package arrived on my doorstep one day with a toaster oven in it and instructions to head to the store so I could at least buy slice and bake chocolate chip cookies. Oh, how I longed to sit with her on my couch to actually eat them, but fat and pregnant and hormonal, I sat on my couch and ate them all myself.
...again, a low time in my past.
ANYWAY, my mom was praying for God to send me some friends. I wasn't hopeful. In my head, since I was 30ish, everyone had already found their favorites. Back in Minnesota, Jason and I had just left a group of friends we did life with every weekend for 5 years...how on earth were we going to find that kind of connection again?
Well, I've learned not to mess with my mom's prayers. After a mishap in a mom's play group where I was invited to a Swinger's party, a friend in another state told me she had a friend somewhere in Denver and surely we'd hit it off. I thought, "You clearly don't know how big Denver is...she could live anywhere."
|2005 ice skating birthday party|
|Noah's 1st Celebration, the delivery crew and some guy with an afro|
|Locks of Love donation, 2008|
|Celebrating Ryan's arrival, Becky on the left who lived 3 blocks away, and Rachel|
|Grateful for friendships where we can pick up where we left off, no pressure, just dive in deep and keep pressing on...|
And you know what? She did live somewhere. She lived 3 blocks away, had a daughter 2 weeks younger than Emily born at the same hospital, her own husband named Jason and, not that I pick them this way, but happened to be *tall with dark brown hair, too.
Today, less than 12 years later, I'm grateful for the prayers for real heart to heart friends my mom placed at God's feet for me, her pitiful, pregnant, chocolate chip cookie eating, soap opera watching, daughter.
The friendships which have grown out of this connection and my willingness to be vulnerable with others has allowed me the opportunity to meet some extraordinary women. It has also meant stories shared in coffee shops, prayers prayed, truth told, tears strewn, basketball played, trips to Mexico, laughter and love, a room full of women at Noah's delivery, meals and shoulders during his hospital life, weekends away, mini-retreats, hard conversations, Easter feasts, closet purges and style consults, Scriptures studied, Friends Thanksgiving, prayers for marriages and misunderstandings, Bevy makeovers, beautiful locks shared in love, miles walked, wine and chocolate, creativity shared, more tears, more laughter, and my heart overflowing with gratitude that at the end of any given day, I am humbled to know God's love in a deeper, more profound way through the gift of friendship.
It's a beautiful thing to have friends willing to live life to the fullest...blood, sweat, and tears!
(*not a friendship prerequisite...)
P.S. This particular post is about friendships, up close and personal, in the day to day, close in proximity. I'll also be posting about the treasure of long-distance friendship.