I had a (very productive) call this week with a girlfriend….but it lasted a couple of hours longer than I wanted it to.
Arghhh! And it’s not because I don’t adore her!! It’s because I am so sad about the reason for the call, and I would much prefer to not have to be walking through what I’m walking through right now.
You see, she’s been a dear friend for years, and has seen me through hard times and great times. She’s seen me at my best, and at my worst. She’s watched me bawl my eyes out in sadness, and she’s caused me to laugh so hard I’m crying. She’s even heard me cuss.
She’s my girl. And this week, she walked with me through yet another life thing. Ugh. Why does life gotta play so dirty sometimes?!
I reached out to her and simply said “are you available to pray with me?” and she called me instantly (cue the tears)
She’s a real one, for sure!
So, anyway, back to our phone call that lasted so long – I was reaching out for prayer because I was feeling stuck and avoidant, and I didn’t know how to move forward in this particular area I’ve been navigating.
She let me just talk. She listened. She gave wisdom. She encouraged. She offered to come over and just be with me. She loved me while I cried. She helped me work out which direction to go. She prayed with me. And she even stayed with me while I took my next action step.
But what I noticed throughout the call was a naggy little voice saying:
❌ “She’s given you enough time.”
❌ “Let her get back to her evening.”
❌ “You interrupted her.”
❌ “She’s busy.”
❌ “Stop taking her time.”
❌ “End the conversation so she can get back to what she was doing.”
❌ “It’s late, let her go!”
A pesky (and persistent) little voice that I had to intentionally shut up!
You know what? She did let me interrupt her, and she did give me precious time even though she has a very full schedule! She’s my friend, and that’s who friends are!!
And you know what else? I’ve learned through the years how to receive, and be in MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL friendships! It’s not just a one-way street where I have to perform (or “out-perform”) my friends to win their approval and friendship. That’s how I used to think. I used to only allow my friends to be friends to me if I felt I could somehow repay them, or if I felt I’d already stashed up enough “points” to make a withdrawal. And if I didn’t feel that I could, or that I had, I wouldn’t let them support me, because I didn’t feel that I’d earned it.
It was exhausting – but it’s what I knew.
I’m so thankful I’ve unlearned that, and relearned a new way to be in friendship!
I’m so thankful for friends like Tammy who are willing to spend precious time with me and help me.
I’m so thankful to be enjoying friendships where we both get to love on each other. Where we get to be there for one another. Where we get to be a shoulder to cry on, and a hug to lean into. Where we get to laugh together and cry together. Where we do fancy things and low-key things. Where we dress up for black tie events, and where we run errands. Where we challenge and sharpen each other, and where we poke fun and LOL our way through life.
If you ever think those ❌ thoughts while you’re with someone, can I encourage you to start unwinding that twisted thinking, and simply let them support you? Carrying it alone is too much.
And if you’re constantly in the spot where you feel like you’re draining others, or always the one being tended to, then it may be wise to seek some professional support as you walk through what you’re walking through. No shame in the support game!
Moral of the story = Don’t go it alone!