These shoes make me smile every time I see them. A dear friend at one of my baby showers gave them to me. Knowing my love of Michael Jackson’s Thriller days, she knew I’d crack up over the shiny metallic silver shoes, envisioning them on my baby-to-be doing the moonwalk on our hardwood floors. This friend knows me well. We’ve laughed a lot together over the years, and possibly cried more together in public than any other friend I know. It seems like every time we would go out to breakfast together, one of us would run out of Kleenex as we shared the hard things of life.
When I look at these shoes I smile and I’m thankful, because I realize how good it is to be known. I also get a little teary as I’m in a season of life where so many things are new – new town, new community, and new role as a mom. I used to love the adventure of moving some place new and exploring my new surroundings and meeting new people. Yes, there were tears sometimes in the beginning, but after I got over that hurdle, I’d dive right in. Going to six different elementary schools in three different states will teach you how to be adaptable. But making friends as an adult – no, as a wife and as a mom of a new little guy – is exponentially more challenging.
Gone are the dorm-room and summer staff Young Life camp days when you have a new bestie after a few days of bonding. I think I took it for granted as a singleton when I was free to join every evening event or volunteer activity where relationships can be formed so quickly.
At this stage of my life, I feel like I am dating everyone, and it is exhausting. It amazes me how much more effort it takes to get things on the calendar, since the calendar is no longer my own. And when you only see someone once or twice a month, in the midst of babies crying and toddlers running under foot, not only does it take significant discipline to stay focused on a conversation, but it adds to the slowness of moving towards any sort of depth in a friendship.
I often sigh a deep internal sigh when people say, “When I first met you, I thought you were very reserved and quiet.” Oh, new friend, you have no idea. Friends that know me understand that I’d rather have a karaoke microphone in my hand on a Friday night than a glass of fine wine. There is silliness in me that needs to be expressed on a daily basis, or I will burst. It truly is a good thing that I have a little guy who likes to be entertained.
We all long to be known. It’s how God designed us. I just think that feeling is much more acute during this season. At times like these, it’s important for me to remember how God has provided amazing friendships in the past and IS forming new relationships in my life as I write this. Each time that I have moved, I have been given the gift of friendships. These friends are like precious stones that have added to the beautiful path on my journey. Just the other day, one of my new friends made the comment that my middle name should be “fun.” What a compliment, and what joy to know that I am in the process of being known.