There are no fun-filled snap shots to put on Facebook to remember this years 12th birthday. There was little fun to be had, because from the beginning it was all feelings hurt, someone being left out, girl drama... and as I sat with my pouting 12 year old trying to encourage her to make things right with a friend I wanted to cry with her. I hurt for her. I hurt for me. Girl friendships are hard.
We females are a fickle creature. We wear our feelings on our sleeves and form our identities as very small people, based on who likes us and who does not. Put two girls together and things are pretty close to perfect... BUT, LORD HELP US, if we try to throw a third female into the mix. Hell hath no fury like a preteen girl who feels she's been shunned. Well, really a forty year old can be pretty unbearable too.
Looking at my little girl with her lip trembling and tears in her eyes, is like a mirror into my own heart. My feelings are hurt too. I wonder why it has to be so hard. I know what she is thinking... It would be so much easier to write this friendship off. Just ignore it and it will go away. She has other friends, she doesn't really need this one. I have felt that way many times before. When I tell her she needs to make it right she says what we all think, "But that's gonna be weird." Yes, my love it is.
I pull pages from my own book and tell her about times I've had to do the hard thing. The weird thing. I tell her my stories of repairing broken friendships and she takes strength from that. Just enough strength to go back in the house and say "I'm sorry" and just like that a beautiful friendship is restored. Just like that there's laughter where there had been tears. Just like that there's smiles and fun and "can she spend the night again".
I don't really know why it's so hard... It has to be biology, something in the DNA that make female friendships so darn HARD. I know many girls including myself who had guy friends growing up instead of girls because it was just too hard... but there is something so remarkably beautiful about female friendships. As moms we should figure out how to make them work so we can teach our daughters how to make them work. We should fight for our friends and teach our daughters how to fight for theirs. We should talk about our issues. We should forgive. We should love our friends unconditionally. We should listen when they need us to hear their hearts. We should die to ourselves like Jesus did.
"There is no greater friend than one who lays down his life for his friends." -Jesus
One thing is for sure... We have to be intentional about our friendships. We have to pursue, when we don't feel like it. We need to be kind-hearted and treat our friends the way we would want them to treat us. Sometimes we have to be patient with their brokenness and pray they will be patient with ours. Sometimes we have to be weird and get our of our comfort zone to make things right... Because, we need each other. Nobody gets me like my friends. Nobody makes me laugh like a friend. My friends help me have the courage to go on and do hard things.
Proverbs 17:17 "A friend loves at all times..."
Let's fight for our friends. They are worth getting uncomfortable for. When it would be easier to walk away let's do the hard thing. When we allow a friendship to die we let a part of our own hearts grow cold and die with it. The fight is worth the reward.