I’ve never been great at friendships.
Even as a little girl I was trying so hard to prove my never-quite-enough-self worthy of being liked that I was simply too much. Being too much and never enough is a hard place to live.
As an adult I’ve spent lots of time pondering friendship. I have my inner circle — my people. They see my too much and never enough and love me anyway. I like to think I love them well, too.
But there is this wondering about how “real” friendship looks. I think about best friends and groups of friends and girlfriends that go on getaways together.
And yet again I find myself in seasons, stages of friendships.
There are the people who are mine. My husband, my kids, my parents and siblings.
Those are my best friends and my people forever.
The other people in my life are different.
There was the girl I played with on the playground when I went to daycare. We were happy to simply have someone to go on the swings with.
And there was the friend in high school who nearly lived at my house. We were together a lot, navigating hormones and heartache with large quantities of junk food.
My college friend was one of a handful that walked out the years of becoming with me. We learned to be adults and how our faith needed to be our own.
Later came the blur of early motherhood friendships, when you were connected simply by the fact that you were both changing diapers or handing out goldfish crackers.
Even as an adult there was a friend for a season, one that helped me learn to trust others, but more importantly myself.
No matter what season of friendship I was in, even when I thought I was lacking, I was never alone.
In The Brave Art of Motherhood Rachel Marie Martin reminds us that, “you may have potential friends who are just waiting for you to say yes to friendship.” She challenges us to be aware, in motherhood or whatever journey we may be on. In order to really do this we need to believe that we are worthy of friendship.
“Your life matters, and you are worth believing in yourself. You are worth daring to have faith and hope again . . . You are worth being loving and being loved”. — Rachel Marie Martin, The Brave Art of Motherhood
Understanding worth is a key to walking out our journey well. And all along the journey we discover that motherhood and life, for that matter, is an art and requires bravery. Martin shares her journey challenging us to be brave in our own lives. But even with all the underlining and notes I made as I read her book, I know one truth that was left in the periphery:
My brave doesn’t just come from me.
My brave comes from God.
It comes from faith in His promises. And while I have to do the work my story is no bootstrap gospel. My story will forever be one of falling on my knees before moving my feet.
How will you find your brave today?