When I was in high school I hung around a bunch of girls whom I considered to be my BFFs. There were eight of us from the same elementary school and we quickly became the "in" group. Ha, this high school thing was going to be a breeze after all.
Oftentimes I would hear my friends talk about this girl named "Pilar," whom they didn't like very much. Actually, they hated her with a passion. They made fun of her manners and appearance (she "developed" early). I often wondered who she was and when asked, they said she was someone they met somewhere. Oh, okay.
Well, a year later, I finally met Pilar. Turned out she was me.
To say that I was crushed and hurt would be an understatement. They apologized. I forgave them. We moved on. But that betrayal affected me the rest of my high school years and maybe even college. Even now when I talk to my high school classmates, I still feel a twinge of hurt. It's not very discernable but it's there. As I see it, the only thing good that came out of high school was I met my husband there. (And there are days when I feel differently. LOL!)
Later on in life, I formed connections but not deep friendships. Who wants all that cattiness?
My loose-friendship phase continued through my marriage. Most of my friends were wives of DH's co-workers. However, their lifestyle is far different from mine - they love going to Vegas, gambling, drinking, fancy jewelry and designer purses. Okay, the purses I can sort of relate to but one can't have deep, enduring, abiding friendships based on Louis Vuitton-envy alone. So for years, I resigned myself that as far as friends are concerned: this is as good as it will ever get.
When I became a Christian, I prayed for divine connections.
God answered that prayer in April 2008. I was looking for a new bible study group and found one closer to home and met on weeknights. The fact that it was an all women's group was also a plus.
Was I in for a surprise. I walked in and met seven women of different backgrounds and nationalities: a real estate agent, an actress, a security agent, a county worker, an admin for the police deparment, a government worker who quit her job to adopt a son from Ethiopia, and a kind hearted stay at home mom who takes in every stray -mostly of the human variety.
I love them! They are open with their struggles and challenges. They are equally lavish with their encouragement and praise. They have prayed for me, with me and over me. They have cried with me and laughed with me. They continue to walk with me and lift me especially on those days when I feel alone. Every Thursday night I come home with joy and a full heart.
Seven women who replaced the seven girls who hurt me deeply those many years before. Each of them handpicked by God because I never would have picked them for myself. (Well, we all know how my picks turned out, don't we?)
But God was not done yet. He gave me more than I asked.
I was encouraged by this post to start a blog. When I did, it opened up a whole new world for me. I found like-minded Christian women who also struggle with their marriages, with child rearing, with their Christian walk, with illnesses - and are not afraid to write about it. Every morning I visit them and walk away learning a little more about them - and myself. I continue to be encouraged - and humbled. I learn from her, and her, and her, and the many others whom God sends my way daily. I don't know if I will ever meet these ladies this side of eternity but I consider them my morning blessings.
And I thank God for each and every one of them.