My cousin Lesley had just gone through some mess in her life, held up by all her friends. She was feeling the love, how we all surrounded her and made this trial easier to bear. She said “Everyone helped me in different ways. Like each friend has their own special gift that they bring.”
Every good friend in our lives has her reason and purpose for being there. God puts the very people in our path that we need. I call them my Committee. They have special gifts: The listener, the counselor, the mentor, the cheerleader, the historian.
We are good, strong women. We have our issues, but truth is our core value. We love each other in spite of and through our flaws. We make each other solid and reflect back love. That makes it easier for us to go out in the world and love others.
Only girlfriends need apply for these jobs. The men in our lives keep us accountable and happy for sure, but they are from Mars. My husband is not going to answer the email I send him from Macy’s that says “Shea, Jennifer thought you might like these boots!” He does not want to discuss The Real Housewives of New Jersey. He wants to pretend that shows like that don’t exist. But The Committee loves to reflect and learn from other women’s foibles. Preferably over lunch and Margaritas.
It’s not important why women need this. We just do. It makes us better women, to feel connected and solid.
My 20 year old niece is having a hard experience. Some girls who she thought were her people are turning out to be transparent—maybe someday, they will solidify into honest, trustworthy, happy women, but right now they are not. And she feels bewildered, because she believed them. Even though she’s 20, she’s pretty solid herself. She is part of my Committee, for sure. Every Committee needs a youthful perspective.
She made a big investment with these girls. She was all in, which is her sweet way. They know things because she trusted them. Now she wonders if those things will be used like weapons against her.
I worry that if they wound her, she will learn the wrong lessons, that no one is trustworthy and that she has to protect herself from others to stay safe.
So here’s what I told her:
A true friend holds you up, prays for you, pushes you to be your best version. She demonstrates her love and loyalty over and over until you would be crazy to question her. She holds your hand and tells you the hard truths, in your life and in hers. She makes room for you, and respects your boundaries. She asks nothing and everything, all at once. You never ever have to wonder if you are getting more than you give.
She loves you into solidity—in your heart, in your mind, in your soul.
There will always be transparent girls in your life. Some of these girls will grow into solid women eventually. You will learn the difference. What is important is that you keep searching until you find your women and gather them around you.
It’s powerful and necessary, this type of friendship. We should never turn our backs on it. It is a special gift from God.
Today I am thankful for the amazing women God has placed in my life.