friendcollageI love being a girl.  Really.  There’s just something about gathering a few females around the table and sipping tea. Enjoying warm conversation. Laughing without fear of being judged. Crying without fear of being judged.  We can embrace each other in a way that men, God love them, just can’t.

But it wasn’t until this year that I’ve been able to truly cherish the goodness of gathering with women. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved having friendships throughout the years. I certainly hope I didn’t take this for granted, (I’m afraid that I did) but as I look back I now realize that I was unable to fully understand the importance of female fellowship.

Perhaps it all sounds familiar to you, too… First we’re busy with college and we lose touch with high school friends. Then we’re busy with marriage, a budding career or motherhood (or perhaps all three at once!) In my own personal life, new friends would come and go, but I never took the time to appreciate those women in my life. I would try. Somewhat. However, after my fourth child came into the world it’s been a never-ending chase for restoring order in the home.  One that I’d worked so hard to achieve after baby number three.  You see, I’m a Martha.  And if I could beckon everyone into the kitchen to support me, I would.  And, while there’s nothing wrong with serving others, there comes a time when we need to focus on something better.

I am blessed to have so many girlfriends in my life that encourage the “something better.”

They gently (or not so gently) point out the hindrances in my life. Ones that keep me from having a clear focus on Him. These girlfriends are like a familiar sweater. You know the one I’m talking about. The comfortable one you can’t seem to give up because it hugs you the right way and warms you to your core.

Yet somehow through it all I managed to shuffle those sweaters to the back of the closet. It was unintentional, of course, but you know what they say about being out of sight.

So over the last few months I’ve had my eyes opened to several experiences that have made me understand true friendship. It had been a long while since I’d been able to lay down the busyness in the kitchen and scoot right up next to the Marys that were already sitting at the feet of the One who had something better. What a refreshing reminder that I can laugh and cry with these women who encourage my every step in this walk as a wife, a mother and daughter in Christ.

Girlfriends really are the icing on our cake.  The cream to our coffee.  The sand to our oceans.  God knew what He was doing when He gave us the desire for a sense of community with women. And I am so grateful for each and every one of you…