This blog post is part of a series that I began for telling our story. You can read the first post here.
I struggle with friendships as an adult. I never did get very good at making plans or navigating relationships with those outside my household and immediate family. When we moved to Texas, I said goodbye to a few friends in Ohio, but we really didn’t live there long enough for those to take root very deeply. At our new congregation, friendships were even harder to find.
I’m not talking about the kinds of people you’re friendly with. They are always abundant in the church. I got along with just about everyone. But friends, the kind of female friends that you can just call up and hang out or chat or text or spend time with? I never quite found a good rhythm. I can’t say that I ever found a close circle of women there, but not because I didn’t try. We were invited to a lot of events, but often it was the oldest members in attendance. Or we’d head to the football games (high school and college) and enjoy the crowds. I even joined the Junior Service League in town, hoping to find like-minded women. I made one friend who I still stay in contact with, and a few others who I talked to most of the time, but many of the women in the group were from an entirely different world than I knew. They had been in college sororities together, and their fashion choices centered on what I think of as Texas style: perfectly manicured nails, perfect hair and makeup with tons of product, and clothes that scream for a hip to be jutted out with a hand resting on it. No judgments from me, it’s awesome that they all fit in that way, but it wasn’t something I could get into. I always felt like the big, tall, awkward old woman of the group, since I joined on the high end of the age limit.
I have been granted such a gift here in Fort Worth, finding friendships of all types and in various ways. First of all, I lose count every time I try to make a list of all of the women in our congregation that I really, truly count as friends. We text and talk, we gather for meals (a monthly breakfast, a monthly dinner, and other arranged times just for kicks). I can share prayer requests with them and know that they will honor my privacy.
Still other friends are in that next circle, folks with whom I can spend time and love to talk, but probably don’t have their phone number saved in my phone. This include the women in my book club, something I joined after moving here (and I LOVE IT!), and some of the members of our church.
Besides that, thanks to getting involved in PLI (more on that in a future post), I have a HUGE extended network of other pastors’ wives. I was always somewhat on the outskirts of the PW community, because I married my husband during his last year of seminary. So we didn’t have a lot of “couple” friends from those years. While these aren’t friends that I get to see regularly, I cherish every conversation and moment we do get.
Thank you, to all of my friends out there, those with whom I regularly talk and those who are just hanging out here spending time. I love you all.
Next post coming tomorrow.