Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Me Too

Have you ever taken a leap and shared with someone, a friend or acquaintance, something that you're going through?  You were a little worried about opening yourself up, but took the risk. And the response from the other person?

Me Too.

I think those are some of the best words in the English language.

It could be as simple as, "I can't get my kid to poop on the potty!" to the tricky, "My husband and I are having problems."

Nothing could be more comforting than Me Too.  Someone understands.  You have a comrade in arms.  They may not have any more wisdom than you, any more of an idea of how to climb out of the trench, but what a blessing to find someone that is climbing with you.

It works for all ages:

"That kid at recess is bullying me." Me Too.
"I'm having a hard time with Calculus." Me Too.
"I really want to meet THE ONE." Me Too.
"I'm lonely in this new city." Me Too.
"I don't feel like being a mom today." Me Too.
"I'm so out of shape!". Me Too.
"I have a special needs child." Me Too
"I'm starting to need glasses to read." Me Too.
"My hip hurts." Me too.
"I'm really missing my spouse that has passed." Me Too.

I'm not talking about bringing up a reason to gossip or slander.  But a chance to share, to encourage.  It might be just grieving with one another about a stage of life, or laughing about the same.  Maybe someone has an idea or two about how to help (this is not the time to get all bossy/know-it-all).  A sincere Me Too has been a balm to my soul more times than I can count.  And for me, it usually comes with a big sigh of relief.  A giant exhale.

Although not everyone you come across is going to be a "Me Too." Some people are going to be an "I've Truly Been There."

And here's where I segue into talking about cross-generational friendships. I recently read a fabulous book about the blessing of friendships across all ages and seasons of life by one of my favorite writers/bloggers, Sophie Hudson.

It's called Giddy Up, Eunice.
Here shown with my beloved Ira Glass mug and dying cilantro.

First of all, isn't that just the best title for a book?  That alone made me want to read it.

Through hilarious stories and a few relationships found in the bible, Sophie reminds us that we women need each other.  She shows us why and the how-to.  (It's not that hard or fancy)

A couple of quotes that stuck with me:

"At every age and stage of life, women need other women who will listen, confirm, teach, bless, and pray."

"What we have in common far exceeds any perceived generational differences."

"You can't underestimate the impact of women working together for the good of the generation behind them."

So yes, in-the-same-season-of-life friendships are very important.  But there can be such a richness in having relationships with women that are ahead of us in life, and behind us.

There have been many women in my life that have reached back and unofficially mentored me, been my friend, and truthfully, put up with me during hard times.  I want to give a quick shoutout to those current women in my life, to recognize you and say thank you.  Whether you are 5 years older or 20, you are so precious to me.  Some of you have been at it with me for years and years, some of you for just months.  My mom and Joe's mom, Donnette, are top of the list.  They don't have to be; I can't imagine everyone's mothers are.  But I am so lucky for the way they pour into me.   Abi Byrd and Carole Hernandez for picking me out of the crowd at church and seeing and loving me so well. And last but not least, Mary Bilbo.  Yes you: such an encourager and example. Honorable mention goes to Gail Price and Jane Sumner.  Because I know from our brief times together that if we lived closer this would be our relationship.

I encourage all of you to seek out these types of friendships; there is so much to gain from women who have gone before us: wisdom, encouragement, laughter.  Don't miss out.

And then, as Sophie says in her book, let's not forget the girls behind us either.  Because they need us too.

If you are interested in Giddy Up, you can find it here. You will be so glad you read it.

*Side note: There are many, many wonderful friendships that do no include "Me Too"s.  Obviously.

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