We Are Better Together
One of the worst feelings in the world is to feel alone. Like you have to do life all by yourself. It stings. It isolates. It destroys hope. Let’s be honest- it sucks.
At the end of eighth grade, my best friend John dropped a bombshell on me. His family was moving to St. Louis.
And he was going with them.
It probably helps to have some back story for this to be put in perspective. John wasn’t only my best friend, he was quite honestly my only consistent friend. I struggled with friendships in elementary school and that was amplified in middle school.
Don’t you wish we could just skip middle school? The awkwardness. The range of emotions. The dances. The general body odor smells ranging from lack of deodorant to the discovery of fragrances and not yet getting to the point where you realize one spray will do. For my kids, it was Axe Body Spray. In amounts that would have been considered chemical warfare years ago.
But I digress. John and I were buds. We traded baseball cards all the time. We played baseball. He stayed at my house overnight. And I stayed at his. He was my dude.
So you can imagine the full implosion of my world when I was going to be entering high school essentially friendless.
Maybe some of you can relate to this feeling?
When you have no friends, you learn to value relationships very highly and you would literally give anything for a friend. Anything.
Through the grace of God, and by being a member of the Pella Marching Dutch, I was able to make some great friends through random roommate assignments. Friendships I truly valued. One of those new friends ended up being my college roommate and the best man when I married the fabulous Amy Recker.
God has a crazy way (a perfect way) of taking situations we think are the end of the world and redeeming them. I am sure thankful he does.
What I learned is that we are better together. We need friends. The highest level of friends are what I call Inner Circle friends. We usually only have a couple of people in our lives worthy of this distinction. But I think we need at least one for walking through the journey of life. Inner Circle friends #WINtheNOW for themselves and for us.
Inner Circle friends are also known as 2am friends- the ones you could call or show up at 2am and they would be there for you. There are so many ups and downs in life. We need these people to walk our journey with us. I am blessed by my group of five. They don’t all know each other. We don’t hang out as a group although that would be a room of awesomeness!
Five is a bigger number, but it is perfect for someone like myself who values relationships above anything else.
If you feel alone, like I did that summer before high school, who can you reach out to? Who can you ask to walk life with you? One of mine is my mentor, Stan. We have been meeting together for years.
Stan didn’t accidentally become one of my inner circle friends. I had to put myself out there. I had to risk. I had to reach out. The dividends of a long-term friendship of this level made the reaching out extremely worth it.
Who could you reach out to and ask to be your mentor? Who’s is someone in your life that you could take a casual relationship and make it a friendship with more depth and conversation?
Who could you ask out for coffee or dinner or a drink and give it a chance to get to know each other better? They may be in the same boat as you. Many are in that boat needing people in their corner but struggling to know what to do about it.
I think we need people that are willing to go deep in life with us. They dull the sharp edges of life as we walk together. They are there for us. Good, bad, and otherwise.
We are better together. John moving away worked out just fine because of God’s grace, and it was actually a good thing because it opened other doors.
Doors I never could have seen.
It’s hard to do life alone. It takes a load of courage to put yourself out there. I get that.