Out of the Blue :: Friendship

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1. New to link-up’s or have questions? Read this first.

2. Since we all dig surprises, please surprise another writer by leaving a comment on her post *or* by giving a facebook shout-out or tweet. 

3. Be sure to include the out of the blue banner {see below} in your post or link back to Chasing Blue Skies so your readers can join in the fun. That way, we can all easily find each other.

God is full of surprises, and He uses these different blessings to prove His dependable faithfulness. Out of the blue helps us look expectantly for them as we live our lives exploring them.

When an Unlikely Friendship Is Exactly What You Need

In my mind’s eye, I see Cheryl breezing into Rebecca’s back yard, the location for our “get to know the new neighbors” tea. In a whopping five minutes flat, I discover this wonder of a woman would be equally at home participating in a Capital Hill mixer as a head-banging rock concert as an intimate tea.

And twelve years later, I haven’t changed my mind.

Cheryl has the ease of a modern day Grace Kelly, and her heart is bigger than her home state of Texas. A tune always swirls around her, and she snaps fingers and hums along whether washing dishes or waltzing through Target. She owns a smile that could light stadiums and has a fire about her that is magnanimous as all get out.

Cheryl exudes the confidence of a female version of Tom Brady and Kanye West put together – without the obnoxious arrogance.

When I think of my history with Cheryl, here’s the part that makes me squirm: I almost wrote off real friendship with her because I considered us too different. It wasn’t that I only sought out friends who were exactly like me. Far from it. But I didn’t go looking for friends that made me uncomfortable, either.

And Cheryl made me uncomfortable…at first.

In the dawn of our friendship, I wore insecurity like an invisibility cloak. And whether it was the fog of mothering little ones or the sleep depravation that comes with it, I felt as fiery as ketchup. So rather than appreciate Cheryl for all she was, I only saw in her what I was not.

I looked at Cheryl – the one whose name means ‘darling gem’ – and felt the rough edges of my own lackluster self.

But just as the Lord takes us to uncomfortable places to stretch our faith, He plants us in community with different people who stretch our faith, too. Iron sharpens iron, and our dullness disappears fastest when our weaknesses find renewed strength in other’s examples. When we humble ourselves to learn from one another’s gifts, we form a strong, diverse tapestry of community that benefits all its members.

While I haven’t lived near Cheryl for ten years, she remains a close friend. We rub shoulders once a year or so, but we rub hearts much more often. And each time I do, the cloak of invisibility covers less as my confidence in Christ covers more.

Her friendship began out of the blue, but it remains a true-blue gift.

Next week: What is an unexpected adventure the Lord dropped in your lap or asked you to take? Your adventure might look like a trip, but it might look like something completely different {i.e. marriage, parenthood, a new job opportunity}. I can’t wait to hear your stories!

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  1. Rebecca Petersen says

    This just makes me smile. I did not know that Cheryl means darling gem, but that is what she is. I also love the ketchup line, my salsa-y friend ; )

  2. says

    Oh, I love this. I have had these moments too, Kristen. I have a Cheryl too. (Well, her name isn’t Cheryl, but you get my drift!) We met at a mom’s night out event, and I was a brand new mom at 25 (hair in a pony tail, ripped jeans and a sweatshirt) among a sea of experienced, dressed-up-for-a-night-out moms in their mid-thirties. This one woman kept remarking that she couldn’t believe I had kids, that I looked like I was twelve. I was so bent on seeming grown up that I was offended. Over time, she would become a dear, dear friend and I would no longer hold looking young in so much contempt! 😉
    Annie Barnett recently posted..Framing the Fragments (Guest Post for Message in A Mason Jar)