Mommy Friendships 101
by Tricia Goyer
Today I look out my office window upon a new neighborhood. Just last week the U-Haul carried me from Montana (friends, family, church) and deposited me on the doorstep of an unfamiliar place, surrounded by unfamiliar people. I think I know the way to the grocery store … or is it that way? I also believe I know how to start a new friendship, but it's been a while. In Montana, it seems, I'd settled into my comfort zone and nestled down.
You might not have made a cross-country move recently (maybe you have), but you might have found yourself out of your comfort zone recently. It could be a new school or MOMSnext group. Or maybe it was your friend that moved away, leaving a vast, echoing void. Maybe you feel the call to volunteer or you've started a new job. Whatever the change, there is always the moment of decision when we decide: Do we dare to risk and step out ... or do we keep to ourselves?
I have to admit my first inclination is always to play it safe. Sure, I'm nice enough when someone first meets me, but nice only goes so far and gives so much. Too often I protect my inner circle like a soldier guarding Fort Knox. I guard my heart because relationships, I know, take so much. They take time, energy, and emotions. Going deep means risking the chance of being hurt. Yet by playing safe I have to remind myself also means missing out—on joy, on good times and on a heart full of satisfaction that comes from knowing and being known.
Last week when I left Montana, I cried buckets saying goodbye to my buddies I've grown to cherish over the years. It was hard, but also good because it proved I'd held nothing back.
Over the last few days in Arkansas, I've gotten to know a number of women. Will one of them become a forever heart-friend? I can't be sure. But as of today I'm going to stop looking through the window. Instead, I'm going to venture out and open up. I'll be investing in my future one handshake, one hug and one cup of coffee at a time. Life is too short to miss out!
Tricia Goyer has been married to John for 20 years and is the mother of four, including a newly adopted baby. She cares for her family and writes in Little Rock, Arkansas. Find more info about Tricia at triciagoyer.com.