Monday, August 25, 2014

BFFs help us through

Do you have "girlfriends?" A strong support network of other women? Studies have shown that this is one of the elements in the longevity and well-being of women. We have a "tend and befriend" pattern of relating to one another.

My women's Bible study group is working through a book by Barbara J. Essex titled Girlfriends: Exploring Women's Relationships in the Bible. While some of the relationships between women we study in the Bible aren't exactly friendly (Sarah and Hagar) and some of the women aren't even named (Jephthah's daughter), we are having some good discussions about what constitutes a solid friendship and what those BFF relationships do for us.

Each of us has different experiences of girlfriends—and different expectations. But we all talk about the importance of sharing—sharing concerns, sharing our yearnings, sharing our wisdom. Doing this helps us let go of things we don't need to drag along with us. It helps us stay open to new things. It gives us courage to face our fears. As the old saying goes, it "doubles our joy and divides our grief."

To have a friend, we simply need to be a friend. I like what Albert Camus said: "Don't walk in front of me. I may not follow. Don't walk behind me. I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend."

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