There are times in my life when I was younger, that I felt like I didn’t need anybody. I always put up walls around myself because building relationships and friendships are just really hard work. I was too busy trying to impress the boys and ultimately find a husband, and I envied the girls who seemed to have their priorities right. They had amazing friendships. Friendships I wish I had had. My friends were always guys so I always lacked the enrichment that female companionship brings. Yet, I didn’t really know what I was missing. And then I got married.
There I was, no longer chasing after boys with very little to show for myself in the way of friends. I was lonely. I went through so many periods of self-doubt over who I was as a person, friend, human. Often, I felt unloveable and unwanted. But what it really was was that I was a tree without a stream.
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.” Psalms 1:3
Because of my faith, I know that Jesus is the ultimate stream but I think this verse can apply to so many other situations. I was a tree trying to grow, trying to yield fruit but I had no stream to make it possible. The stream was always there; I just hadn’t stretched my roots out far enough to reach it. Any time I would get the itch to reach for that stream and foster lasting, deep friendships I would stop myself.
They already have enough friends.
Once they find out how weird I am they won’t like me.
I have nothing to offer.
Why does it always have to be me reaching out first?
These are the lies I would tell myself and it was exhausting. I longed for tapping into that stream but didn’t really understand what it would bring me or how to do it.
I always joke with my best friends that I stalked them and then we became friends. Jokes aside, it’s partly true. There are friends in my life that developed into my amazing besties because life (God) threw us together. But then there are women that I’ve seen from a distance and just KNEW we should be friends and I pursued them. Those friendships haven’t always worked out but I came to a point where I became okay with sounding like a fool in order to make others feel loved. I was okay pursuing friends. Much like dating, I knew that it might not work out. But at least I tried, right?
There is such richness that comes from fostering friendships that encourage you, challenge you, spur you on, be your legs when you just can’t stand anymore, and can provide a safe haven. These are the things I lacked. I felt unknown and unseen.
Do you feel the same way? Do you find it hard to find friends or feel passed by? I really do understand how you feel.
My biggest piece of advice? Be willing to be the fool…no one will actually think that of you. Be willing to do the pursuing. With all of the moving around I’ve done in my life so far the one thing I’ve come to know is that most people won’t come to you. Which can really suck. Yet, unfortunately it’s true. If you want amazing friendships that are the stream of your life, help you grow and keep you from growing weary sometimes you just have to be the first one to take the step. Most of the time, it’s ourselves that is the barrier to the friendships we want and not other people.
Ask yourself; who could you invite for coffee today?
Today’s session highlight goes to Katie! She’s sweet as can be and has the most amazing smile! Totally infectious. Enjoy my favourite moments from her portrait session!
Stay tuned for some really exciting news coming soon about portrait sessions!
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