The Time for Friendship is Now

My best friend moved away last weekend.

Not across town (we’ve both done that in the past year). No, not over to the next city or county either, but literally half-way-across-the-country to the great state of Texas.
A couple weeks ago I wrote about how deep friendships are difficult, especially for some personality types (like myself). With this friend, however, it felt easy from the very beginning.
Looking back I know that it was God who connected us. I had arrived at the coffee shop with the intention of meeting some women from a local “mommy group” and my friend was there sipping drinks with ladies from her church. The conversation at my table turned out to be rather boring and I was jealous of my girls who had wandered over to the other group and were now playing with some kids near the fountains. My daughters had made friends with a little girl and so when I could I excuse myself, I found her mom and introduced myself.
We exchanged numbers and a couple days later we met at a park… and then walked home together (we lived in the same complex). Over the years, we’ve watched each other’s kids, shared our woe’s of parenting and marriage, church life, family drama and flaky friends. Together we celebrated birthdays and milestones, holidays and normal days and watched so much growth occur. Not only in our kids, but in our personal lives as well.
As creative women, we spurred one another on in different passions and gave each other permission to gush about the latest book we were reading. We wrestled with faith questions and relationship boundaries, family blow-outs and career challenges. We’ve championed each other in the journey God has us on, even when it meant there would be a painful good-bye.
I cannot express my happiness and excitement for her family— promotions, buying a house, having space for their kids to play, and enjoying a lower cost of living— but I am also overwhelmed with sorrow that she is no longer just a two-minute car ride away.
Honestly, I’ve never sat on this side of a move before. Typically I am the one telling my friends goodbye and packing up my life into boxes and crossing another state line. I’m the one who gives advice to people who have just landed in a new place because, “I’ve been there and done that,” a couple times over.
I was very skeptical when we first moved to Orange County, but she showed me that real people live here and it’s not all plastic surgery, spray tans, and luxury SUV’s. She took me by the hand and showed me the in’s and out’s of SoCal living and welcomed me in tangible ways. Many, many others gave us the obligatory “hey, let’s get together,” and while the invitation sounded authentic the first few times, we quickly realized that people were not always sincere with the follow-through.
But she was. Repeatedly. She didn’t wait for me; she moved first. She shared willingly, gave generously, and loved me fiercely. And my life is so much better because of it.
Recently I heard about a woman named Rachel and her heart for an online platform where women could come together and share their stories. You can read her amazing words and purpose for Heart Magazine here. Rachel’s life has been transformed by the reality that time is precious. She writes:

“There is no time like the present to say what you’ve always wanted to say, and to do what you’ve only thought was possible later on. Later isn’t coming. It’s now. Now is the time to share your heart, the time to tell your story, the time to build other women up…”

We aren’t always good at this. Honestly, I suck at it most of the time! I have good intentions; my heart is in the right place, but I get distracted and lazy and find any excuse to …. Wait, was that my phone that just beeped?
There is no time like the present. Don’t wait for someone else to set up the next coffee date. Maybe the person who’s been on your heart all day is going through a rough season and your voice, your text, your email is what they need to be reminded that they are loved and not alone.
Is there someone you have been putting off? Is there a text you need to send (go ahead, I’ll wait). Is there someone that you know you need to encourage, or thank? Now is the time.
I am so thankful that my friend didn’t just get my number and then wait. I can’t imagine what my life would have looked like if she did what so many others had done. She choose to be courageous. To risk. To be vulnerable. To ask questions. To keep after me. Her courage to seek out an authentic friendship made a profound impact on the lives of each person in our family.  I am praying that someone will do the same for her now that she is in a new and different place.
And I hope that you will have courage as my friend did. Later may not come. The time is now.