This past weekend, some of our college crew met up at the Belong Tour. Because who doesn’t need an excuse for a girl getaway to learn from an incredible team of women? And for some odd reason, our tickets landed us smack dab in the front row, almost kissing the stage. So of course any time Shauna or Jen got up to speak, naturally, I hopped up there and offered a hug. No, it wasn’t weird at all.
But seriously, there’s nothing like ugly crying while Nichole Nordeman bears her soul and then worships at the piano and I’m sitting under neon pink spotlights just losing my face for all to see. I’m more of a back row gal, I’m finding.
One of the most beautiful takeaways (besides falling in love with watching the husband/ wife band, Johnnyswim sing live) was the call to connection. As in, taking note of who is in our nest. Those friends that are priceless. Then claiming, valuing and thanking them for the gifts they are.
It’s easy to go about seasons and reactively engage in relationships with people we see at work or a mom group or bible study.
But there’s a difference between reactive relationships and responsive friendships.
Who are you choosing to go out of your way to be around? Made better by? Known by? Challenged by? Loved unconditionally by? Who are you that for?
Here are questions we were encouraged to percolate in and I’m asking you the same. When you think of friends you experience the most authentic, rich connection with, who comes to mind?
Who speaks with the most courage?
Who asks great questions?
Who responds to challenges?
Who listens deeply?
Who pushes you forward?
Who gives honest advice?
Who has been there before?
I’ll add a few more of my own:
Who makes you laugh like no-one else?
Who pulls you out when you go dark?
Who pursues you?
Who brings out your fun, goofy side?
Who prayers with you, right then and there?
Who loves your kids like their own?
Who encourages you to be the truest version of yourself?
Who is proud of you?
Who is that friend who always brings dessert? Because that person, is a FOREVER friend.
It’s a humbling gift to know women who individually rock each of the above connection strengths. No single person can be all things to all people. A multi-dimensional nest is made up friends with distinct strengths. And your gift is to be one of those things for them.
With each question above, a face comes to mind. And I’m taking the time to mail them a note or send them a text to say, Thank you for _____________. Thank you for being in my nest. I understand connection better because of who.you.are.
Just don’t make me sit in the front row at a conference with you.