June 23, 2015

Finding My "Michelle".

Hey all!

So, I'm about to post an article on here, an article which I didn't write.

I follow Women of Faith on Facebook, and this piece titled "The Truth About Friendship" showed up on my newsfeed one day. The whole notion of friendship is a topic that has been heavy on my heart and mind as of late, so I thought I'd give it a read.

And wow, it seriously spoke to me. So here is the article, and please keep reading as I'll expand more on my feelings about it and why it's so precious to me. I would absolutely LOVE it if you read it! :)

"'The Truth About Friendship by Jennifer Dukes Lee'

That’s how I felt twelve years ago when we moved back to my husband’s family farm.
I wanted friends, so I joined a Bible study, an exercise class, and a stay-at-home moms’ group that met twice a month.
Yeah, everyone was nice. But guess how many of them wanted to be my actual friend? Approximately zero.
It was like every potential friend slot was already “taken.”
I’m not telling you this so you’ll feel sorry for me. I’m telling you this because someone out there feels exactly like that today. And someone else out there is trying hard to fit in, because that’s what women do when things don’t work out: We try harder like it’s our job. Embarrassing fact: This is why I own every Pampered Chef gadget and every Tastefully Simple spice known to man. I wanted to make friends, so I was a home-party ninja. (Yes, I realize how desperate this sounds). I wanted someone to like me, so I killed myself trying to make it happen.
I felt invisible to people, and in some ways, I felt invisible to God.
And then I gave up trying at all.
Then, Michelle found me, at the end of a long table at her church. (Maybe you met Michelle in chapter nine of Love Idol). Michelle saw someone whom no else else saw. She saw underneath the fiction I had tried to manufacture at the bathroom mirror. That made me super panicky, but also, a little bit likable.She liked me for me.
And soon we became friends.
I had a place at her table. And in her living room small-group study. And on her deck, with our feet propped up on the railing. And in the pedicure chair next to hers. And in the car on our way to a Women of Faith weekend. That was ten years ago. We’re still “dating,” as we like to say. We’re still watching sunsets, and getting our toenails done, and laughing at inappropriate times, and making fools of ourselves in public. We have loved each other through awesome days, crappy days, and meh days. We understand each other’s insides. And while we value our special bond, we are always looking to make space at the table. Because we both know how awful it is to feel alone.
Here are three things I learned about Friendship:
1 – You are not the only one.
You might think that you’re the only one who feels alone or invisible. You might also think you’re the only person going through a hard thing, struggling with shame, feeling nutty as a fruitcake on Christmas. Guess what? If you feel a wacky thought, there’s about a 99.8 percent chance someone else has that same wacky thought. I need to know this: my inner crazy is universal.Remember what C.S. Lewis once said? Friendship is born in that moment when one person says to another, “What? You too? I thought I was the only one.”

2 – You are not in competition.

When something great happens to your friends (or acquaintances), how do you respond? What do you do when they get the approval, promotion, attention, jean size, or dream vacation that you’ve been hoping for? Of course, we want to say we’re delighted for our friends. But somewhere on the inside, we might be a little envious. I saw a quote the other day on Pinterest: “Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another.” Comparing makes friendship a contest, instead of a community. We can all put down the measuring sticks and pick up the pompons. There’s more than enough goodness to go around, and before you know it, your friends will be cheering for you. Your soul will thank you, and so will your friends.

3 – You are seen.

We will all go through seasons where we can’t find a place at the table. There will be times where it seems like all the potential friends are “taken,” and we’re sidelined. On those days, repeat this over and over: “I am seen. I am known. I am loved.” You are not invisible to God.
God desires for us to be in community. After all, it was His idea. He loves community so much that He is actually Three –– Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He gets what you’re going through. He understands what it is to feel alone and abandoned. We don’t have to kill ourselves trying to make people like us. God may send you a Michelle. Or He may ask you to be the friend you want to have — to be the Michelle who has her eyes open for the lonely ones.
Scary, I know. But watch how you expand into your truest self when you take the first step."
I feel as though I could read that article a hundred times and still never soak it all in.
As most of you know, I moved here to the US from Canada exactly a year ago. It's been a good year, a really good year, but something that deeply discourages me is the fact that I haven't made any super close friends yet.

I've made a few friends, and a whoooole 'lot of acquaintances, but I haven't found a "Michelle" of my very own. Do you know what I mean? That best friend whom you can call up on a whim to just go for coffee, shopping, or hang out and watch movies in your sweats, just feeling totally comfortable.

Don't get me wrong, I have been blessed with many "Michelles" in my life (none of which who are actually named Michelle, haha!), but I'm not living in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, or Alabama! I'm living in Maryland! And none of my "Michelles" are here on the east coast with me.

It's hard to admit that because not only does it make me sad, but it makes me sound like a sad person too. As if I'm the most anti-social person to ever step into this town. It kind of forces me to ask myself, is there something wrong with me?

I don't think that there is. Jarryd said the nicest thing to me the other day, "you know, you're not as introverted as you think you portray yourself to be". And, alas, I think he's right. I know that I'm a little awkward at times, but I've seen a whole lot more awkward from other people in my day. I mean, you know those people whom you say a pleasant "hello" to and they don't say anything back? They just stare at you like you just made the most absurd statement? Well I am not that way!!! I say hello! I smile! I'm friendly! And, I have a nice "resting" face too, (if you know what I mean)! I'm approachable!

But yeah, it's just been very disheartening to have lived in a place for a year now and not have any super closer friends. Especially when throughout all of my high school and college years I'd make all of my best friends within a month of meeting them.

I think I just have to consider the circumstances. Such as, I'm married and I live with my husband. I no longer live in a dorm room or on a college campus where I'm with the same people for every meal of the day.

Also, in the early college years, everyone is kind of in the same boat, (some) are away from home and therefore everyone is searching for new friends. Whereas, this year I got thrown into this town and community where everyone seems to already have their set of friends.

In conclusion, I can only keep praying about it. I can only keep being myself, staying true to my occasional "weirdness", and keep being approachable and loving towards others.

I need to keep up the Faith that God may put some really awesome women (who are my age, and live in the same area as me) into my life one day soon. I mean, it's certainly not a requirement for my survival, but it sure would be nice.

I can only keep focusing on my relationship with Christ has strive to be the woman He wants me to be.

And I have to remember, I "am not the only one", I "am not in competition", and "I am seen, I am known, and I am loved".

But seriously, I just cannot wait until I have that amazing AHA! moment that C.S Lewis once described. <3

"What? You too? I thought I was the only one".


  1. I've been living in Alberta since 2009 and haven't met my "Michelle" yet. There are a few potentials I suppose.. but, like the article, they already have their set friend groups. It doesn't bother me as much as it used to and I squeeze in to their "exclusive" groups when I can. That's usually as far as it goes. Unlike you I am introverted (with hermit tendencies haha!) and don't have a pleasant "resting face". The Husband still asks me if there is something wrong when my face hasn't moved for a while. Talk about unapproachable. People always say that once they got to know me I wasn't as snobby/standoffish as they thought. I understand this, and I've come to terms with it. My "Michelle" will show up once she's ready. Until then I'll just have to go to east when feeling friend-sick. :D

    1. I think that if I lived in Calgary we would be each others Michelles. We'd just drink Coke and watch Parks and Rec all day long. ;)

    2. There's nothing wrong with that!! (don't forget the endless bowls of popcorn)

  2. "What? You too? I thought I was the only one". - Story of my life, in so many ways, ha. I am an only child so I am used to being by myself - but even though I live at home with friends i've grown up with, I still feel like I haven't found my michelle either. So no, you are NOT the only one :)