I call it the holy ache: what I felt when I walked one Sunday afternoon around the block, this desperation to be seen, known, and appreciated pounding in my chest.
Should I reach in my back pocket and relisten to the message from E.? She always makes me feel better.
But I know the ache will return after an hour and my heart will nearly thump it’s way out of my chest. This ache often twinges like anxiety, but it’s not. It’s my ongoing need for companionship.
We all have this need: friends. It’s like going in for heart surgery, finding them, making them, and keeping them. But especially, to release them.
Let me explain
I’ve won friends over years, neglected more (and lost a few), stalked them, been rejected by them, judged them, and forgiven them. Most I keep in my back pocket there on my phone.
There are local friends: down the street kind of friends. We take walks together and talk real life.
There are meet at Starbucks and sip sugary mochas together: therapy kind of friends.
Then there my friends who live in the town I once called home, Liberty. These are the surrogate family friends, occasional spiritual guide friends who go beyond meeting half-way to pick up my kids and still invite them over for sleepovers because we’re-all-cousins-kind-of-friends.
Also, and definitely not least, are the unexpected friends from all over: South Africa, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Michigan, Australia, and so many places in between. Some of these I’ve never met face to face but we are as close as sisters can be. We are just a button away. Friends to text a note of desperation or victory: “Pray,” or, “It’s benign.” So we celebrate with heart emojis!
These friends I keep in my back pocket. I set the phone on the counter. Blooms spill out of my pocket with their love.
Friends never fill the holy ache completely. I’m coming to learn, they never will. None of us are supposed to.
Five Minute Friday Retreat
This week is spring break (aka home with interrupting kids), so I did not write this in five minutes flat. That’s O.K. The Five Minute Friday crew is forgiving and cool like that.
P.S. There’s still room at our summer retreat in Kansas City!