When you really think about it, what are some of your deepest desires? Someone asked me this the other day, and I really sat down to think about it. Of course there are material things that would make life easier (like an in-home personal chef and maid combo–ha!), but in all honesty the main thing that came to mind is the desire to have a close mom friend.
I want a mom friend who has kids similar ages to mine, where we can just get together without any planning, we’re always over at each other’s houses, we can help each other out when we need it, and we’re always there for each other.
My Close Mom friend Fantasy
That’s probably one of my deepest desires. But it’s a fantasy. After verbalizing it a few weeks ago, I’ve come to realize it’s just as pretend as the love story that ends with a wedding, which in reality is actually the beginning of a much deeper, harder, more fulfilling type of love.
What God showed me over the past several weeks is that my longing for a close mom friend was putting the positive friendships I do have in a negative light. And that unfulfilled desire was affecting my view of myself.
Instead of appreciating that I do have friends I can message or text when I’m having a bad day or need help–despite all of us being overwhelmed by our own roles as Mom–I was focused on the fact that none of them filled this fantasy role of “mom best friend,” a role that would be impossible for any of us to fill (myself included).
Friends That Don’t Make the Friend Thing Complicated
There are two ways God pointed this out to me. First I came across Whitney Ballard’s Facebook post about friends that don’t make the friend thing complicated. She so eloquently wrote:
The thing is, there are limitations to the kind of friend I can be…
right now, more than ever, I’m thankful for friends who don’t have unrealistic expectations of me. I won’t always be a phone call away;
sometimes I leave my phone inside so that it’s not a distraction when I’m spending time with my family.
I won’t always be there in the exact moment you may need me;
I really try but sometimes I’m fighting my own demons and I’m truly just surviving.
I won’t give you my undivided attention;
but I will listen to you vent between pushing babies on the swings.
I can’t promise to make it to the events you plan;
but I’ll surely try, or I’ll cheer you on in your endeavors while I rock a sick baby.
And I want my friends to know that I don’t expect any more from them…
Don’t you ever feel guilty for not being around enough
because I’m fighting that same guilt that’s lost under my mom guilt and wife guilt and exhaustion and just everything.
So we may not be planning many girls’ nights this year or even remembering to text each other back regularly,
but just know that anytime you cross my mind,
in the midst of the chaos of every day,
I’m thankful for you, because right now,
above all else,
I need a friend who’s understanding.
Whitney really hit the nail on the head. The kind of friend I was idealizing doesn’t exist in real life because we’re all just doing the best we can. I didn’t want a mom best friend; I wanted a TV show sidekick. And just like the love depicted in TV and movies, those sorts of friendships are idealized fantasies of real friendships. They aren’t real. It’s not fair for me to put those types of expectations on anyone else. I wouldn’t be able to meet them, either. The fact that I don’t have friends like the ones I see on TV doesn’t mean that no one wants to be my friend. It means we all have a lot going on and can only do so much.
What God Says You Can Do
Don’t let the enemy idealize what you want, and meanwhile minimize what God is doing for you now. You’ve got to call yourself by your faith, not your circumstances. I am who God says I am. I can do what God says I can do. And my circumstances may say, “I’m poor, I’m afflicted, I’m slandered.” But God says I’m rich…and what you’re going through, you won’t go through always.
This was exactly what I needed to hear. I’d idealized what I wanted and let it distract me from God is doing in my life right now. My circumstances right now say, “I’m tired, I’m busy, I can’t ever find free time,” but this is a phase of life that won’t last forever. Instead of dwelling on what I can’t do, what I don’t have, and my current circumstances, I need to watch to see what God says I can do. And then I need to step out in faith and follow him.
What is God saying you can do? Where is he leading you? What idealized fantasies are distracting you?