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Friends for a Season
When my children were really young we were living in downtown Toronto. I didn't live close to anyone who went to my church. We lived in an odd neighbourhood, and it wasn't exactly my natural kind of place. It was just convenient to Keith's work.

Everybody lived in condos or apartments, and so nobody had a yard. I needed to get out of the apartment everyday, so I ended up going to a playgroup at a local public school. There I met about eight other moms with young kids, and we became friends.

These were not women I would have normally chosen as friends. We didn't have much in common except our children's ages. But they were a lifesaver to me. They were only friends for a season; when I moved away I hardly contacted any of them, and I think they knew it would be like that. They, like me, were just making friends for a season, too.

One was a 19-year-old girl who got pregnant by accident. She met someone else who raised her child as his own, and they had another one together. One was 41 with her first daughter, married to a domineering man ten years older. Another was from Brazil, the wife of a doctor up here on residency training. Another seemed normal, but shortly after I left I heard she had a nervous breakdown and ran off and got temporary amnesia. It was a very eclectic group, but they were a lot of fun!

I don't think that's a cop out to say I had fun with these women that I was not too sad to say good-bye to. I think sometimes we need to make the best of what we have. I always dreamed of finding a kindred spirit, and I have in Belleville where we have put down roots. But in university, in high school, and in that playgroup, I frequently made friends for a season. I needed people to talk to on a regular basis, people to share my frustrations and joys with, but I knew they weren't people that I would carry with me the rest of my life.

In Belleville we live right next to Trenton, which is home to Canada's largest air base. I know lots of military people. And frequently they say the same thing. When you're stationed somewhere for two years, you know you're going to leave friends behind. So you don't try to make lasting relationships. You just try to find "filler friends", who will help you pass the time.

Occasionally you may meet a kindred spirit anyway, and that's an added bonus. But sometimes you just don't. And it's important to make do with the women God has placed in your path.

I don't mean to sound snobbish, but I hope you all know what I mean. We women are social. We need friends. But sometimes the perfect friend just isn't there, especially when you're living somewhere temporarily. You can't hibernate, though. You have to get out of the house and reach out to someone. So you find those people that you fit best with, and you make do.

And in the end, you can look back and thank God that He brought them into your life, even if it was only for a season.



At 10:35 AM , Blogger Becoming Me said…

I understand what you are saying. And sometimes it amazes me how God can put people in our lives that make us scratch our heads because we think we share nothing in common. Very neat post.


At 11:04 AM , Blogger Fuschia said…

I absolutely love reading your blog!!
I recently posted on friendships. You have just added an element worth thinkin' on.


At 12:54 PM , Blogger Beautiful Stranger said…

Wow, I was really encouraged by this post today, Sheila! I'm finished at Trent tomorrow (23 hours and ten minutes, actually!) and I've obviously been realizing that I'm not going to be friends with my friends from here forever. It often really bothers me that I don't "keep friends" easily at school, with many friends graduating each year and finding it difficult to keep in touch. It's amazing though, how I manage to keep in touch with most of my camp friends even though it's been a few years since I've been back. It really is easier keeping in touch with the people worth keeping in touch with.

Great thoughts... thanks so much for sharing! <3


At 12:56 PM , Blogger Catherine R. said…

This encourages me to get involved in some kind of group as I am feeling friend-deprived right now. An added challenge is that I am pregnant and feel on the verge of losing my lunch at all times, but still this is encouraging : )


At 3:45 PM , Blogger Connie said…

Making friends has been on my mind for a couple of weeks. I tried to join the local Mom's Club last September but I was rejected. And I have tried to make friends with a gal whose husband works with mine but she's just not that into me.

I am not the same religion as the majority of people in my state and this has made it so difficult to meet people. They all go to the same church (there is one on every corner) and have all known each other forever....and aren't in the market for new friends.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I may not have any friends while we are here....however long that may be.

But I will keep trying....

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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