"It always helps to show our imperfections and sometimes, the best way to be a friend is to scream a frantic 'HELP' and let those around us swoop into our rescue."
Wait....what?! I don't know about you, but that is the exact opposite of what I have been doing all my life. I was always taught to "hide my crazy" and "act like a lady" in public. My mother would admonish me to "be on my best behavior" when at a friend's house or out in public.
Now-in defense of my upbringing-there is nothing wrong with being on our best behavior, and I have a beautiful, kind, God-fearing mother who loved me dearly and raised me well. I am also not implying we should all stop teaching our children manners or expecting them to behave properly in public. However, if this is not properly tempered with honest and open communication at home and encouragement to openly share our most intimate feelings in a safe environment as a child, it can lead to difficulty opening up to friends in adulthood.
In this age of social media and unlimited (and sometimes excessive) sharing of lives over the internet, we are often tempted to show the world our best and hide the rest. Pictures of happy, smiling families cover marriages that are falling apart. Check-ins and resorts and vacation spots hide families in crisis. Again, I am not implying that we all go airing our dirty laundry on Facebook and Instagram, but I think, either inadvertently or by design, we simply want the world to see our best so we only post those things that reflect the good in our lives.
I have been blessed, in the past couple of months, to reconnect with some old friends and kindle new friendships with women from church and my community. I pray over these friends regularly. I ask God to strengthen the bonds that bind us together. I pray for guidance on how I can be a better friend. I am not afraid to be real and honest, and it has been a beautiful transformation.
The truth is, we all need help. All of us, at some point (probably many times), will need the help of our friends. So-take a risk, be honest, be transparent. You may be surprised to learn that the friends you have are experiencing or have experienced the same thing you are going through. That is God's beautiful and perfect plan!