Faith, Relationships, Spiritual Life

Someone’s Somewhere

June 15, 2016

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For as long as I can remember, I’ve always struggled with the whole friendship thing. Never having the same friends from season to season, friendship for me has always felt like either a flood or a drought: more friends than I care to handle or so few that I wonder if anyone likes me at all.

In the last two years, heck, the last six months, God has really opened my eyes to what I desire in a friend and how I want to be as a friend. But I’m finding the more that understanding grows, the farther off having these kind of friends start to feel.

See, I don’t want nine million friends. Shoot, I don’t even feel like I want nine friends. What I do want are Somewheres.

Somewheres, a term coined by author Sarah Bessey, are your people. The ones you can say anything to. The one you can tell that dirty joke you just heard, the not so humble brag about yourself, and the horrible ugly thoughts that nestle deep inside your heart. Somewheres are the ones you can call at two in the morning and will let you ugly cry on the phone with them and not feel like they have to say anything because just being there is enough. Somewheres, in my opinion, are friendship in it’s rawest and most beautiful form and yet also the hardest type to cultivate.

Friendship like this just doesn’t happen over night and it never comes handed to us on a silver platter. It takes work. Lots of work. It’s give and take. Sacrifice and vulnerability. It’s daring to let someone see you and being gentle and kind enough when they let you see them. It’s forgiveness lived out. It’s rarely perfect, always messy, and one of the most life-giving things you’ll ever experience. It’s the gospel made flesh.

In journeying towards these kinds of friendships, my own insecurity and self-doubt begins to creep in and I start to wonder if anyone thinks, or better yet, wants me to be their Somewhere. Simply put, I wonder if anyone wants me to be their friend as badly as I want to be theirs.

In the last two years as God has been breaking and mending me in the best of ways, I’ve seen a lot of friendships that I held dear fade away. Some by the natural course of life and distance, and others because one or the both of us felt we were not the friend the other needed at this point in our life. Whichever way they’ve left, I always wonder if they miss me like I miss them and if I meant as much to them as they did to me.

Then comes the task of trying to make new friends. Seriously, I’d rather have a root canal than work at new friendships. I generally don’t make great first impressions, and can sometimes come across as a little “too much” when in a group of people. I can be an over-sharer, which leads me to constantly feeling like I said too much or talked more about myself than I should, or didn’t seem like I really wanted to hear about the other person. And that’s where my problem lies: I want to be someone’s Somewhere so badly that I’m constantly insecure about whether people feel I am worthy of such a title.

There have been women, even now, that I desperately want to be friends with. Some I’m already friends with but would love to go deeper and some who I’ve only scratched the surface with. Amazing women who share my same heart and passions. I’ve cried tears over wanting to be their friend, prayed prayers, and pep talked myself multiple times into taking that step to reach out and ask them to be my friend. But that’s as far as it goes. Because at the end of the day, I’m afraid.

I’m afraid I’ll be rejected. I’m afraid that because they haven’t reached out to me first that that means they really don’t want to be my friend so there’s no point in trying. I’m afraid that since I’ve been wounded by other close friends, that if I let them in, they’ll eventually do the same to me. All these fears pile on top of me, paralyzing me, and putting me right back in the place I never wanted to be in the first place. Alone.

I could sit all day wondering why I don’t get called to hang out. I could stew and complain how I feel like no one is pursuing me as a friend, but in the end, maybe they’re just as scared as I am. Maybe, like me, they want to be a Somewhere but are trying to find the courage to get there. Because like I said, this business of being seen is a messy one. It’s risky. But the reward is priceless.

Today I’m praying the prayer that Brene Brown mentions in her book Daring Greatly: “Lord, give me the courage to show up and let myself be seen.” Who knows, maybe my next Somewhere is just around the corner. All I have to do is step out and try.

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  • Beloved June 15, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    You are one of my somewheres, heather. I wish I could know you better!
    <3

  • Leah June 15, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Wow, this is me!
    Thanks for this Heather, I really needed to hear it.

  • Bethany June 15, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    This has been my struggle for years. Like you, I don’t need a bazillion friends, but I’d really like a close one. Wondering if anyone wants to be my friend the same way I want to be theirs? Yep, that’s me. Actually, most of what you said describes me. It’s hard!

  • Alyx in Wonderland June 16, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    I wish words could express how perfectly this fits my situation right now. I was just having this conversation with my mother about an hour ago trying to explain how im feeling in this. I cannot thank you enough for sharing this and putting words to the feelings i could not express. You are most definitely a somewhere to me, i am infinitely grateful to have the chance to know you even if it isnt as close as i may often wish. you are that person to so many people and i understand exactly what you are feeling.

  • Desiree June 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    This is me!
    I long to have a somewhere and be a somewhere! I’m not good at making friends and the ones I’ve had were for a season (probably for the best). I pray God sends me someone daily, I also pray he makes me to be the kind of friend I need to someone who needs it like I do.

  • A friend June 23, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    I get where you’re going with this post and I know your pain…. I know it all too well actually…. But I want to encourage you to perhaps focus on others first and then watch cultivate relationships for you… Relationships that will actually last the hands of time and enrich your life in more ways than you can imagine.

    Sometimes there are friendships and relationships that go overlooked or are never given a chance at all because you’re too focused on what YOU need and want… Being stuck in your own head and worrying your own thoughts, instead of being present and seeing where the Lord takes you or to whom He takes you to. Everyone is fighting a battle. Everyone has their own onion layers and have a story to be told. I think people are too self absorbed to actually be intentional with others, too self involved to be like Christ. Instead of showing grace and love, we judge and compare. We look at someone and see what’s right in front of us – their walls and masks and we unintentionally weigh out how they will benefit our lives…..with the little pieces of information we initially get. Instead of being kind to everyone and investing ourselves into the lives of others, we levitate towards people who we can gain something from. It’s all about us and not enough about where God wants us.

    Letting go of friendships because you weren’t feeling like you were a good enough friend, even though what you were giving may have been enough for that person and what THEY needed in their journey. How do you know how God is using you in someone else’s life? Instead of roughing it through the uncomfortable, we abandon people who need us? I think being a people pleaser and having social anxiety are two very different things – neither are bad per say, but through the eyes of others they could be misinterpreted. It’s all about your heart. Is this relationship toxic or is it just inconvenient?

    I truly hope as a Christian women we can come together and brake these chains of self absorption and start focusing on being present, intentional and transparent. It breaks my heart to see young women so cruel to one another. And even more so to see how easily we forfeit relationships because of our own pride and selfishness.

    Again, I understand where you’re coming from… I really do. But don’t put God in a box.

  • Hannah June 24, 2016 at 12:01 am

    Wow! This is so me, especially the season I’m in right now. Thank you so much for giving my friendship journey a voice.