By Vanessa Rasanen
What’s wrong with me?
This is a question I’ve asked myself often. Sometimes after I’ve managed to royally stick my foot in my mouth and insult someone — again. Or perhaps after a particularly stellar display of gullibility at believing some made-up claim from my husband. (I’m learning on that one, though… albeit slowly.) Or it could also be following another moment when I stumble and trip over my own sinful feet and treat someone — a friend, my kids, a stranger — in a not-so-nice or neighborly manner.
But usually it’s for the simple reason that I seem to be the only woman on the face of the planet without a BFF.
Now, I absolutely hate that acronym. It’s like nails on a chalkboard for me, but I’ll use it here, because it’s so familiar for most of us. And if you’re blessed to never have heard it before — it stands for “best friends forever”.
It could just be my cynicism or the fact that I just don’t like most people, I don’t know. Maybe it is that horrible knack I have for stepping in my own words time and time again. But while I have the blessing of having numerous women I count as friends — some I’ve known for years and others I haven’t yet gotten to meet in person — I can’t pinpoint that one or two that would fit the BFF bill.
I watch as these friends and acquaintances on social media share their pictures and stories of when their BFF flies half-way around the world just to spend a few days with them. I catch pictures of people’s weddings and baby showers where high school and college friends have shucked out money and time to be in attendance. I glimpse these tidbits of other peoples’ friendships — through statuses and pictures and memories — and wonder why I don’t seem to have what they do.
Regardless of how it sounds thus far with all my whining, I’m fairly content with the reality that everything in life has its season — including friendships. I’ve lived long enough to understand that relationships come and go with life’s circumstances, and I’m thankful for the times I have had with each of my friends — past and present.
And yeah, there’s a big “but” coming…
But… where’s that BFF the world tells me I’m supposed to have? You know, that girlfriend who knows me better than I know myself. That friend who I can tell everything to. That friend who would cross oceans just to spend a day with me. That friend who is there with a glass of wine or a pitcher of margaritas at the drop of a hat on a bad day. That friend who I can call at 2am when I’m in labor with my fourth baby and need someone to watch our other three kids and two dogs and keep me from losing my ever-living mind from the anxiety of these crazy logistics of giving birth when you already have a full house.
Does this even exist? Are the friends whose lives I see mere snippets of on social media simply the blessed few to have such a strong bond with one other woman? Or do they perhaps spend random moments wondering the same question I do — what’s wrong with me?
I wish I had an answer, some epiphany to share with other women who might be drifting around in a boat like mine. The best I can come up with, though, is that life always seems better from the other side of the fence. That grass always seems greener. It’s easy to look at others around us and covet what they have which we seem to be lacking. Their house. Their job. Their well-behaved-easily-potty-trained-youngsters. Their friendships. We compare not just our clothes, our hair, our weight — but also our interactions.
I could tell you to just stop it. I could tell myself to just stop it. But when has that ever been the answer to sin? Hint, it’s not.
Instead we simply do the best we can as sinners living in a broken world. We acknowledge the loneliness when and if it hits, letting ourselves cry if needed. We pray the psalms, confess our hurts to God the Father, and give thanks for the blessings of friendship and vocation that He has given us wherever we might be now — for the gift of friends and neighbors we can love and serve in this season, the blessing of social media that allows us to connect with folks we may never have had the chance to know otherwise, and the knowledge that no matter what we face, we have a Lord and Savior who cares for us, provides for us, and has purchased us from all sin.
We will always struggle to be content in our current season — thanks, Old Adam — and we will always struggle to be thankful amidst life’s pain (even this seemingly trite pain of not having a BFF). But thanks be to God for the blessing of His Son, that we have all we need in Him — forgiveness, salvation, redemption — and neighbors to serve and to love in this life.