Friday, October 15, 2010

Girlfriend, are you lonely?

I've had an awakening this past week. Well, probably the past month or so. And I do believe that God is calling and I'm hearing that call.

I am still planning to write the book mentioned on these pages but as it does with many things, life got in the way, and so did feelings of lack of self-worth, lack of motivation, and the feeling that I was just treading water. For far too long I've been alone - very alone.

I have a family I love and adore, the most wonderful husband who is also a great friend and lots of colleagues, associates, contacts and so on. My business has kept me busy for many years and so have my personal interests of writing, gardening and photography. I don't know the meaning of 'boredom' and always have projects and things to keep me busy.

I love our Lord Jesus Christ and know that He, and our Father God, have carried me through the darkest days and nights, moments in my life that I wouldn't have wished on anyone and yet, there's still something that is missing... Something I haven't had since my early 20s and I'm now in my early 50s. That thing is a girlfriend. Someone I can laugh and cry with, confide in, giggle with, share my dreams with and my prayer needs and someone I can talk to, when perhaps my husband might not be the one I need to share something with.

It's not been through lack of trying, believe me. And I've prayed for a long time for a girlfriend. Many times I have thought a woman who had come into my life might be the one and instead she's been needy - for my knowledge, my experience, my wisdom, my thoughts, my... anything I could give her. I don't regret this. I know that God has placed me in a role of leadership but the thing is leadership is a pretty darn lonely place to be sometimes.

Recently my husband and I joined a new church - new to us that is. It's 2 mins down the road from our new home of 11 months. We are making new friends and finding connections from our old church and other people we know. I've made friends with a lady nearly 20 years my junior but who I click with so easily. She wants to do things I have done but instead of feeling like I'm in a mentoring or leadership role, as in the past, it's more like a girlfriend role and we share, chatter, giggle together and just enjoy one another's company.

And then today I was at a prayer breakfast with another lady I've known for years but do not know on a very intimate level. However after today's breakfast, and the sharing we had during the morning, and the prayer afterward, I can't help feeling that our relationship is verging on something else much deeper. And then she shared with me similar feelings to what I've had and also another lady we both mutually know who had shared similar feelings of loneliness to her.

I thought about this on the train back home. What is going on? 4 of us, all daughters of Christ, and all feeling lonely. What has the enemy been doing to us and what have we allowed to happen? This separation from others, being too busy to nurture relationships or perhaps being in positions that haven't allowed friendships to develop because the 'neediness' of others may have abused what we had to offer by just taking, taking and taking but not giving back to those of us also in need.

This means that my book about Women Mentoring Women is going to take a new turn and cover this aspect too. And it will now start to move ahead. It's like I've been waiting for a missing link and I've just found it.

So tell me girlfriend, are you lonely? What can I/we do to help? What are your thoughts?


Footprints Australia said...

Kathie I am so glad you are finding kindred spirits in your new home! And you know the Footprints girls are always here for you although it's a bit far away to go for a coffee & giggle.

I couldn't agree with you more that being in leadership can be a very lonely place to be - it's lonely at the top! I sometimes struggle with that myself with Footprints. Nobody else can really understand what it's like to be leading and pioneering the way ...

Narelle Nettelbeck said...

Hi Kathie

I hear you. I have prayed for a long time for a true friend. I've been alone in a crowd for a ages. Glad to know I'm not the only one!

Last year I met a woman who has since become a firm friend. We only catch up in the flesh about once a month but email and pray for each other daily.

Andrea Stevenson said...

Hi Kathie, This is a great article. I am experiencing some of the very same feelings. I used to believe that business is business. But I have just discovered that business is relationships. And yes, it is lonely at the top but it doesn't have to be if we are willing to be real and honest. I'm very happy that you have found a kindred spirit. :)

Anonymous said...

I am honoured and blessed by your friendship, and I thank you for not taking on a typical mentoring and leadership role with me, for sometimes all a woman ever really needs is a girlfriend.

Your words have brought several ideas to mind. Firstly that God truly does see what is inside our hearts. Age differences, lifestyle differences, financial differences and career choices are all insignificant in true friendship.

Secondly I am struck by the number of women who share a similar sense of lonliness. Women - be it blessed with a family of their own and a partner or not - need women. Your words have brought home the truth of sisterhood.

I will pray that more women seek each other out. Sometimes it is easy to become blinded by the barriers we seemingly feel. I thank you for overlooking any barriers and becoming my friend.

Jo-Anne said...

Hey Kathie
You are spot on, and I am so glad you were inspired by our conversation. I was too. There are so many sides to this lonely feeling, which for me is magnified by being single and very close to an empty nester.
For me there has always been the hangover from malicious "girlfriends" at high school. I still don't totally trust women as friends I guess, just like I don't trust me. (ok so I have some forgiveness issues :-) I also relate to both sides of the coin of being a leader and being the needy one. I spent many years struggling with bad relationships, depression and financial problems and really needing help from others, but I have also been the one others came to for help as Deacon and leading a food bank type ministry at my church.

I don't want to be that needy one to others and unfortunately I have grown weary of being the one others come to as well. But this phase of locking myself away and avoiding others so I did not have to be anything to anyone has to stop.
Oh my goodness I could go on for ever about this girlfriend :-)

Looking forward to learning how to be a 'girlfriend' again with you Kathie.

God Bless


Kathie said...

I am so touched/thrilled that my post is touching the hearts of others. I am also glad that I'm not alone in my feelings and thank you all for responding and sharing.

TiaraMom19 said...

Hi Kathie,I feel this same way.I am blessed with a good husband and two wonderful kids.
Im an adult only child and my mom passed away years ago.
I feel so lonely for that best lady friend....a true confidant.I pray the Lord will send me a friend soon:(

Tia said...

Hi,I too feel the same way.I am blessed with a great husband and two kids.Yet ive felt this void to have a best friend for many years.
Hope I find her one day.

Valerie Smallman said...

Greetings from Brazil. I am new to your blog. I just found it this week. As a missionary, I feel very lonely and alone, even when surrounded by people. As a pastor's wife, I am not free to share my heart with the people of my congregation. I am good friends with a co-worker, but between homeschool, housework, ministry schedule and furloughs, we don't talk as often as we need to. Thank you for writing about this and sharing your heart.