(Part one is here.)
Kim Shay, of The Upward Call, is a friend I have never met other than online. I'm not launching into a discussion on the merits of online friendship but suffice it to say that I view modern day blogging and its accompanying social media distinctive to creating friendship as pen pals once did.
Kim asked me the other day for my opinion of Christian female friendships. I was less than glowing in my first thoughts and even when I did write to her my thoughts, I struggled with the struggle of describing something that has been both edifying and debilitating in my life.
I have previously said that God's sense of humor must run very deep to have placed me as a leader of women when all my life I was suspect of friendships with women. Past baggage does not fly free either.
Her name was Amy. She had short brown hair cut like Dorothy Hamill and an Irish Red Setter who had puppies. I wanted one. Mom and Dad said no. But that's another event. She was my best friend in first grade and she invited me to go skating with her. Mom said yes. I was over the moon because first there was her birthday party and then there would be the whole going skating thing. My social calendar was packed.
Melissa came to the birthday party. She was new. But that did not matter at all when she gave Amy a Barbie Fashion Styling Head. Now Amy was over the moon. I don't remember what I gave her because everyone was looking at the blue eyeshadow Barbie would soon wear. It was only an hour after the birthday party when Amy called and said she was taking Melissa skating. Instead.
Lessons in distrusting female friendship started early and progressed rapidly. By ten years old, I had concluded that boys (as friends) were easier creatures to understand. Simple, even. (I say it in the kindest manner.) Disputes were settled quickly, shrugged off entirely and did not involve a playground gang up of name calling, note exchanging and un-friending.
The female friends that I did make in school and college thought quite like myself regarding their own past baggage of female friendships. Only after marriage, while participating in a ladies' Bible study, did I truly think that perhaps female Christian friendships might be different than my past experience.
It seemed simple. If both women were Christians, lovers of Christ and His Cross and His gospel, then potentially disputes would not even happen because we would all be loving one another more than we loved ourselves and bearing with one another in forgiveness and we would be lovers of the truth. Certainly if a dispute, an utter exceptional event happened, then obviously each one would be quick to repent and believe and reconcile. Right?
Needle scratches across the record>
Yeah, right. My name is Opia and I live in Ut. And tomorrow I'll write about Part three.