I have always had a hard time making friends, and especially making close friends. When I was in third grade, my "best friend" wouldn't let me sit with her at our class Christmas party because she had a different best friend she wanted to sit with. In ninth grade, instead of sadly telling me goodbye when we moved away, my best friend yelled all kinds of horrible things at me and refused to be nice anymore. My best friend from high school went completely bridezilla on me at her wedding at no fault of my own. In college, my best friend quite abruptly ended our friendship when I got engaged. Anyone notice a common theme here?
We moved to a new city 3 years ago, and immediately I made a good friend. She just left a couple months ago because of her husband's job. Another good friend left TODAY to live in another state for her job. And finally, my last "good friend" (you know, more than just "hi, how you doing? Good? Me too.") is leaving in a month for an extended (very extended) vacation to another continent!
It is still difficult, as quiet and shy as I like to be, to put myself out there and become better friends with someone. My ideal "friend date" used to be for both of us to each get a book and read together. I think now that I have a kid, and a lot of people I would like to become better friends with have kids too, my ideal friend date would be a play date for the kids and we moms could talk the whole time. The problem is that apparently I am the only stay-at-home mom that has any free time. Another problem is that I don't have my own transportation. That actually might be the bigger problem. But even when I did have my own car, it seemed like pulling teeth to find a good time to meet other moms at the park. I feel like one of those well-intentioned dragons--"Meet me at the park! Let our kids play! Drop everything you have and spend time with me!" Yeah, no one likes people like that. So where's the balance? A mom that has friends must make herself available for play dates, right? Maybe there's another way. Talking at church is short and stressful (too many people, nowhere for the kids to play, everyone wants to leave for the upcoming meal). And then moms who work, well, they have a job. (Which is perfectly fine--I've been a working mom.) And moms who don't work have multiple kids, something that is apparently much more time-consuming than having just one kid. (Don't get me wrong, if I could have six kids I would.)
Now that I've just written all that about how everybody will eventually leave and how, poor me, no one has time for me (I know, buck up, right?), let me say that I DO know that there is a Friend who will never leave me, and He always has time for me. I know that. And that knowledge prevents depression from creeping in. To have a Friend that I can tell all my secrets to and know He will never tell anyone; to be able to cry to Him and feel His comfort surround me; to even hurt his feelings and when I apologize, know that He will not hold a grudge--this really is better than meeting a girl friend at the park and having to divide my attention between her and my kid (and knowing that she is doing the same thing).
I just wish it were easier to have human friends (not, as opposed to alien friends). But then, if everything were easier, it wouldn't be life. I just have to do my part, and when we all get to Heaven, we'll all be best friends, right?
For now here on Earth, though, how do you develop deeper friendships with people?