Monday, June 17, 2013

Kindred spirits

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It's splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
- L.M Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables) 

I love it that I can agree with this quote wholeheartedly. I am amazed how many "kindred spirits" I have in my life. Girlfriends who bless my socks off with their friendship, vibrancy, passion, insight, joy, transparency, and love. When I was younger I never imagined that I would have the caliber of friends that I have today, although it was something I had always longed for.  I grew up in a small logging community on the west coast of Vancouver Island and  struggled to fit in. I loved the  the majestic mountains that surrounded my home, rugged coastline, long summer days spent in Esperanza, and spending time with my family, but I often felt alone. I longed to have a friend who shared my faith and could appreciate the outdoors.

After a particularly challenging year in grade eight, my world was forever changed when a good friend moved from Seattle to attend school with me. If she hadn't, I think I would have made some poor choices. That same girl, now a woman, continues to challenge and inspire me. She is one of the boldest, most generous, and  loving women I have ever met. She changed my definition of "friend". After high school I attended a YWAM school in Kelowna and met two more incredible women. We have remained in contact ever since and I treasure their friendship immensely.

 In my first year of University I got a chance to know a girl whom I had admired from a distance at camp, but had never had the opportunity to meet. We found out that we lived on the same street and spent the remaining year drinking copious amounts of tea, taking LONG walks, and being both silly and serious. The following year we became roommates along and shared a home with four other girls. All of a sudden I was surrounded by like minded, intelligent, God fearing, passionate young women. It was incredible and something that I had longed for ever since I was twelve. Those women impacted me in such tremendous, life changing ways that I am eternally thankful. I can think of one instance where I was washing dishes and anxious about how I was going to pay for my second year of University when I girl I had met through Intervarsity Christian Fellowship called me to tell me about a job opportunity selling books across Canada. Had it been anyone else, I probably would have laughed at the notion, but I took her seriously because I trusted her. I had no idea that such a decision would ultimately  change my life and create a lasting friendship. I have since made many good friends, and sometime in the most surprising places. Friends who have inspired me to do everything from train for triathlons to raise chickens. 

It wasn't until I moved to a remote community in northern BC where I experienced the intense loneliness that I had once become accustomed to in my childhood. It was then, that I realized  that much to my great surprise, I wasn't the "hermit" I thought I was. not only that, I realized how MUCH I needed friendship! It was quite a revelation for me. Needless to say, I struggled to find my place that first year. It was a humbling and painful time, but I learned a lot about myself. As many of you know, I ended up loving my time in Alexis Creek and friendship had a lot to do with that as well.

As most of you know, I am presently living in Nanaimo and have been here for just over a year. I have had the privilege of meeting some incredible women who I now call my friends. While we have only known each other a short while, they have filled my life with tremendous love and warmth. They have shared my tears, rejoiced with me, weaned their babies alongside me, birthed their babies in my presence, run with me, danced, hiked, and laughed. I am truly rich.

As women, and especially as busy mothers, we often underestimate the tremendous value and importance of friendship. It is easy to let the demands of our lives crowd out quality time with our girlfriends, but  we need to nurture those relationships and lean on each other.

So this is a shout out to ALL the women who have poured their love into my life ....  encouraged me, held me, wiped my tears, supported me, prayed for me, listened to me, talked me into making good choices, challenged me to be better, inspired me, made me laugh, worshipped alongside me, rubbed my feet, baked haystacks with me, told me to stay away from stay away from bad boys, let me run alongside them even though I was slow, and stood by me through tough times. I remember and cherish each one of you.

Thank you.


1 comment:

Charlotte Almeida said...

Wow, Jocelyn. That was so well written. Thank you for letting me share in a little corner of your life. What an honour!