The Silent Friendship Killer
There is this silent killer amongst us women. It sneaks in ever so slyly and slowly eats away at our connection. It callouses our hearts and isolates us from the ones we call friend. By the time its detected its often too late, authentic connection is lost and walls of perfection have been built in its place…
I’ve seen it start in the self-help section of conversation. She has discovered the latest diet technique and spends three play dates telling you all about it, declaring her results. In her passion you agree to do it together. Next thing you know – you are sizing your derrière next to hers and coming in missing the mark. So you bow out and blow it off with a knee sprain. And then it starts to happen… slowly your connection fizzles under the demise of “different interests”.
Or her child is an all-star athlete and mathematical genius. You keep getting called to the principal’s office and spending crazy bucks on tutors. So you get “busy” and can’t return her calls. Or maybe it’s reversed, her husband lost his job and they are downsizing, while yours got a promotion and you’re upgrading and she “can’t talk right now”.
I’ve been there… on both sides.
And I’ve lost.
There are many stories of this struggle in the Bible. One in particular comes to mind… about two sisters, Leah and Rachel. Now I know there’s a lot to discuss in this story — Jacob’s deep affection for Rachel, the dowry, and the bad deal handed to Leah. But I want to hone in on the sisters. No doubt these two grew up together. Living in the same house their whole lives, and presumably close in age, you can’t tell me they weren’t friends. Perhaps they went to the well together, or laughed after dark about the crazy stories their dad told. I bet they gazed at the stars dreaming of the families they’d each one day have. Rachel and Leah may have been the best of friends, encouraging and uplifting the other…
Until comparison arrived on the scene in the shape of one tall, dark, and handsome man.
Then the gloves came off and the daggering looks flew. Can’t you feel the air chill and the light shutter? One sister is sought after, while the other is appointed. Her beauty vs. her position. Her opportunities vs. her lack. Her breakthrough vs. her shame. Perhaps it was a slow death. Rachel tended more sheep so conversation with Leah would be limited. Leah moved her place at the table to be near the kitchen, instead of next to Rachel, you know, just in case she needed to grab more wine for the men. It’s icy-quiet until the wedding, then it got blatantly silent. When then the babies start coming the words slice between the sisters with jagged sharpness.
Comparison over what they didn’t have and discontentment with what they did have, left these friends missing out on one of life’s greatest joys — sisterhood.
Being a woman is freaking hard. Don’t you think? We juggle beauty, talents, relationships, expectations… we manage business and households, we nurture gardens and grow generations. There are countless pressures. We need each other, but more often than not we get wrapped up sizing our ‘don’t-haves’ next to her ‘haves’ and in the end we both loose.
I bet both Rachel and Leah had many nights on their beds with soaked pillows. Surely there were days they silently screamed in the bathroom for sanity and just wanted to go sit by the fire with a glass of wine and talk it out with their BFF, their sister. But comparison had burned the bridge. Just read Genesis Chapter 30. They weren’t talking, they were all out one-uping.
Friends, this is dumb. I need you and all your fitness size 4, and you need my butter covered monkey bread. I need your shoulder when my husband looses his job and you need my thrift store shopping when you want to surprise your man with a fancy celebration on a shoe-string budget. We need each other when the test is negative, and sure-as-taxes we need each other when the laundry explodes and there’s no time between breast-feedings and potty training.
Life is richer with you in it. Your laugh, your smile, it makes me feel all the feels more deeply. I want to share your tears and your fears. And girl, you should NEVER eat chocolate cake alone, just like jean shopping is way more productive if you take me with you.
Lets ditch the comparisons and shove discontentment in the diaper pail. We have life to live, together.
*all scripture is linked with Biblegateway.com