Friends as Rest Stops on the Road Trip of Life: A Tribute

If my life is described as one long road trip without a map, best friends would be the rest stops along the highway. Like rest stops, my friends take my crap, allow me to get cleaned up, and actually rest before moving onward. They do so by listening to me without judgment, offer advice and alternatives, and when I’m right–they tell me so. When I’m wrong–they tell me so. I lost friends when I moved from Maryland to Arizona, but one bond remained intact, if not strengthened over the years. For the purpose of the blog and to give her anonymity, I’ll call her “Shero”.
Shero and I became friends more than ten years ago when we had a lot in common. We were both recently divorced mothers raising adolescent daughters at the time. The struggles we had were different in circumstances, but the same in cause. For example, we are the proverbial crutches for our family members. If there’s a problem in her family, she’d get the desperate phone call. The same goes for me. In spite of us having to raise our children on our single incomes, we were our families’ ATMs. Not because we were rich, or making good money, but because we handle our adversities with unforeseeable strength, and others wanted it too. It’s been that way for years, and still is to this day. I haven’t seen Shero face to face in over three years, but hearing her voice at least once a month keeps us close. (I know there’s Skype, but I haven’t become consistent with it yet.) Having her insight from a distance keeps my perspective. I know that sounds somewhat a contradiction, but it keeps me in full view of my problems and solutions. Her outside looking in gives me insight I otherwise wouldn’t pick up on with my tunnel vision. And I reciprocate in our friendship. I provide the outside view to her tunnel vision. In fact, we’ve declared each other as the “tie-breaker”, “unbiased opinion”, and “second opinion” for each others circumstances. We didn’t begin our friendship this way, but it has blossomed as such. And our friendship isn’t always full of drama, suspense, or tears. We are happy, and each traveling our way to even happier. The Lord knew that we would need one another in our lives for this season.
As I’ve said, I lost friends after making the major move. We didn’t stop liking each other, but lost some of the attributes we had in common. Phone calls became, “I’ll call you right back” and not get a call back. Texting became less and less words. Meaningless statements like: “we’ll get together” and “let’s have lunch” are said for politeness. Not everyone understands what it means to follow dreams and be obedient to the Holy Spirit. Maybe their dreams lead a different direction or they simply decided to stay their course. So, we’re not caught up in one another’s traffic anymore. And that’s fine. I still love all the people I’ve ever called a friend or confidant. Besides, I wouldn’t have realized just how special Shero is. Everybody should have a Shero in their lives, a great friend to stop and rest with during the long trip. It makes the travel on the road trip called life more pleasant.