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We are on our way, my husband and the boys and I, to visit friends. Specifically, to visit my husband’s friend (who is my friend, too) and his wife (who I have not met). It’s a long drive and we’ll be there for the weekend, and on the way I make him promise not to leave me alone with her. The friend’s wife, I mean.

I know; it’s confusing.

But it’s because I don’t know her yet, you see, and this girl friend thing is not always easy. Maybe she won’t like me. Maybe we will have nothing in common. Maybe we won’t be able to talk to each other. Maybe she’ll think I’m a small town, frumpy, stay-at-home-mom with outdated clothes and poor social skills who spends her days baking bread and quilting.

I’m not always good with girls. Being girl friends can be hard. It can feel like a competition or something. I think it’s me.

So in my insecurity I make him promise me some safety.

I promise, he says. And when I keep looking at him, impressing on him the seriousness with which I am taking this, he repeats, with emphasis, I promise.

Okay, I say. Don’t forget.

We arrive and meet and the weekend rushes by and we talk and laugh and she nods in agreement when I say something about being married to a crazy dreamer guy, and we share some God talk and some family talk and stay up too late and talk some more and it’s all lovely, and I leave thinking I’ve made a new friend.

What a gift.

What a treasure it is, to make a friend, and I shake my head at my foolishness.

Today I will meet a girl friend for lunch. I’ll talk on the phone with another and I’ll text a few, and I’ll spend some time preparing for a Saturday full of them. A room full of girls, and it honestly makes me a little nervous, but I’ll remember what I’ve learned.

That most of us feel the same insecurities, and most of us really want to be each other’s friends.

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