I love dreaming. But you know one of the coolest parts of it? Telling your best friends your dream. Getting all excited and sharing what you think God is calling you to do and then jumping around the room and having them cheer you on.
I have those kind of friends. I am incredibly fortunate. I just spent the past week being reminded of that. I wrote last week about a cool brother who lets me dream without limitations or judgment. And I have written for years about the amazing people God has placed in my life that keep me going. But here are three kinds of women I can’t imagine dreaming without:
1. My God-sister, prayer warrior, accountability Godly counsel, Amy: We have seen it all. Places when each one of us was running from God. Places when each of us was passionately pursuing God. Places of malaise. Seasons of dreams and seasons of depression. But through it all we pray each other through it. We pray the bold prayers the other one can’t muster up. We provide the reality check needed when we see that the other one might be glomming a lot of “God” labels on stuff that really has nothing to do with what God wants for us. This is the woman you can’t dream without because she reminds you of what God wants for you and what your calling is.
2. My best-friend, show up at the hospital with pizza, plan your 40th celebration, must-have, Mary: Oh my mercy. This woman is a champ. We were roommates this weekend, and we were debating whether we’d room together or stay in separate rooms (our trip was paid for either way) and I said, Well, I’m up for rooming together but I can be a lot to take sometimes so you may want your own space. She responded immediately with, You are NOT a lot to take. Seriously y’all, I can be a lot to take. But she takes me at all speeds – high and low, fast and slow, up and down. We’ve made it through deaths and births. Weddings and mega-marital fights. Hospital stays and cocktails overlooking Central Park. This is the woman you can’t dream without because you can’t make it through a day without knowing she’s there to ugly cry with you or scream with you or snort with laughter with you.
3. My dear, generous friend with all the history, with no judgment, with unbounded love, Kellie: I am finding as I do more “faith” stuff publicly – blogging, writing, speaking – I feel like I have to censor the part of me that isn’t showing God very much. The part of me that wants to complain or rant or vent or say a bad word or blare the radio with old school Live and Bush and Petty. This amazing trooper has seen me do it all. She saw me in the worst of my running from God, in my old single party days, and she loved me. You can not come off holier-than-thou with a friend that has seen you in the pit. You also never forget the grace by which God rescued you when you stay friends with someone who loved you through it all and loves you still. This is the woman you really can’t dream without because you can be the worst of yourself and the best of yourself and she gives you the freedom to struggle and fight and doubt and curse and spin in circles without censorship (and then make it back).
But let me share Jon Acuff’s wise words for those of you trying to get your dream off the ground but who can’t seem to marshal the support of your friends. His post about when friends attack your dreams reminds us not everyone has cheerleaders: “Over and over again, what people say, isn’t really what I hear. I add all these other sentences to their words that are entirely untrue. And the same exact thing happens when you start hustling on your dream. When you tell some friends, “I’m going to write a book. I’ve been getting up early to work on that dream of mine,” do you know what they hear? “You’re not working on your dream. If you were smart or passionate about life you’d be working on a dream too. You’re failing right now.” Sounds crazy, right? It’s not. I promise this happens all the time. Your kindest friends turn into your greatest foes not because of something you said, but because of something they heard.”
So I hope for you that you will have a friend to cheer you on. I hope you don’t find nay-sayers among your most trusted advisors. But if you do, and your dream is from God, keep going dear one. He will give you the strength you need. And know there are other dreamers out there cheering you on. And for my cheerleaders, the dozens of people not even named here including my momma, thank you for telling me it’s okay to dream.