MAYDAY, the text read. MAYDAY.
She was in deep.
It was an extended family beach trip, and unless you are an actual member of the Partridge family, I’m guessing you know exactly the kind of trials and tribulations my friend was referencing.
Sometimes the call to live for Christ and die to self looks like serving the least of these on a Third World dirt floor, and sometimes it looks like navigating personal space in a beach condo. I jest, but, well, not really.
My friend MAYDAY-ed our group text chain, and guess what happened? In response she received a lot of humor, some commiseration, but more and most importantly, the offerings of prayers, encouraging words, and the outcome of all of us being reminded that God was big enough to help us all through whatever choppy seas He had called us to that day.
These friends are what we southerners call “a blessing,” and in that regard, I do not jest.
The process of making mayday friends as a grownup is just so different, isn’t it? Long gone are the days of breezily acquiring deep friendships over late night pizza in college dorm rooms, or running to Walmart together at midnight simply because “We’re out of caramel popcorn.” Making adult friends feels way more like a ride in some shoddy, sub-regulatory, traveling carnival bumper car than any cruise to the local Wally World in my college best friend’s ‘94 Honda. Oh, and in the Honda, nobody was yelling or crying or doing dangerous stuff with scissors they are definitely not allowed to take out of the drawer while you’re trying to drive.
When it comes to making friends as grownups, my women’s ministry director likes to say it’s as simple as being a friend to make a friend, and that sounds about right to me. And yet sometimes I’m curious if we women really need a how-to, and in the spirit of being a checklist kinda gal, I’d like to offer 3 simple how-to’s on practical ways to be a friend. To be clear, this list is in no way definitive, thorough, or executed by me perfectly at any point past, present, or future, but in case it helps:
3 Ways to a Mayday Friend
1. Answer a question, ask a question – It’s kind of easy to talk about ourselves all the time, isn’t it? And who wants to be friends with that girl?
2. Redeem social media – Remember the days when various platforms simply connected us instead of encouraging comparison? Fight to get back to those days, and reach out on social media in ways that foster connectedness to your people. I’m a huge fan of the app Voxer, and have even done two Bible studies on there.
3. Send a grateful for you/thinking about you/praying for you card – Who doesn’t love mail? Oh how I love to send $1 Trader Joe’s cards, and I stock up every time I’m in there.
Sure, I often know the answer to my own maydays, but my track record is not so hot at preaching the gospel to myself in the heat of those moments. Sometimes we need to voice the question out loud and to one another, even when we know the answer—to ask the fellowship of the saints in Jesus the very question God asks of Abraham and Sarah: “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen. 18:14) True mayday friends will answer by pointing up, up, up, to the only God who is sufficient for all our maydays. To the One who longs for us to bring our troubles first to Him, and then allows us to turn and share the burdens in community. Preferably with some top notch humor on a slightly inappropriate card.
xo, Holly Mackle from @sameheresisterfriend