Note from Melissa: I’m so delighted to welcome one of my faaaavoritest people to the blog today–Lindsay Harrel. Lindsay is my craft partner, but more than that, she’s my friend and confidante and the person I text with pretty much daily. I get twitchy if more than a day goes by without talking to her. And she’s a soon-to-be new mama, too! I recently had the fun of spending five whole days with Lindsay and two of our other writing friends, Gabrielle Meyer and Alena Tauriainen up in Little Falls, Minnesota, which is now one of my favorite towns ever. Lindsay is sharing about our trip and the importance of friendship in her post today. Enjoy!
The Power of Friendship
By Lindsay Harrel (@LindsayHarrel)
A bosom friend, according to one Anne Shirley (any other Anne of Green Gables enthusiasts in the house?), is “an intimate friend, you know—a really kindred spirit to whom I can confide my inmost soul.”
Have you ever had a friend like that? In my experience, bosom friends make all the difference between a rich life and a mediocre one. Though my husband is my best friend, there is still a need for me to have close girlfriends in my life.
Having bosom friends is especially important to me as a writer. There are so many dreams in my heart – and so many emotions to go along with those dreams – that only my close friends can understand. I’ve been quite blessed with many close friends and was lucky enough to spend nearly a week with three of them earlier this month.
My three friends are also writers, so they understand the ups and downs better than anyone. We spent time together at a brainstorming retreat of sorts, but far more than brainstorming occurred. Yes, we also had fun exploring our friend’s historic Minnesota town, relaxing on a sandbar on the Mississippi River, laughing over conference photos, and watching silly movies.
But more than anything, I will always remember the encouragement of being with bosom friends who just “get” me.
The amazing thing is, God brought these ladies and I together from very different walks of life – and at a time when we are in very different stages of our non-writing and writing lives. It’s amazing to me how people who are so different can still be so much the same, mainly because we share two of the same passions: God and writing.
We chatted about the writing disappointments we’ve faced – not having enough time to write, rejections, forced revisions because we didn’t get it right the first time. But surprisingly, our conversations dealt with much more than that. Because of our connection, we were able to share disappointments and fears in other parts of our lives. In fact, one day I even broke down crying and shared my fear of becoming a mom for the first time and the fact that I don’t have everything under control. My friends surrounded me with love and prayer.
We also talked about the elation of first contracts, the dream of writing full time, the realities of the writing life, and more. And these ladies offered me more encouragement than I could have asked for.
Bottom line: bosom friends make all the difference. My life wouldn’t be complete without them. My writing journey would look very different than it does today – in fact, it would look a lot lonelier and darker.
If you don’t have such friends in your life, pray for them. God is faithful. And remember to open yourself up. It takes courage to share your heart with others – but oh the reward when you do. The power that comes from such relationships is other-worldly, to be sure.
Lindsay Harrel has a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in English. Represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Agency, Lindsay was a 2013 ACFW Genesis Finalist and a 2014 Genesis Semi-Finalist (Contemporary Category). She works in marketing as a copywriter and has worked in the past as a business writer and curriculum editor. Lindsay lives in Arizona with her husband and two golden retrievers in serious need of training. Connect with her on her blog or via Facebook or Twitter (@LindsayHarrel).