Reach out and reconnect

Written by Kari Kampakis
Published on April 19, 2022

My best lessons in friendship came during my loneliest season of friendship. 

As a newlywed in a new city, I started at square one. I got invited to many parties, yet I didn’t have any deep connections. Every girl I knew already had a best friend, and since many grew up together, I felt like an outsider as they shared childhood stories. 

After one girls’ night out, I came home and cried to my husband. I told him how I just couldn’t compete with friends who had known each other since they were in diapers and had taken baths together at two years old. 

Everyone was kind, but nobody needed me like I needed them. It took me six months of effort and accepting every invitation that came my way to finally get my bearings. My turning point came when I met Mary Alice, who had just moved back in town. 

We immediately clicked and became close friends. From that friendship we grew other friendships and expanded our circle. When my husband and I moved four years later, we were genuinely sad to leave these friends who had become our family. 

Looking back, I realize how my problem was insecurity. I had a void in my heart that longed to be filled with the gift of female connection. Rather than let it happen naturally, I tried to force it. I was so eager to find my place that I was petrified of making mistakes. 

What should have been fun—meeting new people—had me walking on eggshells because I couldn’t let down my guard, relax, and be myself. Today, I’m thankful for that dry season of friendship. 

Among other things, I learned: 

  1. What it feels like to be an outsider—and what a simple invitation (like going on a walk) can mean to a woman who hasn’t found her people yet
  2. How to be proactive and not wait for friendships to magically happen
  3. How loneliness can crop up even if you’re happy in your marriage
  4. How nobody thrives in every season, and that’s OK because dry seasons teach you to be kind and inclusive (and to reflect on what kind of friend you’ve been)
  5. How to tell the difference between acquaintances and lifelong friends
  6. Why it’s worth bending over backward for lifelong friends because they’re hard to find
  7. Why one true friend is worth her weight in gold

Real friends offer a healthy escape and recharge our batteries. They make us feel young again and remind us of who we are. 

They don’t judge us or our kids when we have a bad day, and they don’t have expectations like family. They aren’t stuck with us like family, so when they stay despite our shortcomings, it’s affirming.

Being loved by a friend helps us love ourselves. Don’t wait until your children are older, or until you have more free time, to nurture your friendships. You need good friends now as you learn to “be the adult.” 

You and I are in a season where we must be the strong and reliable ones, and we can’t do this alone. We need the strength and moral support of women who rally for us. 

Think about the friends you’ve known over time who brought out your best. Who inspires you? Who would be on your doorstep in a crisis? Who loved you so deeply in the past that the bond is still there? 

Whoever these friends are, reach out and reconnect. Invest in these relationships. You don’t want to look back in twenty years and realize that you gave your best efforts to short-term friends and acquaintances. 

You don’t want to settle for pleasant relationships when rich relationships are in reach. Embrace your old friends and leave room for new friends too. Sometimes the best friendships of all are the ones you’ve yet to make. 

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 12:17 NLT) 

Taken from “More than a Mom” by Kari Kampakis. Copyright 2022 by Kari Kampakis. Used with permission from Thomas Nelson. Thomasnelson.com


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Kari Kampakis

Kari Kampakis is a bestselling author, blogger, and national speaker from Birmingham, Alabama. Her bestselling book for moms, Love Her Well: 10 Ways to Find Joy and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter, and books for teen girls, Liked and 10 Ultimate Truths Girls Should Know and Liked: Whose Approval Are You Living For, have been used widely across the country for small groups studies. Kari’s newest book, More Than a Mom: How Prioritizing Your Wellness Helps You (and Your Family) Thrive, will release April 2022.  Kari’s work has been featured on Focus on the Family, the Today show, Today Parents, Yahoo! News, Grown & Flown, Thrive Global, Your Teen, For Every Mom, Motherly, FaithGateway, EWTN, Jesus Calling, Ann Voskamp’s blog, The Huffington Post, and other national outlets. She also hosts the Girl Mom podcast. Kari and her husband, Harry, have four daughters and a dog named Lola. Learn more by visiting www.karikampakis.com or finding Kari on Instagram and Facebook.

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