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A friend you can't offend.

Have you ever had a friend who, no matter what you say, you really can’t offend them? You can just allow your brain to throw out all the crazy things it’s thinking, and this friend isn’t fazed at all.

I have a friend like that. We pretty much think the same way. I can be as blunt and honest about what is frustrating me, what I find funny or just something I am struggling with. This friend often texts me, "how are you?" And I don’t hesitate to tell her the truth...which most of the time involves some crazy scenario taking place in the past 10 hours of my life that has overwhelmed me.

This friendship didn’t start out that way. I distinctly remember a turning point in our friendship that started with a text message. I thought I was being funny sending her this text, but when she didn’t respond right away, I worried that I had offended her. I showed the text to my husband, and his response was, “Yup, you probably upset her.” I was frantic about it, nervous that I had ruined a friendship. So, I followed up with another text, apologizing. Within minutes I heard from her, “Sorry I didn’t text back, I was laughing about your text all night.” And after that she said, “There is really nothing you can say to offend me.” Ever since then, she and I have had this space where we can be honest, share ridiculous thoughts and laugh at our own mistakes. We can also cancel at the last minute, show up at each other’s house unannounced or plan an impromptu game night because we have had an awful week.

I am grateful for friends like her. I am also grateful that I took a chance to be transparent, and it was met with the same transparency. We can’t create safe spaces with other people in our lives if we are not willing to be vulnerable. We have to put ourselves out there, take the first step to be open and honest. Most of the time, not always, we will be met with grace and understanding. Sure, fear could stop us, hold us back. But if we remain stuck in fear, we won’t know what it is like to have a safe place to be ourselves.

Take a chance this week. Tell a friend how you honestly feel when they ask you, “How are you?” It’s the first step in creating safe places in your life.