Let me start out with a confession: I have not been a great friend. In the past I have used friendships for selfish gain, usually so that I did not have to eat lunch alone at school, and especially so that I could escape the pain that I was feeling in my own bones. High school is such an awkward time, especially when like most teenagers, you are not sure of yourself and the world is only reinforcing your bad thought patterns. As I got older my goals in relationships got a little more noble, but were still selfish; someone to have fun with, laugh with, a relationship that I could learn from, and grow from.
I know that many of the relationships that I have had, added so much to me in that specific season of life, but I wonder, “How do the people feel on the other side of that relationship?” Have they left our time together feeling encouraged or drained, feeling heard or used… Learning to love myself has been a LONG process, and learning to REALLY love other people has taken even longer. I know how to love my kids, and my husband, but how do you exit a relationship gracefully?
You move and so you keep in touch for a while, but then the communication becomes less frequent.
You are friends with someone because it is convenient, you are in the same stage of life, or you participate in the same activities, but then things change.
And worst of all there is a misunderstanding and then a breaking of that deep connection, you may or may not see each other, but the essence of that relationship is gone.
Does that mean that the relationship was not important? No… but how do you keep those cherished relationships and times in your heart if they are not active in your life? and more importantly how do you let the people in those relationships know that you care for them deeply, even if you do not do a good job of keeping in touch?
I have no answers just a deep feeling that I am missing a part of my Christian walk because I do not understand it in the context of community. I have been reading through 2 Corinthians very slowly and the other day I stumbled across a passage about prayer. It made me wonder if someone in my life did not receive a blessing from God because I did not pray for them, or we did not pray for them… How can a man be healed because of his friend’s faith?
I want to live in a community of believers who sees themselves as true brothers and sisters in Christ. Who pray for each other, encourage each other and keep each other accountable. I know that it will be a little messy, aren’t all families, but in doing that I think that I will be able to hold onto some of the relationships in my past. Giving grace to those who are where I was.
Thank you, for the MANY people who intentionally or not poured into my life to help me take on the character of Christ. So many of you were constants in my searching. Thank you for walking the early stages of my marriage with me, helping me to find freedom, wholeness, and most importantly myself in Christ.
Do you have someone you need to thank, or reach out to?