The Art of Friendship

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Have you ever felt stupid? And not just stupid, but really stupid? One of my greatest joys in life is to make new friends. It doesn’t even matter to me which category they fall into. They could be acquaintances, friends or my inner circle of people. I just love meeting and connecting with new people. I pride myself on being inclusive and welcoming. I like to gather with friends and have deep conversations, preferably over coffee.

Recently, a friend who moved here within the last two years had a birthday. I also like to celebrate my friends! For her birthday, I gave her a gift and sent her an encouraging text. I did all the things I love to do. This friend and I don’t spend a ton of time together, but the time we do has been nothing but quality. We have amazing conversations and pray for each other. We have shared meals and hurts and dreams. This means that we are pretty good friends, right?

Apparently not. A mutual friend of ours and I were hanging out and she remarked on upcoming birthdays. I mentioned our friend’s birthday and wondered if we were doing anything to celebrate. She told me our friend had actually had a small brunch-type gathering the Saturday before. My heart absolutely sank. Honestly, it broke a little. I was under the assumption that we were good friends. At least good enough friends to warrant an invite to a birthday celebration.

I avoid by nature. I hate awkward and hard conversations and situations. I always have. They cause me a bit of anxiety. I don’t want to be this way. I’m actually working on being better at brave communication. So, I confessed my hurt feelings to that friend. She was sorry that I was hurt and said that her gathering consisted of a small group of her inner circle friends. I understood her perspective. I appreciated it. There is no right or wrong here.  I wasn’t angry at her, but I was still hurt. Gratefully, it served as a revelation for me.

Somehow, I had assumed a level of friendship that was not true. I don’t ever want to be in that situation again. I don’t ever want for someone else to find themselves in that situation either.

 

To read the rest, join me over at Boundless!

Home for the Holidays

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Countless Christmas songs are written about it. Countless videos are posted about it. But not everyone has a home to go to for the holidays. It’s not a good or bad thing. Sometimes, it just is what is.

That’s where I fit in. My father passed away when I was nine, and I have an estranged relationship with my mother. All of my mother’s side of the family is spread out across the country, and I’ve never been super close to my father’s side of the family. I know many others find themselves in the same boat or in even worse situations.

So the holidays can be sad times, but all hope is not lost. Where earthly family fails, God never will. He comes and fills in all the gaps. And He does so by using spiritual family. This is one of my favorite parts of God’s design for community.

 

“God provides homes for those who are deserted…” Psalm 68:6 (HCSB)

In numerous other translations this verse says, “God sets the lonely in families.” He intentionally plucks us out of loneliness and places us within community.

 

To read the rest, visit over at Boundless!

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