The Ebb and Flow of Friendship


Y’all! Friendships are hard! And they take a crazy amount of work! I know. I know. I’m preaching to the choir. I know a great deal of people. Many I would consider friends. Some are newer and some I have known for decades. The older I get, the more I desire authentic and lasting friendships. But, people are people. We are flawed and imperfect. We make mistakes, hopefully ask for forgiveness, and try to do better the next time.

I have a friend that I have known for almost a decade. It has been a wild ride to say the least. We’ve seen valleys and mountain tops. We’ve laughed and cried. There have been births and deaths. For the most part, it’s been good. For the rest of it, it has been a bit exhausting. Super intense would be an understatement. I think I walk in grace for people and their struggles, but sometimes the weight of it can become overwhelming.

Earlier this spring, a really hard season hit our friendship. I’m not going to lie. My heart was broken. I felt hurt and forgotten.

I’m not sure if you’ve ever had a friendship where one person’s stuff was always heavy and you carried it just as though you were going through it yourself. That is our friendship. I told her I wasn’t sure if she knew the weight her life had on those around her. I told her I needed a break. I didn’t want a breakup. I consider her a sister. I want our friendship to last a lifetime. But, for the sake of my mental and emotional heath, I needed a little distance. Sometimes we forget that God cares about those parts of our lives just as much as our spiritual health.

 

To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

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The Truth About Confession

After hearing an amazing message by Kasey Van Norman about the Samaritan woman, I have been processing the difference between being transparent and being vulnerable — and how they both play out in my life.

To boil it down, transparency is telling the facts, while vulnerability is digging deep beneath the surface of those facts to the roots. There is a bit of distance that we keep when only being transparent with God or others. Vulnerability invites God and others into the heart of our situation. There is a chance for rejection when we are vulnerable. We run the risk of people seeing the real us and possibly unfriending us. And y’all, that is downright scary!

Growing up, I was more of a loner. I kept to myself a great deal. I had a few friends, but I only allowed them into my life at arm’s length. Now, I have seen and experienced both the beauty and pain of community. Often my instinct is to go back to doing life alone, but I know that I can’t. I know that is not what is best for me. I know that is not God’s design.

Over the last couple of months, there has been this war in my mind. You’re probably familiar with it. It’s the one where old memories and wounds and trauma and sins flood your every thought. At moments, this war has physically felt like a weight on my chest. I honestly don’t know that I have ever felt this type of attack from the enemy before. But, here I am, in the middle of it. I’ve been trying to fight this battle on my own. I can be really prideful at times. I’m too self-sufficient for my own good. Jesus and I are working on that.

The Lord, in all of His love and kindness, won’t let me get away with this solo game plan. He has gone behind my back and laid me on several of my friends’ hearts. They, in turn, were obedient to pray for me and reach out to tell me they were praying for me. Then, I was intentional about sharing my struggles.

There is so much of our relationship with the Father that is worked in the secret place with Him, but there is just as much work that happens within life-on-life relationships.

 

To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

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