Remember the good ol' days when a friendship was built over shared crayons, or a need for a partner to push you on the swing? The ease and innocence of children makes friendship a way of life, instead of a relationship that requires work.
I struggle with this. I mentioned it here. I have made a sincere effort in making those connections. I started volunteering in the nursery at our church and even joined a discipleship group with 5 other women. In this discipleship group we've been going through a book that points out toxic thoughts in our everyday life that affects the way we are called to worship.
This week: Friendship
As I was reading I started to feel less and less proud of the steps I had taken. Not because they weren't good steps but because I started to realize that while I have started to build relationships with these women I am not being the kind of friend God called me to be.
According to this book we can only have a small group of people with which we are intimate.
We can have many people that we share the small things with: our family life, stress about kids, our crazy extended family, but for those people we would open up to about EVERYTHING... they are in short supply.
But God calls us to have those relationships because we should want to bear the burdens of our friends. We should take their pain and feel it so strongly through the love we have for them that we seek God out. Each person should have a person that can confess their sins to. A person that when we struggle in our Christian walk we can call and say.. "I need your help". But can you imagine if all of your facebook friends were to do that to you? Your shoulders couldn't handle the weight of that grief, but you know a few of those friends you could call, and they would be there and help you through anything.
But our first friend.. the friend that roots all other friendships should be with God. There are moments of intense loneliness that we seek out God's comfort more than other time in our life. When we seek him, seeking to love him and be loved in return, then we are able to give the friendships in our lives all of ourselves.
The true aim of friendship is fellowship. When we are truly invested in our friends we will want to share God and all other aspects of our lives with those friends. But it's okay for it not to be that deep with everyone.
The part I have the hardest time with: being that vulnerable with another person. Because true fellowship/friendship requires the risk of putting yourself out there. You have to trust another person to hear you and still love you on the other side. Talk about love!! But God will lead me and you in the right time to invest in new relationships or nurture the ones we already have. We just have to listen. But the sad part is that the ease and innocence we once enjoyed on the playground won't be there. We will have to put ourselves out there, love and be loved, expose our weakness and vulnerabilities, etc.
But I know in my heart that when we love as God called us to love we will never regret it.
Today I am Thankful for:
The realization of true friendship, and that though I am almost 30 there is still time to build and foster those relationships.. but my God friendship is the most important.