I have been thinking on this blog post for a long time. I have been thinking on it for so long … that I am not really sure where to begin or what exactly that I need to share. I just know that it has been on my heart for a while to write it… and quite frankly… I am tired of thinking about it. It is time to just write it. So…. here goes nothing!
Friends and relationships… that can be a touchy subject and I am pretty sure what I have to say is likely to be misunderstood. I am pretty sure that some people who would read this would not agree with one word that I am saying. What I would have to say to that is…. “I don’t care!”. Let me explain….
Over the past few years, I have had some pretty significant changes in my thoughts and feelings about those that I love. Friends and family!
For way too many years I had a messed up thought process (I feel) on the importance of family/friends and their role in my life. That sounds really harsh I know. To provide an example and an admission of my own immaturity…. for years… Michael (my husband) wasn’t ‘my family’. He was my husband! My parents and my brothers, etc…. THEY were my family. Pretty messed up, right?
Thankfully…. the Lord helped me get that one figured out after a few years of marriage. I will spare you the story of how I had to learn my lesson…. let’s just say that I have historically learned best… the hard way.
Since then… I like to say that the Lord has helped me to ‘break chains’ in areas where my thinking has continued to be wrong. There were several relationships that I valued the other person enough to let them have influence over me and my decisions. Is that always a bad thing… no! Is it a bad thing if it keeps you from seeking God’s will and ONLY listening to Him. I think yes! I mean… we all wonder… when making a decision that could be considered controversial… ‘what would so and so think’… insert any family or friend name that you want. Whether we realize it or not… that can have an influence on our decision… potentially holding us back from doing something God is calling us to do. (and I don’t mean homeschooling… not pushing that agenda … thought I should go ahead and clear that up)
Friends…. hmmm… I am probably considered an introvert. I love people… I love a lot of people… but having friends or family to my home on a regular basis is just not something I do. Would I like to be the kind of person who has people over a lot? Yes. I have come to accept that fact that… it just isn’t who I am. I have always been independent and a loner. Anyone is welcome in my home at anytime. I may not always invite you over for a dinner that I cook… but if you drop by I would be thrilled to see you and spend time with you.
I see a lot of posts on FB, etc… about ‘true friends’ and it just gets on my nerves. When I see them… depending on who it is from… will determine the response I want to scream like… “quit being so needy” or “it is time to get over it already”, etc. But… then God does what He does and reminds me that not everyone is like me and I shouldn’t expect them to be. And then I feel bad and feel the need to remove the log from my eye for thinking that I have it all figured out!
Friends come and go! People change…. hopefully… some for ‘the better’ and some… not so much! You grow apart… you live different lives… sometimes a friend relationship has just run its course and there is no good reason to keep it going. Maybe it is bringing you down and it just needs to be let go. Does that make you a bad person? I don’t know! If so…. I am probably a bad person. I am okay with it.
I have friends…. I feel like I have a lot of friends. Do I have friends that I hang out with on a regular basis? Not really. Do I need to do better about getting out and having some ‘friend time’ ….. probably. I feel like I don’t dwell there. I don’t know why friend relationships are of such importance to us.
I have had a lot of people ‘gently remind me’ that because we are homeschooling… Carver needs to make sure and get that social interaction. I just laugh a little inside. Do I want my boy to know how to interact with others? Of course. I want him to know how to share and how to get along with others. I just find it a little amusing that when our children are smaller we are so concerned with making sure they have friends and have that interaction with kids their age… and then when they get to be teenagers and all they care about is their friends (I know… I was one of them)… we can’t understand why and it becomes a problem. Maybe I am not seeing something but I feel like we just put too much thought and worry and pressure on ourselves and others… in relationships… that shouldn’t be so important to begin with.
God said to love Him above all others! How many of us really do that?
Family and friends… they will always let you down. Even with only the best intentions in our heart… we are human and sometimes even the ones you love the most and who love you the most can do nothing…. say nothing… to comfort you and bring you peace. In my own experience… the Lord is the only One…. THE ONLY ONE… who can comfort in times of need… who can love you unconditionally when you don’t deserve it. As a wise friend once said “He is the only One who can make you feel like you are the only one”! Amen to that!
What I am finding to be true, for me, is that in the process of God making me new… I am loving people in my life appropriately. Instead of loving people ‘too much’… I am learning to love everyone the same… which means for some… less. I feel so much freedom in that. I worry about doing what God is calling me to do… not about what my friends and family might think. I don’t care if I look like a religious nut when I talk about God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit… I simply don’t care. There is a joy and a peace in this place that cannot be explained. Or maybe it can….
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Am I saying I don’t think we should have friends or love our families? Absolutely not. I am not saying that I don’t have friends or family that I love a lot because I do. What I am saying is that there is a freedom and a power that comes from putting our relationships in the proper perspective. I would almost bet that if we did…. people wouldn’t let us down nearly as much. How could they when you are looking to God for every answer, for every healing, for every comfort… do we really need anyone else?