Thursday, July 7, 2016

Friendship

Friendship is a tricky thing.  You have to find a person who you want to be around and who wants to be around you.  You have to be forgiving to be a friend, as does your friend.  You look past each other's weaknesses and focus on strengths.

Friendship requires vulnerability.  You have to let down your guard and let people see the real you.  Some people aren't interested in the real you.  They want the happy you, the sporty you, the party you.  A real friend also wants the stressed out you, the OMG-I-can't-believe-this-is-happening you. The deer in the head lights of life you. They aren't interested in showing you the real them.  Everything is surface.  The problem is that you often don't know who these friends are until something major happens and they leave you hanging.  They disappear.  That's confusing and hurtful. But in the long run, it's for the best.  

I have great friends from childhood, high school, college and graduate school.  Many of those friendship start out based on proximity or shared interests but developed into deeply loving relationships.  I am still in contact with many of them via Facebook.  I still feel close to them.  I vacation every year with 4 of my favorite women.  Words can not express how much I love these women.  The problem is that we are scattered through out the state.  3 of us in the DFW area and 2 in the Houston area.  We are in contact weekly through a group text message.  But we only get to do life together 4 days a year.  (I can't wait to see them in 13 short days!!)

I will admit that I have struggled with adult friendships. You know, the day-in-day out, every day, doing life together friends.  This seems strange for me to say but, I don't let a lot of people into my mess.  It takes a special person to get to see the hard side of B's autism.  And it takes a special person to see it and still stick around.  

Things get trickier when you have kids.  Now your friend has to accept you AND your spouse AND your kids. And you have to do the same for their spouse and kids.  If you are going to spend a good amount of time with them, they not only have to accept your kids but love them as their own.

I am happy to say that in the last couple of years, this has been different.  God brought some families into our lives that have become part of our family.  The wives get along.  The husbands get along.  The kids get along.  Our friends are funny and loving.  We genuinely enjoying hanging out together.  They are easy to be around - this can not be discounted.  Some people are judgy, they exhaust you.  Not my people.  

We are not just hanging out because our kids are friends.  They build me up. They encourage me.  And mercy are they funny! My face hurts after being around them.  And I love it (cue the goofy "I can't feel my face when I'm with you" song).  I could not love their kids anymore unless they were my own.  These people are such a blessing!

I understand what Jesus is saying in John 15 - "Love your friends the way I love you." We don't always make it easy for Jesus to love us.  We disobey.  We stray.  We don't listen. We turn away. But He's always right there loving us anyway.  Drawing us back to Him.  That's what a good friend does.  They keep loving us and holding us close.  It's what we should do for our friends.  It's what my friends do for me. I hope it's what I do for them.  

3 comments :

Gaylia Laird said...

Love this...and you!!

Rachel Campbell said...

well said- love you!

Kaycey Bruhn said...

I just keeping reading your blog as it fills me up, pushes me to better.
Love you more than carbs my special friend.