Relationships! Friendships!! Finding someone somewhere who “gets you”…can become a journey fraught with pain, insecurity, giddiness, and it can be an all-consuming quest.
I have had, and continue to have some really meaningful friendships in my life. There are some that go back 30 years or more, and some that are fairly new. Some have come and gone, being there for a season, and some are there because they need something from me, and the relationship we have. Each relationship is different, because the dynamic of the two involved is always unique. No two people are alike, and so no friendship is the same.
I spent many years of my life being a “fake” friend. I knew how to be fun. Sympathetic. Personal. I didn’t know any differently. I grew up always saying goodbye to friends, so I didn’t really let anyone too close, as it wouldn’t be too long before I knew it would be over anyways. Talking on an intimate level wasn’t difficult, because as a TCK (third culture kid) we made friends as quickly as we could…the connections had to be made, but they didn’t have to last. So it was easy to open up to what I believed my truth to be. I was a chameleon. One thing to one friend, and something different to another.
But I had to grow up, learn to deal with longevity, and what that means to friendships and relationships. It was hard.
I have written about this before, so I won’t go on about my own failings as a friend. But, I have learned a valuable lesson in the last year. As I change as a woman, and as a person who is pursuing truth, how does that change my relationships with others? Being who I used to be doesn’t work anymore. My friendships need to be redefined. Am I surrounding myself with women who love Jesus, and want to see my growth in faith? Are my conversations with others uplifting? Or empty? Do I get off the phone and feel like something was sucked out of me? Or did it bring me closer to truth, and to Jesus?
There is a saying…“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with, so choose wisely.”― Jim Rohn. I believe this to be true.
“Misery loves company” is another wise saying. Do I attract misery because I am miserable? Do I let misery get close, only to suck my dry?
“Are the five people I spend my time with bringing me closer to Jesus?” That is now the plum-line question I ask myself. Do our conversations challenge me to be a better person? Or do I dread being close to them? Am I being the friend that they need in their lives right now? Does their life get enriched with me in it? Am I embroiled in relationships that spread gossip, or fear?
I guess what I am saying is this…be careful and protective of whom you let into your life. An honest friend, one who cares for you in every circumstance, even if you’re at the bottom of the barrel or riding the waves of success. Those friendships should not change.
King Solomon had some wise words about friends. I’m sure he had many in his life for the wrong reasons.
Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:6, 9, 17 NLT)
Let’s be wise.
And let’s be honest with ourselves…
Honestly? Finding that someone who “gets you” is worth the journey! 🙂