**WARNING: This is a long one.**
Friendships. Relationships. BFFs. These are usually right up there at the top of the list for things we women are talking about or want to learn more about. That's because of how God wired us. Right from the beginning Eve was made to be Adam's helpmate. We are more emotion driven than men. We are made to be in relationships and care about others. We raise the children, tend to the sick, nurture the hurting. We are happiest when surrounded by our loved ones.
And yet in our modern world there are more and more of us (myself included) that find it difficult to form relationships with other women. I don't have the answers to why that is so wide spread. I just know that it is. We still crave those friendships and connections, but somehow they just don't happen. I want, today, to share some things that have been happening in my life when it comes to relationships.
I've been praying about my lack of close relationships for quite a while. I've shared on here how Satan attacks me in this area....often making me feel like an outsider at church or Bible study or the women's group. I recognize that my personality is more introverted and quiet and that I can be content to be alone, but I still need relationships. I do, indeed, crave them and feel incomplete without them.
Now I don't know about you, but I suspect if you have trouble with friendships you're like me. There are a lot of hurts in your past (and probably in your present, too). My walls are built thick and tall. The stones in the oldest parts go all the way back to my childhood. The newest stones have been laid just recently. The sad fact is, letting people get close means they're going to hurt you sometimes. We learn to build these walls to shield our hearts from the pain. Talk about a catch-22. We avoid some of that emotional pain, but we are still in pain because we aren't functioning the way God created us to!
Last week I met with one of the pastors from my church. F is a very warm person. She draws other women like honeysuckle draws bees. F is also one of the most knowledgeable Bible scholars I know and her walk with the Lord...let me tell you, the woman absolutely glows with the joy of knowing him. If you spend even a few minutes with her you will see her spiritual gifts and the fruits of the Spirit in action. She is, in short, one of those believers you look at and think, "I want that. I want what she has."
Getting back to our lunch....
It took me a while to spit it out, but I finally told her what God had been saying to me and admitted I didn't know how to tear those walls down. I was floored when she told me she knew. That she had seen that I was always on the outside looking in and that she had been praying for me for a while now. She shared some things from her own life that were very similar to things in mine and she gave me some advice about taking down the walls. Prayer is the most important step. Staying in the Word. Being in God's presence. And the tough part, for me, taking a chance. Reaching out to the other women. Sharing with them (that doesn't mean baring every detail of my soul and life with everyone that comes along). Trusting them enough to give them a chance. And the big one? She strongly suggested I confess to the women that I've held them at bay, that while I desire their friendship I haven't been able to trust them, but that God is working on me and I'm going to try. Then I need to ask them to help me do it. To call me on it if they see me hanging back. To encourage me when I get it right. To give me another chance.
The walls are crumbling, ladies, and I'm scared, but I'm also....anticipating and excited to see what God's going to do once they're down.
419. God, that you speak to broken hearts.
420. Wise teachers.
421. Courage to try.
422. That no stone is so big, so heavy, so long set that it can't be torn away.
423. A family...father, mother, two little blond girls...that walk the neighborhood and have such adventures and joy along the way...befriending the dogs and leaving treats on the porch when no one's home.
424. A generous friend who offers her peaceful home by the lake for prayer any time, whether she is there or not.
425. A job for a daughter.
426. A grandson due to arrive in the world at any time.
427. Peace that finally comes in acceptance.
428. New glasses to see clearly.