remember when it was as easy as taking your seat on the bus or in class, or asking the other girls at the slide for your own turn, then BAM! instantly, friends were made. now at 32 years of age i am floundering. it's easy to ask myself why? what is wrong with me? am i too boring? but i have to be quick to cast away the enemy. some times i am quick, sometimes i am not.
of coarse when i am invited out, in all my excitement and anxious nerves, i forget how to behave. my appetite flees, i run at the mouth with nothing to say, or i am so worried that i will say or do the something "wrong," that i do nothing at all, say nothing at all, and leave. what has happened to me? i am child of the King! created in His image, injected with the personality He desired for me, and still, i flounder.
today i received a call. tired and unable to communicate at any proper level i listened to someone tell me what a disappointment i was as a friend. that i didn't reciprocate our friendship in the manner that was expected. i think i might have even laughed a little, between sobs, and i know i said, "well i guess i just don't understand how the world works."
it is a fear of mine that i am now fully quite excited to embrace. here it is: the fear that staying home with my children, no car during the day, only traveling to church and the grocery store and the occasional farmers market and local hard wear store, that i won't remember the ways of the world. that i will loose whatever culture i ever had (being raised in a quite plain community, really?).
after this phone call i felt horrible. my guts would have felt better had i been able to loose them and my head would have stopped pounding, maybe, had it been severed. i prayed. i sang, "what a friend we have in Jesus." i prayed. i got angry and i prayed some more. i even made a quick phone call somewhere in the midst of all that, and was told i was "sweet." i almost corrected this person, "no, in fact i am quite terrible friend." i don't remember what i said to that "sweet" comment but i am sure i made it awkward.
in a fit of clenched teeth prayer, tears rolling down hot cheeks, here is what i was reminded , "i am a child of the King. given this personality, heart, soul, by He who formed the earth God Himself. He loves me. He loves me the way i am. i am the way He designed me, He even understands my flesh better then i, or an enemy who seeks to destroy. where my heart has scars are now fresh bruises, but in there, on top of the mess, is room for grace. not only grace for me from Him, but grace for the first caller of the day. for the one who slung words of a friendship that did not return what was given. no way, were those words spoken out of a desire for blood. they came from another place. a place that too had been used to be treated badly, rotten and ugly. the accusations came from a heart also unsure how to behave in this world. because really, we who are Loved and Blessed are not of this world (romans 2:12) and this is not our home. and in this world with it's many wounds are just tons and tons of others who are fumbling through, trying to find their way, trying figure it all out. and perhaps we never will. perhaps that is all okay?
perhaps, just perhaps, if we all treded a little lighter, slowed down the pace, just a little more, took the time to look and see and reflect, we would see that we are all in this together, bruised and scarred. that everyone really needs a good friend. that being an acquaintance of many, and having not just one friend, tried and true, is better by far because how much more easier, sweeter is the song then sung?
what a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
o what peace we often forfeit, o what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer!
have we trials and temptations? is there trouble anywhere? we should never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer. can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness, take it to the Lord in prayer.
are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care? Precious Saviour, still our refuge - take it to the Lord in prayer. do thy friends despise forsake thee? take it to the Lord in prayer; in His arms He'll take and shield thee, thou wilt find a solace there.