Friends. Hmm. For the longest time the word friend scared me. I didn't want to meet new friends. I didn't want to reach my neck out and be vulnerable. I didn't want to open up and be judged. Most of this comes from my own insecurities and past experiences. I feel like I got burned in high school. During my junior and senior years of high school, our class lost a lot of classmates and friends to suicide, drug overdose, car wrecks, etc. After a few, I just refused to let anyone else in because of the fear of losing them. It was scary...terrifying, in fact. I was hurt and my heart was hardened. I was done letting people in. I was just done. The other problem I had was this- I didn't know how to be Christ like and still be friends with "sinners." I refused to drink, cuss, have sex, etc and the only way I knew how to do that was to be totally disconnected from those who had a different lifestyle than I did. In hindsight, this was absolutely, one hundred and a million percent, the wrong way to approach people! I didn't have the compassionate, loving, people oriented spirit that a Christ follower should have. I was a judgmental snob! I totally ruined my witness! I didn't get it. I didn't understand how Jesus was able to be the friend of sinners. I didn't know how to love the sinner and not the sin. I didn't just didn't know how! AND HELLO, I AM A SINNER! I just had different sins and didn't take that into account. Dumb. Now. I look back and think this: doctors don't cure the well, they cure the sick. I was a horrible doctor.
Then, fast forward to college, emotional baggage in hand. I'm in a new place with tons of new people...new, pretty, skinny, cute girls with big boobs and even bigger diamonds. None of which I viewed as potential friends, but rather as people who were judging me. Obviously they weren't. And really, how self centered of me to think that everyone was walking around thinking about me. What a loser! So, instead of making tons of new friends like I should have, I kept my guard up and my insecurities high. I did meet my best friend in college, and a few others, but my life could have been so much richer, had I opened up my heart.
Fast forward again to present day. I have decided to open up. It was/is hard. It was/is scary. It makes me mega nervous. Like, heart racing- short of breath if I think about it too much kind of nervous. But, you know what? It's exhilarating! My life is already so much richer! I have sought after the similarities I have with others, instead of letting our differences dominate my opinions. And, I have learned that the differences are beautiful! If I can get over myself and give others a chance, I find these amazing, truly amazing, jewels of women! I mean, wow! How I have missed out in the past and how much more I am going to get out of the future! I am learning the meaning of fellowship. I am learning to love. I am learning to be ok with the vulnerability of being open. And guess what? They aren't judging me after all! It's incredible! This is the start of a good and very sweet new chapter.
Thank you, Lord, for softening my heart. Thank you for helping me open up to others again. Thank you for showing me how to love. Thank you for helping conquer my fears and make new friends. I know that this is what you have planned for us as believers and for that, I thank you. Thank you also for these new amazing friends that you have placed in my path and for the richness they will add to my life and hopefully I will add to theirs. Thank you.
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