Wednesday, February 6, 2013

When friendship hurts.

Oh hey. Sorry it has been a while.

Sometimes nap time make me clean, but this month being the month of love (As some of you may know it as Valentines day) I am trying this new thing where I do what I love during my "free time".  So here is my first step. A new blog. I hope you glean.

My kid is now 14 months. He started walking 3 months ago. In this 3 months there have been a lot of bruises, bumps, a little blood, some cuts, some scratches but in those same 3 months there has been a tradition created. Let me play it out for you...

Thad falls.

We stare at each other for 5 seconds to see how bad it was. (I am trying to be the mom that doesn't freak out every time he falls.) If he gets up we are good. However if that little bottom lip starts to quiver then I know it is my duty to scoop him up, hold him close, and then we pray together. Nothing crazy but something like this:

"Dear Jesus, Thad is hurting, calm his heart and help him to feel better because we know You care and You can."

Usually he will just want to be held for a while before he realizes that there is more adventure to behold. After all, he is a boy.

I love these moments. I hate when he hurts, but I love that I am the one (and daddy too) that he runs to, looks for, needs. It's why I was made.

Let's connect these dots shall we?

I can give you an automatic answer if you ask me where I have felt most of my pain. It's not in marriage, it's not in failure, or in family, or in loss, or in sickness, or even childbirth. The most excruciating pain that I have ever felt have been in:

FRIENDSHIPS.

How? I don't know. I feel like I am in the constant state of learning how to be a friend to someone AND letting them be mine.

I have a few theories as to why:

 I have only really had a mom. My dad, I love him, but he wasn't around. So for me getting to know my husband, getting to be his wife, and learning what that meant, yes has been a difficult ride at times, but Josh is the only Godly man I have ever known. He's the only man I've ever lived with. So I have nothing to compare this too. But my mom, well for 22 odd years was my everything. My best friend, my caregiver, my provider, I relied on my mom for everything. So I think in friendships I have this tendency to have this incredibly high standard of what a friendship should look like. So when it doesn't look the way I am disappointed. And disappointment never grows fruit.

2nd theory:

I am scared. Because I am messy. I am not talking about how my house, because that is honest to blog one of the few things I rock at...I am good at looking clean. Which can be to a fault. But inside I am insecure, I have doubts, I have anxieties, sometimes I am incredibly emotional and easily overwhelmed. And I can literally count on 2 hands the friendships that I have lost because things got messy, I held out my mess and it was a little too much for them to handle or even the other way around. And I can probably count on 2 hands the friendships that I have had that up until last year I have kept from a distance in order to keep it shallow, surface, and safe.

I've been hurt guys, and that hurt has made me afraid. Afraid to trust, go deep, and afraid to love and be loved.

Now here is the redeeming part of my story. March 2011. Josh and I were about to have a baby. And that day.....you know the stick peeing day....as I was driving over to Josh's work to tell him...God whispered something into my heart. He said "You are going to carry a child.'' And I was like "Yeah I know." And He said "But that is all I want you to carry now."

Oh crap.

You know what that means? That means I can't carry around the hurt, the BITTERNESS, the guilt, the shame, the trust issues, the hesitancy. Because there was a child growing inside of me and I needed to make room for him. I needed to drop some of my other stuff crowding my spirit, my heart, my body, I needed to drop that stuff off at the cross.

I was carrying life, so I needed to let go of the things that cause death.

And I'd like to say it was like a 24 hour process. It wasn't. It took a while, and I still have a little bit that I am trying to let go of. But since that day, I have never felt more free, more loved, more in love. I stopped making excuses for myself, I started forgiving people, letting them off the hook. Because here is the truth guys, people WILL fail you. And sometimes people CANNOT handle your mess, not everyone is strong enough, but it's OK, let them grow in their own way and in their own time.

Give grace graciously.

Don't lower your expectations to meet your experiences.

I am SO SO SO tired of people crutching on "trust issues". Dude, we ALL have them. But don't allow them to choke out your joy in relationships with people. Because you know what I have learned? That some people ARE strong enough for your mess, some people CAN handle it. And you won't find those people if you are just keeping everyone at an arms length.

Pray for discernment on what you share and with whom. You don't need to testimony mic drop your life with everyone. God has given me some really sweet friends lately that I let in, and have let me in. It's a give and take. And like I said it is liberating to have such safe friendships.

Friendship is the fruit of life man. It gives coffee shops purpose. It's good to have someone who will let you vent, know when your wrong, but listen anyways. It's good for me to have people to text during the day. To have people in my life who get my awesome hilarious sense of humour. It's good for me to listen, to know, to serve other people. It's good for me to have people in my life who pray for me, and who I can pray for. I mean this year has been a beautiful year for me in friendships and I'm like "Why the hell did I wait so long for this?" I know I had to grow and learn, but now I am also being sharpened, and I can't sharpen myself. Friendship is live giving, that is why God created it and gave it to us. And I don't want you to miss out on it anymore...if you are...I don't want you to. Heck, I'll be your friend!

And I know you have been hurt, but God is so near to those with a broken heart. Believe Him. He is afterall the BEST friend we have. So trust Him. And know He'll always scoop you up, hold you close and you can say with assurance:

God I am hurting.
Calm my heart.
Help me to feel better because I know You care and I know You can.

Until next time,

-Erika

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