Friday, November 15, 2013

The Risk of Friendship

I won't comment on how long I've been gone.

I won't promise to be here regularly.

I won't be finishing the book study...too restricting and discouraging when I get behind.

I write because I love to write when I have the time.  When I have a deadline or a self-inflicted requirement, it is no longer enjoyable.

I also write when there is something on my heart...whether funny, nostalgic, contemplative, or sad.
Such as today.

I have recently been contemplating friendship.  Throughout my forty years, I have been incredibly blessed by many friendships.  I have been helped.  I have been made better.  I have experienced incredible joys and happiness.  I have laughed.

I have also experienced incredible heartache.  I have shed tears.  My heart has been broken.  I have helped when I was needed, then walked away from when I was no longer considered useful.

I have become fearful of getting close to friends.  While my joys far outweigh the hurts, the hurts have left scars.  Scars that I am afraid will be reopened and never again heal.

Throughout my life and the loss of friends, I have remembered that there is a Friend who will never leave me nor will He forsake me.  He never disappoints me.  He never hurts me.  However, I realized this week that I have often forsaken Him.  I have disappointed Him more times than I can count.  I have undoubtedly hurt Him deeper than any friend has ever hurt me.

When we offer someone our friendship, we offer a part of our hearts and a part of our lives.  Christ laid down His entire life for me.  When someone walks away with that piece of my heart that I gave to them, it is painful.  How much more when I walk away from the One Who hung on a cross and gave His holy life for unworthy unworthy unworthy friend?

I ask myself if it is worth offering my heart in friendship when I know the risk of being hurt is very real.  When I think of what Christ gave and how His selfless love changed my life, I have to think that that is what He would have me do.

Love selflessly.

Love even while knowing it will bring pain.

Love.  It will change someone's life; even if they walk away.

When they do, I will run to my very best Friend Who loves me endlessly.  I will ask Him to comfort me and to keep me from being bitter.  I will ask Him for the grace and strength to love & give my heart yet again.  I will ask Him to forgive me for hurting Him deeper and more often.  I will thank Him, yet again, for His unconditional love.  And I will try to learn and practice that love throughout my life.


Jamie Parfitt said...

I hope this doesn't "explain me," but here are my two cents:

You can be friends without giving your heart away. Just give your heart to your husband, your children, and your family. Love people yes, but don't give them possession of your heart. Care about them, advise them, help them, listen to them, but let them keep their hearts and you keep yours in the family that has a special right to it. I hope that helps. I know about the hurts. But now I don't get hurt that easily because I only give my heart to God, who DOES disappoint me, but only because I have the wrong expectations. I guess we often have expectations of others that we just shouldn't allow ourselves to have. We have to be careful not to live storybook lives. Do you know what I mean? Life isn't a storybook. It's dirty, it's tiring, it's demanding, it's unreasonable, and yet we can function because we are allowing God to orchestrate it all. He is EVEN allowing those friends to leave our lives and forsake our advice. So be it. Move on to His next task and pray for the ones who have left. I was hurting the other day about something fairly different from this, but the Lord gave me three words to sing over and over in a varied tune: Love, Joy, Peace. Those words blocked out the hurt feelings. I realized He was telling me to love that person, have joy about the situation I didn't like, and have peace for the rest of the day. What freedom! God was my hero! (I mean, He still is, but he rescued me from Satan's temptation to let my disappointment ruin my day.)

I'm praying for you!

P.S. I LOVED watching two things at the mall Thursday night: Your cute little smile as you led the children in Simon Says and Eric's grin as he loved you being cute.

Jamie Parfitt said...

I forgot to capitalize He in my parenthetical statement. :-(

Did I really say I don't get hurt easily? I think I meant I don't get hurt AS easily. Ask me again next week! :-)