Ever have one of those? You know the kind, where either you or the other person is always the one that does the calling, texting, e-mailing, connecting? It can be in a friendship that is new or one that has spanned the years. If you haven’t, trust me, they are not fun. They are draining. They end up making the person who is doing all the “work” feel desperate, feel devalued, and wondering, “am I not enough”, and ultimately feeling rejected. I’ve been on both sides, I know.
We, the people, make so many commitments in our lives and yet don’t keep them. So often our children follow in suit. Take our teenagers, for example. Some of them have so many friends that every other week they have a new “Best Friends Forever” (BFF). No one friend “rises” to the top and stays there. That’s not all bad, in my opinion, since there are different seasons for different kinds of friendships, but I think it eventually shows a lack of intimacy with any one friend.
For me this lesson of one-sided friendships became a reality when I moved from my hometown in Canada to the United State after I got married. I had many friends but the there were two women that I chose to stick with. Mostly because of our history and the commitment they made to “not forget me”. I know, cheesy right? However, I think many of you are starting to relate to my story already.
Well, unfortunately the commitments weren’t as strong as I had hoped. However, because I valued each one differently and loved them both deeply, I made sure I did my part to stay connected, including taking the time to ask and answer the tough questions. Now it is almost 30 years later, and both of those women have continued to be in my corner and have my back. They have walked with me in prayer and often when I have gone back for visits, we have picked up as though I had never moved away. We have agreed that even though each of us is wired differently, our commitment to the friendship is strong.
Last year, two close friends in my current hometown moved away. This time I was the friend who stayed. Those feelings from decades ago resurfaced. However, this time I was able to reflect on the growth that had taken place in my heart since then. The development of technology has definitely helped foster the growing intimacy in our friendships. I value and love these two women deeply. They are prayer warriors who seek and love the Lord with all their hearts. They value many of same things I do, know how to have fun, are truth-tellers and most importantly love me for me. I’m sure our friendship will look different from time to time, but I can confidently say we will have a friendship that will last a lifetime.
Bottom line…..I made a commitment to “not forget them”.
There is another relationship that often feels like a one-sided friendship to some. A relationship with Jesus. Perhaps you call on Him through prayer or dig through the scriptures and all you get is silence. You get others to pray you through stuff and still “feel” nothing. You find yourself in the middle of a storm and you “feel” completely alone. Maybe you resort to technology and social media out of desperation to soothe your loneliness. Perhaps you indulge in alcohol, food, or other forms of temporary comfort. Or maybe you are being pursued by God in so many areas of your life but you are so buried under the rubble of excuses that you don’t respond.
Unlike our women friendships, God is a God who is a keeper of promises ALWAYS!! He keeps His commitments, no matter what. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “He will never leave you or forsake you”. (other versus Joshua 1:5; Psalm 27:10; Psalm 94:14; Hebrews 13:5)
It is ok to have those above feelings, but the truth of the matter is, He is with you. You are not alone. Proverbs 17:17 says, “there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother”.
I believe, the question shouldn’t be, “are you there, God?”, it should be “what is in my life that is blocking me from seeing and hearing you, Lord?”. I know, tough question. But it’s the tough questions that grow our intimacy with Jesus. Just like in our friendships we could ask, “am I too busy for intimacy in my friendships?”.
You are not alone in this challenge either. Just this past week I was once again going through a storm that caught me by surprise. After a few days had passed, I started to “feel” lonely. I felt alone. I felt frustrated because I was confined to my bed for longer than I would have liked. I used social media and technology to soothe my lonliness. I got a little upset when my husband didn’t pull away from his activities to give me attention. The pain medication was messing with my senses and I felt out of control much of the time.
Then a dear friend called and told me she was committing a whole day to pray for me. I was humbled and thankful. She reminded me that perhaps God had a specific reason for this storm in my life. I won’t lie, I was feeling inconvenienced. I was feeling like a burden to my family. I felt like nobody “really” understood.
Until she called and reminded me that God understood because of the suffering He went through on the Cross on our behalf.
Maybe you are the friend that has become distant. Maybe you need a little reminder disguised as encouragement that “there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother / sister” (Prov.17:17). Maybe a name or two have come to mind and you need to contact them and share the love.
My prayer for you is that God would show up in a mighty way and comfort your heart as the True Friend He really is. If you don’t know Him in that way, seek out a trusted friend who knows that kind of intimacy. Perhaps check out a local church while you are at it.
It’s time to stop being casual in the friendships and relationships that really matter.
God will see you through it!!
How about you?
What are some tough questions you need to address in your life to improve intimacy in your relationships, with others and / or with God?
How has reading this blog post been an encouragement to you? If you don’t want to respond to this blog because of it’s public nature, feel free to contact me on Facebook. You can private message (PM) me at Kinita Kadnar Schripsema.
Thank you for joining me on this journey.