A few weeks ago insecurity hit me like a boulder, out of nowhere. It passed. But the more attention I got, the more I questioned it deep down, or I felt this tension to be up to par with people’s expectations of me. It’s not really pleasant, being popular. Somehow you feel like you owe something to the people who expressed their appreciation for you. And the focus outward is draining and damaging. But we don’t owe anything to anyone. Standing tall in your values and beliefs, remembering who you are and who God is… that is the key to balance.
The friendships I developed in the last half a decade, with people who share my core beliefs and have a heart for adoption, I find their company refreshing, light, encouraging. In silence or activism, serving others or chatting together about mundane stuff, getting tips and advice about practical life decisions – they are always life infusing and easygoing.
The other night I had yet another reason to feel encouraged by them. We share the same burdening feeling, or the guilt that we have left many friendships behind. Friendships we’ve given our all, openly, wholeheartedly, in a season. Was it good to do so? Was it real? It was!
On our life journey we change, we grow, we move on. And I was reminded by something very timely that an author, Rachel Jankovic shared a few years ago, about the fact the the godly friendships are not clingy.
If we hold on to old friendships out of guilt, our hands are not free to embrace the people God bring in our lives to serve and to be blessed by.
❄️We all know that there are friendships that last a lifetime, but we often overlook this reality.
❄️It is possible for godly friendships to come and go without anything being wrong or anyone sinning against anyone.
❄️I have many dear friends who were more heavily featured in chapters of my life where we were walking alongside each other. That is not a failed friendship, it was a gift. Friendship is not a possession that we can cling to.
❄️ If we demanded that our friends stay as close when we are much further apart- we would not be being more faithful friends, we would be being less faithful pilgrims. It would ironically make us worse friends.
❄️God brings us into the lives of others for a purpose! And He brings them into our lives for a purpose! But because friendship is not a destination, we don’t camp out in that relationship forever and refuse to move on.
❄️We should want to be *of use* in the lives of one another. We should be glad to be a friend to someone who needs our particular gifts for a certain time. And if that time ends- that is ok! God has used us in the life of a friend.
❄️If we trust God and what He is doing, we are free to be open-handed friends. We are free to thoroughly enjoy those He brings into our lives, to miss them when they are called away from us, and to still not be clingy. Friends are not our hope.
❄️Friendship is not the goal, it is a gift. It is a gift to us from our God, not just a gift from human to human. If He has brought someone into our lives and blessed us through them, can He not bring them into someone else’s life next?
❄️We are finite. We cannot hang onto everyone we love. Trying to gather up a squad of people who you insist must stay with you on that journey to heaven is to make a mission out of what is meant to be incidental. And it makes companionship with you a suffocating burden. We are not called to cling.
❄️Whether you have companions or not, the journey is the same- pursue Christ. Open up your hands. Stay the course. Walk in faith. Obey today. Obey tomorrow. Love God.