Through my current Bible Study of Beth Moore's "Mercy Triumphs" we were recently asked (in the workbook, not in person - I don't feel like this is going to be next week's small group discussion question) what one thing was we've been desperately wanting and know is possible because we see others who have it. She was drumming up fodder for a discussion on jealousy, if you couldn't tell.
At first I didn't know what to say.
Physically I have all I need. There are silly things here and there I think would be nice to have - a guest room, a front porch, extra hours in the day. But no glaring lack came to mind. No bitter jealousy over that job, that family or that perfect kitchen. I am, overall, satisfied with the blessings we have been given, knowing we have more than enough.
But then one word in the following paragraph brought all my desires flooding in: "relationship."
That was it for me. Friendship.
Don't get me wrong. I have friends. I have beautiful, wonderful friends. I have friends with whom I can talk for hours if you get us all in the room together, I have friends with whom I can chat on the phone occasionally (I'm not much of a phone girl unless it's my only option), I have friends I see at church, I have friends on Facebook and I even have friends living within 50 yards of myself.
But I hold myself back.
I'm afraid of getting too attached because it seems every time I allow people in, life happens, separation occurs and I have to start all over again. And I get weary.
What I really wanted - what I tried to communicate in that small space on the blank page - was a friend I knew I could call at any hour of the night (should the need arise), a friend who just knows when I'm having a bad day and will bring me a frappuccino to soothe my soul, the kind I don't feel bad about asking to watch my kids so I can go to the dentist or who I can call because there's a chick flick playing at the dollar theater (that now charges $2, but will always be the dollar theater in my mind).
That's what I want.
God spoke to me two things:
1) What I was looking for in one human being was everything He wants to be for me. He is my confidante, the one Who lifts my soul and knows me better than I will ever know myself. He is there, day or night, and will never scoff when I call on Him. He wants to know me, He wants to me to trust Him with my kids, and He wants to spend time with me. No, it's not the same, exactly, but He's not going to put someone in my life that I would potentially use as His replacement. He should always be my first source of comfort and strength.
2) What I was looking for in one human being God has already given me in so many different, magnificent people. Sometimes I get picky. Sometimes I get jealous. I want the cliched "best friend" - you know, the one who would wear the other half of my broken-heart necklace if we were still in middle school. But God is continually, even just in these past weeks, opening new doors of friendship for me. Deepening relationships that already exist and carrying new opportunities to my doorstep.
How could I possibly long for more?
So, instead of longing for that one perfect friendship, I'm taking a different route. I'm making the deliberate effort to be the kind of friend I had so desperately (and so long) longed for.
Crazy how pouring myself out brings in so much more richness of fellowship than I ever found when I was looking to be poured into.
I love how He does that.
957. Lunch with friends
958. Strawberry milkshakes (for the kids)
959. Chatting, just chatting
960. Being open
961. Hugs and kisses