I have mentioned in the past that I sometimes have friend disorders. God has brought a lot of healing to that area of my life, and this post is about friends, but not in the I-don’t-know-why-I-don’t-have-friends kinda way (just an fyi for any in real life friends who do happen to read).
Friendships have been one of my greatest weaknesses because I wanted to find friends who were just like me, which may be really lame and boring, but I didn’t know it until God pulled the plug on my friendship idol addiction.
When I thought God was taking something precious and valuable away from me, He was giving me something even more precious and valuable at the same time.
I wanted to be friends with people who were just like me because I still needed a security blanket. Many people would no longer characterize me as shy and awkward in quite the same way as I once was, but it was a real problem. I forced myself into social situations often in spite of the fact that I did not want to participate.
Certain aspects of my childhood environment made it hard for me to handle volatile people. Instead, I wanted to run, to hide, to please in order that no explosions would occur. And so when it came to friendships, if a person leaned toward anger, I hid. If they were outside my comfort zone of personality, I rarely sought them out as a friend. However, through the myriad of friendship changes over the years, God was doing something for my good.
Being introverted, my bent is to develop friendships that go deep but not necessarily wide, and at times, it was a crutch for me. I found it a necessity that I should have one deep friendship. Now thanks be to God, I have a number of friendships, and of those friendships, there are many that I do not understand in the way that I would like to understand. Friendship, like love or marriage, takes an effort. The ones who are the most different than me actually refine and mold me more than those who are built similar to me.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Often I don’t seek those women out because I am most aware of my insecurities around them. I am glad to have women in my life who are not like me, who I struggle to understand, whose personalities are not intuitive to me, because I see the body of Christ in action through them. And I desperately need those beautiful women who are nothing like me. Cause I am definitely not the end all be all. Sometimes, creating a boundary with a woman because she opens up my insecurity is down right selfish – just me wanting to hold onto my own ideologies.
I was reading this post about special needs: Indispensable, and it really spoke to me about needing the different members of the body.
What you need to know about that post is this: God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor. (1 Corinthians 12:18-23)
I don’t know where you are in the friendship journey, but if you seek wide, try going deep, and if you go deep, try thinking wide. Strike up a conversation with someone you wouldn’t normally talk to, and when you think, I don’t have a thing in common with this person, lean in close and learn… and let God use her to show you insecurities He wants to heal and have you let go of, because friend, every one of us, especially the ones we think weaker are indispensable to us. When we think we are the weaker one, sometimes we find out we are both the weak one, or that we need the know how of the stronger.
What kind of friendships do you have?
Do you actively seek friendships with women different than you?