Friday, February 24, 2012

Friends. A Long Awaited Post.

Friendships.  Super easy, right?  Always fun to hang out, you love the same things, laughing out loud, inside jokes, sharing your heart, a tear or two....

What about AFTER all of that?!  What happens when you realize you really aren't alike in EVERY way, or you feel like your way of communicating is extremely different than theirs.  Maybe you've realized they aren't perfect (oh, no!) and they realized you're not either (who, me?!)  Jealousy, insecurities, offense and lack of communication, oh my!

Over the past 6 years I've learned that just because I once had a fantastic, want-to-always-hang-out, great conversations-ALL-the-time friendship, this does NOT mean that it will always be so easy or fun or even continue on.  Man, was that a hard lesson to learn...and it took a few friends to realize this.

Once the honeymoon phase of a friendship is over, you have a choice.  You can drop it likes it's hot and move on to the next honeymoon (YOU LITTLE HUSSY!) or you can stand up to the challenge and fight for your friendship to take on the next level.

Now, I'm not here trying to say we should all be friends with each other.  I believe you can love people without having to be their BFF.  But if you once had something great, why let that go?  Be honest with yourself and ask, is it really worth it to ignore or just forget a really love(er)ly thing because it's getting difficult?! 

Ha!  If we treated all relationships like this, marriages would be a joke!  We'd all be getting married, then divorced and married and divorced and..oh, wait. Insert statistics here.

I know I'm not alone because I've had this conversation with other people and there are girls who.are.hurting. or have.been.hurt.  Actually, I've been writing this blog post for over a month and God keeps on challenging me through this with my own relationships.  I couldn't write this without challenging myself as well...

Anywho, here's some responses from other girls who I have talked with

Andy (who is not a girl, but I thought I'd share his response):  "Girls are just weird.  Guys do not deal with that kind of thing."  <---true dat.

Friend #1: "It's like after a year, the friendships die out." WORD.

Friend #2: "That's when the honeymoon phase is over and it starts to take a lot more work.  It takes both parties to initiate hanging out or you'll move on to new friends and the cycle repeats."  Yee-ep!

Wow.  God had my attention and I needed to think about all of my friendships and why some are still going strong and why others were not so much.

THEN the next day, I came across this how-to on Pinterest and then started poking around her blog and found this on friendship...ah-mazing.  Please read.  It's not directly related to this, but as you can see, she challenges herself and is blessed by doing so!

How do we fix this?!  There are far too many fantastic friendships out there with special woman who have a lot to offer (and so do you!) but because something rocked your "friendship boat", you let it fall to the wayside.  You give up and try and fill that void with another friend.

But, is that okay?  Is it best to just say, "Well, that's just how it is.  People change.  I'm fine.  I've got other people who are more invested so I'm not going to waste my time and heart on her."

I don't think so.  I believe that friendships are worth fighting for.  I believe that when that bump comes along, you confront it and communicate what you are feeling...TRULY feeling (anger, sadness, jealousy, offense) and talk or cry it out.  Your true feelings will come out eventually, so why not do it in a humble but honest way?

We are so afraid to tell friends our insecurities that come out when we've been hurt or offended.  People, we are HUMAN!  We fail to communicate perfectly, we hurt and get hurt, we offend and get offended.  Take that in, breathe that in because when you do, you'll accept it for yourself and you'll accept it for your friends.  With that, you'll see the beauty of what will come out of it.

There comes a time when you've done your part and they refuse to fight for your friendship with you and you have to accept that there's no more to do.  (begging is kinda awkward) ;)  But let it go in love and prayer and hope!  Pray for your enemies, God says.  I believe He says that in a way to challenge the one hurt to come to a place of love for their enemy. 

I'm telling you, my closest friends are the ones who I can be honest with...they are the ones I can go to when I'm happy, sad and angry.  But, I can have a good time with them, too!  Ya see, "having fun" is no longer the only thing we have, anymore.  There's a real depth.  A beautiful,  honest, accept-me-for-my-imperfect-self and I'll do the same, depth.

Who can you go to and share your heart with and in return possibly mend a beautiful friendship?  I challenge you to pray tonight and ask God to search your heart for either a friend who you let fall to the wayside because you didn't fight for it, or a friend who has hurt you and you're keeping the peace and not pushing through for true intimacy in a friendship.

Recap :
If you've been hurt, go to your friend in love.  Pray for them and see how God works!

If you find yourself escaping a relationship because it's starting to become complicated or hard, please push through.  If you always escape, you'll try and heal any hurt or cure any frustrations by going on to the next friendship only to ever know the honeymoon phase.  You're missing out!  Pushing through and striving for a mended, beautiful and redeemed friendship is the best kind! 

*Acceptance is the universal currency of real friendship...It does not warp or shape or wrench a person to be anything other than what they are.
~Joan Chittister

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