Friendships

Hello! I hope you had a wonderful and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. It was pretty busy on our end with a wedding, pool rainy party, and sweet fellowship with friends who squeezed into our little two bedroom apartment. I loved every minute of it and have been reflecting on some of the conversations we had this weekend. Every time I am around Jordan’s friends who so lovingly took me into their longstanding friend group, I feel so thankful. I also frequently find myself reminding him how rare those friendships are and my hope that they hold onto that for years to come.

At first, I really envied the friendships that he had and wished I had that level of intimacy with my friends. I so badly wanted friends with whom I could share my total heart with, give and receive total authenticity with, and know that without a shadow of a doubt, they always had my best interest at hand. I would find myself frustrated that his friends showed me more grace and love than my own friends. But over the last year or so, I have realized that my definition of a friendship has evolved from being a person whom I enjoy spending time with, to a true sister or brother in Christ who will love me unconditionally {without judgment}, give me 100% honesty and transparency, challenge me, hold me accountable, and pray for specific struggles.

For the first 22 years of my life, friendships happened pretty quickly and organically.  I attribute that to always being on some sort of team during every season of each year. Being on a team means you are automatically blessed with 15-20 individuals who you will share similar goals with. You will see each other daily, celebrate the wins together, learn from the losses, and truly see each other in the good and bad. You trust these people because they have your back. Sure, there is some healthy competition for playing time and the occasional frustrations; but in the end, there is a deep care and love for those people. I am forever thankful for those memories, friendships, and the amount of growth I experienced while on a team.

So then the day arrived when I was no longer on a team. Which meant that I was no longer given friends automatically. Insert > panic mode. You mean to tell me that I have to now go find my own friends?  How does one do that when the college days end, playing days are over, family is further away, oh and you move to a city in which you have to really make plans to see people, like an appointment or something. Not to mention, my personality isn’t exactly the type that confidently walks into a room and instantly makes friends. That would be my husband.

What I have learned is that unless you are willing to put yourself out there, share your struggles, ask people how you can pray for them and be willing to hear the truth, it is easy to fall into isolation. I have also learned that without common values, goals for what a friendship looks like, and the willingness to be vulnerable, shallow relationships occur. Sure, it is important that I have fun with my friends and look forward to hanging out with them. But, the times I walk away feeling most loved and filled up, is when we share what is really going on in our lives. No sugar coating, no fluff. Just raw honestly which fosters space for such trust and authenticity. It is scary but so beautiful.

Making friends in Dallas has taken several months and is a process that will continue to occur as time passes by. I am so grateful for the example that Jordan and his friends have set for me, for the standard to which I now view what true friendship looks like, and for the new friends that have so lovingly accepted me for me. I used to think that the scripture about the importance of being equally yoked only applied to dating or marriage relationships, but I have learned that it extends much further beyond that. It means being in relationships or community with others who are believers of Christ desiring to do life together. My hope and prayer for you is that you examine those people who you surround yourself with and really evaluate the friendship. Good times are important, but unconditional love, support, and grace is so much better.

Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Be patient in the process, because good friends are hard to come by, but worth every bit of the wait. Through these friendships I have learned how to open up, realized that true friends do not judge, and really have seen the fruit of transparency in all aspects of my life. I have also learned how to become a better friend. I will always be thankful for the friendships I have had, memories formed, and will continually pray for the lives of those people. As with every post I write, I hope that my learning experiences may shed some light onto your life and help you also learn through relationships.

Let go of the toxic relationships & hold onto those surrounded by unconditional love & grace
Let go of the toxic relationships & hold onto those surrounded by unconditional love & grace

Sending love your way. I will try to write again before we head to Europe on Monday!!

Abby Dawn

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Friendships

  1. Thanks for reading Jaz! I am thankful you were able to get a few things out of it! Miss you lots. Love ya!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s