Friday, April 4, 2014

Friendship

Proverbs 27: 19  As water reflects the face, so one's life reflects the heart. 
I have a tendency to take friendship very seriously.  I know why I do.  It's because I have screwed up so many good friendships.  I screw up even now.  I wish to be perfect, but it just isn't going to happen. My childhood friendships were great and exactly what they should have been.  I don't think I started screwing up until high school.  You may or may not know that I rather disliked my husband in High School.  It's soooo true.  But I didn't mess that one up (just like now, it's never me::))
Proverbs 27:6  Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
To be honest I started to be selfish in HS.  I thought I wanted to be 'popular' but now I know differently.  I've learned that even as a teen, I liked a lot of different people-according to HS classifications!  I had some hilarious relationships with some popular people, some awesome friendships with some banders (of which I got to be a part of for one year), and the jokes between the burnouts and me were so funny.  I wasn't stupid, I made sure I had my back covered by strong fighters just in case someone wanted to fight me.  That didn't happen.  It did to my sister, but that's for another day…..

I have figured out why I can't stand the word 'clique'.  I hate it because it basically puts people in a box and if you're in a box, you can't grow and mature.  I was the girl who made sure that when the mentally disabled boy in our neighborhood wanted to play with us he was welcomed.  I was the girl who went on a date with a guy whose speech no one could understand.  He was wheelchair bound and I believe he had MS. I could understand most of what he said because my dear uncle Darwin had MS and we all learned to understand and 'speak' that language.  I had a heart for him because I could see all the looks on others faces when he'd try to ask a question in class.  I helped translate.  I've just have never been afraid to approach someone just because they are different.  I'm not afraid to say that I didn't quite understand what they just said could they repeat it…. I'm not really afraid to say a whole lot.

So I guess I hate the word 'clique' because I never got to be a part of one.  That's what I mean by selfish.  One friend, who lived so close to me, we just drifted apart.  No issue, we just went different ways. Other friends were the lets get the party going friends.  I really needed them because I was stuck in a really unhappy relationship and at that time in my life wasn't strong enough to stick up for myself.  When I saw a blue VW Rabbit a few weeks ago I laughed out loud.  That was my car-a car used for sneaking into drive in movies, cruising around downtown and throwing cinnamon gummy bears at Harley Dudes, and racing around in general.  I'm glad cars can't talk.

So on to college and a couple of really great roommates.  I had too many friends that I talked to.  Too many that I shared my heart.  And at least once I hurt a friend deeply.  The one I'll focus on is the one that still haunts me.  While there is a reason for what I did, it is irrelevant.  I told someone else something I wasn't supposed to tell, and it ruined her reputation, our friendship, and my friendship with our mutual roommate.  I've still to this day never felt so badly about causing so much pain to someone I loved.
Proverbs 17:9  Whoever would foster love covers over an offense, but whoever    repeats the matter separates close friends.
Which brings me to being an adult.  I have been blessed with friends. I have many friends from many different areas of life, many different kinds of people because I love different kinds of people.  I'm not sure what normal is, but I can assure you I haven't a normal friend in the bunch!  I've learned, thru some very hurtful circumstances to be very particular about who I let IN.  And while I understand that I share a lot of who I am on these pages, these pages do not have a personality.  They aren't me.  But you do know quite a bit about me.  I have 3 friends I trust with my heart.  I truly believe that no one should have too many people who know their hearts desires.  People are just not trustworthy.  I have these 3 friends because of God.  I know that God brought them into my life, to be, or do for me when I can't.  I know God brought Bethany and I together because we didn't like each other at first!! In fact, our mutual friend made us go out one night together to 'The Flats' in Cleveland.  It's impossible to not have fun in The Flats.  We dressed 'to the 9's' for that night and we learned that we really had a lot in common and a TON not in common.  It's been 25 years, and 22 of them have been long distance.  We are able to not talk for weeks and know that nothing has changed between us.  It's awesome.  God brought Shelly into my life when I was teaching Kindergarten.  I know that was from God because she totally intimidated me because she was such an awesome teacher.  I wanted to be like her.  It took us a bit to get close, but when we were pregnant together with Austin and Micayla, there was no breaking us apart.  We fought over the bathroom almost daily, I watched her drink her Vernors every day and be sick everyday.  We ran after 'runaways' often (please take a moment and picture that-we weren't small pregnant women!)  It's been 20 years.  And Teri- totally a God thing, via Facebook!  I messaged her that I thought we should meet because she knew a few of my friends, one from church and others from Romeo.  So I just had to meet her.  I stalked her comments to learn more about her.  She actually said yes to meeting and here we are today.  She has only known me post cancer.  Talk about a roller coaster ride.  I've been downright crazy, depressed, hyper, hopeful, hopeless….That's how she knows me.  It's been 5 years now.
Proverbs 27:17  As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
God has quite a bit to say about friendship.  I wanted to share it because I know friendship can be hard and hurtful.  I think the most important part of friendship is honesty, even when it hurts.  If we can't say what we mean then why are we talking?  Being honest brings growth to both parties.  It teaches us more about each other's hearts and why they work the way they do.  In fact in just the last 2 weeks I've done a lot of learning and begun to understand quite a bit.  Mostly, God chooses friends really well for me.  That I am fiercely loyal and protective of those relationships and will not give up on them because I know that God brought us together.  I will never stop learning how to be a good friend. (BTW, the same rule applies to my marriage.)
1 John 4:11  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us…  Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
Proverbs 27:9  Perfumes and incense bring you to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. 
Having an issue with a friend?  Have you said or done something, been dishonest, been gossiping?  Then fix it.  Don't explain it away.  Don't blame them.  Don't give up.  Go, in love, and talk.  If you're in a box, get OUT and broaden your base of friends.  Get out of your box and love differently, love the way they need love.  Jesus did.  He even called Judas his friend at the moment of deception.
2 Peter 3:14  So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.
Job 2:11-13  When Job's three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.  When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust not heir heads.  Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights.  No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.  
Thank you for loving me, even when you don't know me well.  Thank you for loving me the way I need, because sometimes I don't even know what I need for love.

Vicki