Real friendship in our hot mess lives
Over the past few years, I have been learning a lot about being a friend. I love being able to be myself and live life with people who are genuine and real with me. God uses friendship in such a powerful way and I believe the enemy wants to make us feel isolated and alone and afraid to seek the companionship of other women because of our struggles and imperfections.
Perfect people can’t have close friends because someone may expose them for who they really are- a hot mess just like the people they may be judging and looking down on or comparing themselves to without realizing the reality behind the veil we call social media.
In Ecclesiastes 4 it reads, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie down together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him- a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
I love these verses and for me, it makes me so thankful for those I do get to call my friends. I have people in my life that rejoice with me, mourn with me, get completely angry with me, and talk reason to me when I am being crazy.
When I have friends who love God with me, I am encouraged and I am strengthened in my faith. Times may be tough, I may be weak, but God will use those people he has placed in my life to help me, lift me up, and surround me in tough times.
So, how can we be better friends?
Embrace your mess. For me, that means allowing people in my home even when it isn’t completely spotless and allowing people into my life when relationships are messy. Just ask my husband, I horrify him by my “real life” posts on Facebook because he is more composed than I am, and well… I’m a mess. For me, it isn’t about showing the world how much I don’t care (I actually do…) but it’s about letting other people know “Hey!!! You aren’t the only one!”
1 Corinthians 12: 9-10 But he said to me “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I may be weak, but I may be going through something someone else is in the middle of too. I may be struggling, but I may have already been through a part of this mess that someone else needs help navigating. God is our strength and he will lead us and guide us and gives us all that we need.
Embrace your journey. God is constantly changing me and showing me areas of my life I need to improve, but if I wait until I feel like my life is perfect I am going to be alone for a VERY LONG TIME.
I am NOT perfect, and I’m pretty sure you guys aren’t either! Ephesians 4:23- “Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.”
When you screw up: apologize, be real, and ask for forgiveness.
When you have been wronged, forgive as Christ has forgiven you.
We all make mistakes, and we are all continually being changed to become more like Christ.
Embrace the golden rule! Jesus commands his followers in Matthew 7:12 Do to others, as you would have them do to you.
Have a friend who is struggling? Drop them a note or a gift to encourage them. Know someone who has had a really rough week? Invite them over for dinner, or offer to drop by with for them.
Have a friend who just got some really great news? Do something to celebrate with them!
What would you want someone to do for you if you were in her place? DO IT!
I hit a point recently where I was a little annoyed at God, because you know, if I reap what I sow, why hasn’t anyone done for me what I have been doing? (Total selfish moment and honestly it was just where I was at) And my friends let me tell you, two different people in two days brought my little family dinner that week because my boys have been sick and then I got really sick as well. I will tell you, I was so blessed by that selfless act. They didn’t do it so I would talk about how awesome they are on Facebook, they did it to bless me because it is what they would want someone to do for them.
May you be encouraged and inspired to open up, look around you, be the friend you want someone to be to you, and find those life-giving, friendships that draw you closer to God.
May you find yourself surrounded by true loving friends
May this new year be a time to create friendships, push you to serve God with all your heart, to help you realize you are not alone, and to know that Jesus truly loves you and your hot mess!