I have a lot of back-story…a ton! I’ve shared a good portion of my story here: poisoning and the resulting bitterness, anger, and health damage from it, my personality flaws and how I developed some of them, my spiritual journey including some periods of crisis, all about my family who get named in nearly every post…all kinds of stuff. There is a lot to my story and to spend much time with me requires understanding of a lot of my story in order to not get offended (For example, with the brain damage, I forget things…people who are close to me have to deal with re-telling me stuff all the time…can you imagine how frustrating that is to them?!)
A few months back, I was dealing with something in the middle of being just…beat. I don’t remember exactly what the issue was but I needed to talk to someone who already knew me and my entire back story without me having to retell it all…I needed someone that would already understand the significance of what was going on. So, I called my girl, Lesley. We talked and came to some sort of reasonable decision together without me having to catch her up to speed on the weirdness that is me. At the end of our conversation, I told her about how I chose who to call for this issue and you know what her response was? “Well…Here’s to not being exhausting!” In my mind, I could see the smile on her face and maybe her even holding her glass up in the air in a toast. I have thought back on that conversation many times over the last few months and can’t help but get a goofy grin on my face every time.
Why in the world am I talking about that? Well, I think that my friend, my Lesley, models friendship in such a beautiful way…a way that many of us could stand to learn from. She invests in people and honestly wants to know their stories. This gal has very patiently taken the time to really get to know me on a bone-deep kind of level over the last several years. She shares some of her own story too (not everyone is quite as revealing about their “stuff” as I am *makes mock shocked face*) so I find her authenticity really refreshing. She is a compassionate encourager and an amazing combination of sweet (where you almost think it can’t be real…but it is) and spit-fire. I love the combination of tenderness and grit that she has. But most of all, when she is talking with me, she is completely present. She was tracking right along with me when I called her that day and didn’t miss a beat or an opportunity to encourage. She also was able to insert humor in just the right place to make the conversation not get too heavy.
I really do have a point here…I’m getting closer and closer to making it. I am wondering how you are doing in this area. Statistically, 9% of people feel that they do not have even one close friend…I’ve been there before…it’s a dark and scary place. So, my question is how are you doing with this? Do you feel like you have friends? Do you feel like you are a good friend to others? If you have struggled making friends, how open and authentic have you been with people? How present are you with them? Could you improve on your current relationships by going deeper with those people? **Warning! Don’t get all saran-wrap-clingy-crazy on people and just walk up to them and emotionally vomit on them…going deeper takes time…it’s a ramp…not a cliff…besides, crazy is best served in small portions so that it’s a bit more subtle…use finesse, so to speak…so that, by the time they realize you’re a total nutter, they are already hooked! 😉** If you don’t have close friends, what steps can you take toward entering into meaningful relationships? What investment can you make today?
My prayer today is that we would invest in relationships with people and that we would prioritize people over things in our lives. I am praying that we would be Jesus to the world around us and love each other well. I am praying that we would invest enough that it makes us able to say, “Here’s to not being exhausting!” Much love friends,