Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Never Un-Friended

Dear Friends,

I hope you read this. I hope you visit here. I hope this means something to you.

Sometimes we find ourselves in dry seasons. No rain. No blessing. No friends. Old friends whom we leave by the wayside. New friends who do not linger. Some friends who just un-friend us.

With Social Media taking over our lives and re-directing our time, it brings with it some kind of fake reality of what friendship should be. In my experience the number of people reflected on your Facebook profile does not reflect the actual people involved in your life. It does show who you have connected with in your life, but it does not reflect the depth of that connection or the length either. It may not even be a real connection but just a virtual one. It is so easy just to "follow" what others are doing by viewing their profiles. That doesn't mean you know them or know what goes on in their lives or that you even truly care.

What benefits Social Media has afforded me personally on the other hand, is to follow the teaching of some really remarkable Christian women. From Ann Voskamp, Lisa Tekeurst to Lisa Bevere and many more. These are ladies that I would have liked as friends. Strong, faith-filled believers with a purpose and a heart. Honest women not afraid to share their painful truths so as to encourage other women not to give up but to live their potential in Christ.

I have however had the privilege to know a handful of women in my life I could look up to, but I have also been hurt by just as many who call themselves Christian.  For a long time I didn't understand why Christians hurt Christians until I listened to a podcast by Joyce Meyer. She said her biggest hurt came from fellow Christians and that we should remember that people are just people. My mistake over the years was to let my guard down when I dealt with fellow believers. I reasoned that we were the "same".  I could relax my borders of protection as it would not be "needed". I am not saying we should put up barriers between us and other believers or the world. What I am saying is that we need to protect our hearts for the Word says it is the wellspring of Life. It doesn't say protect your heart against believers or unbelievers. It says protect it. Guard it. My biggest lesson in life is this: I have to protect my heart against people in general. We shouldn't therefore distinguish between people. They are all just pots of clay...some more broken than others. Some are just forgiven, may be born again, but still on a journey to be made new. Aren't we all? There you are. The reason why we should be careful with our hearts.

Friendship and relationships has played a very big role in my life and I think the main reason is not what I thought it was. The main reason is that God wants me to know that He regards relationship to be the the biggest most important thing of all. That was His reason for sending Jesus to us. So if I fail at friendships, or they fail me, what should I know? What should I remember? What should I take note of in my life?

1. Always value true signs of honest caring friendship.
2. Forgive those who are incapable of living love, caring for you and making you feel that you matter.
3. Let them go.
4. Keep moving forward with an expectant heart.
5. Don't give up on it.
6. Trust God for it always.
7. Wait for the real thing and cherish it while He gives it to you.

Every-time I think that God has finally stripped me of friendships in general, He comes and reminds me with gentle taps on my shoulder that He is still at work in my life and He is the One who fulfills my friendship needs:

1. He Himself is my Best and most Loyal Friend.
2. My husband is His representative on earth when I need protection, provision and hugs exc.
3. My sister was given to me as a life-long soulmate and companion. She knows and understands me through and through.
4. My mom is a friend to me. An older, wiser guide to help me stay the course. She is the voice in my head and always will be.
5. My dad is my spiritual guide and the foundation he paved in my life will always help me to serve God in all circumstances. A better friend you cannot ask for.
6. God called a colleague from a job I left nearly a decade ago to periodically reach out to me still, without prompting from me. A true sign that God calls people to love you. She always makes me feel I have something special to give the world. She lets me know that she can see me.
7. God sends an older women who loved me through a difficult time when I was a young teacher at a special school many years ago, to comfort and pray for me now on a daily basis by sending me texts on Whatsapp. She has six kids and a bunch of grand-kids and she still finds time to text me diligently in a time I truly need it. I find it marvelous that God can bring significant people back into your life at the right time.
8. When I gave up on making new friends that I can trust to speak FAITH into my life and reach out to me when I can't give anything back, God sends a women across my path who basically has the same name as me (similar core name meaning: "Grace"). She speaks prophetically into my life at times that she doesn't know is actually God's perfect timing. I know that He is using her to speak to my heart. She doesn't know me from a bar of soap and only met me once in person by "accident". She keeps in contact via Whatsapp. What a blessing.

Other friends have moved on and probably don't know that they still live in my heart. But as I grow older, I have learned to let go and trust God's timing more and more. Some of these friendships will always just pick up where they left off once we re-connect because the bond is Christ.

Newer connections still need to show their worth and so the judgement is still not out on those. Also OK. I have learned that true connection needs time and patience.

As a highly sensitive person, we need intimate and close friendships with people we can trust with our hearts. This makes life very difficult for us as we are not really capable of shallow connections. God made us this way for a reason. I have stopped to explain it away or try to apologize for it. I am content that those who cannot deal with it, should not be in my life. There are so many positive things highly sensitive people bring to any friendship and it is sad that some cannot see it, but I know that God will lead me to the right people at the right time and in the meantime, He is enough and I am enough and what He gives me now is ENOUGH.

The Incourage website always inspires me and the women that write or create on this website is to be noted. Please go to the website by following the link in the caption.

Check out this blog post by Jennifer Studio JRU on the Incourage website: http://www.incourage.me/2017/03/he-is-enough.html

Is. 49:15-16 says that God will never forget us. He has engraved us in the palm of His hands. We are so part of Him that He never forgets. He knows our intimate parts and therefore He also knows what we yearn for in our hearts.

Your deepest need for friendship will always be met by Him.

Lord, thank you that you love us so much that you will always give us what we need at the very moment we need it and not necessarily when we ask You for it. Thank you that Your timing is perfect and that you will always provide the companionship we need...even if you have to use people. Help us remember that You will never un-friend us or leave us behind. Thank you for Your Word that says you have engraved us in the palms of your hands. You have our walls always before You. We love you, Lord and we life Your Name. You are God above all else.

In Jesus Name

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