How did we keep the same friends from elementary school until high school graduation? Relationships are hard! I’ve spent most of my life ‘writing people off’ when I sensed intense pain and discomfort looming. Or when I knew I cared more about someone than they cared about me, I backed off. It made for low cost, albeit lonely, Christmases.
I am much better now, as I have learned to protect myself from the beginning, letting no one in, keeping ‘new friends’ at a distance. I’ve kept 3 friends ‘from the past’ who, for some reason, have stuck by my side through a tumultuous season. Friends who stay in the bad, ugly times pretty much can be considered ‘keepers’. Treasure them and do whatever it takes to keep them in your life.
Unfortunately, some times, friends drift away. No one is at fault; life just happens. We change, they change, and paths separate. I am experiencing that now. The immature kid in me wants to curl in a ball and declare, “no one will ever hurt me this much again”! I declare I don’t need friends and start Googling how to join a monastery (I’m not even Catholic) and study hermits like Emily Dickinson who rarely left her house and wrote poetry all day. I’ll plead with God if He will allow me a life of solitude, I’ll gladly spend my days studying His Word, sitting quietly before His throne in prayer. But He always tells me the same thing: He created us for community.
Crap! I hate that! We need one another and if we want to be like Jesus, He gives us a heart to love one another. Praying for God to make me more like Jesus makes me more like Him and less of me. Jesus’ life was the antithesis of communality.