Today I am pondering friendships old and new. I’m realising genuine relationships are like fresh rain in your heart. Lately, I’ve observed many guarded men and women in the area of building relationships. They are all just trying to do the best they can, while still protecting their hearts from getting hurt. Reaching out and making friends is filled with rich blessings and sheer terror.
We live in a world where our hearts have been taken for granted more times than they should be able to bear but, surprisingly, we still approach new people and the possibility of new friendships with this hope in mind: “Maybe God is about to bless my life with the gift of a new friend.”
Most of the time, we only let people in so far. We tend to have this thought: “I’ll tell you a little of myself and see if I can trust you with a piece of my thoughts and passion… But not enough for you to blindside and hurt me in case you fail me.”
We all want to feel understood, validated, appreciated and valued. And, probably wisely so, we take our time in trusting and deciding to travel together with others on this journey called ‘life’. We rely on our faithful friends who have stood the test of time through many seasons. But what happens when God stretches you, and your comfort zone, and encourages you to reach out to someone new? How guarded should we be? How long shall we test this new friend at arms length to see if they are trustworthy enough with our heart?
I guess the truth is we are all broken in some way or another. We all carry scars, and memories of hurt and rejection. Let’s face it, no one could, or would, ever love you the way Jesus loves you.
But what if… what if… I asked God for strength, grace and wisdom to reach out to someone?
What if I did and this was met with incredible resistance and a guarded heart? Do I walk away or do I accept the challenge to love someone regardless?
Some friends that we are blessed with, over years of time and trust, are awesome, but what happens when God wants to expand your world of friends? What happens when you’re blessed with adopting a new, unknown friend?
I’m in that place of reaching out, making myself vulnerable and embracing new friendships with beautiful people God has put along my path, and it reminds me that I, too, have been embraced. I have been called His and welcomed into His arms. Did I earn or deserve God’s grace, friendship, love and trust? Umm… certainly not! I was distrustful, hurt and layered with many layers. But He still wanted me.
So I wonder, can I love others through His eyes? His words? His hands? Can I allow others into my life, under His grace, and trust that He is guarding my heart?
My answer is a big terrified yes!!!
Yes, I’ll reach out again and again to others, just like me, who have been broken and hurt but still deserve someone to say – “I see you”.
To my friends, the old faithful ones and the shiny new ones, may my only agenda ever be: Because of Him and who He is, I like you, and I happily lay my heart on the line to be your friend as we walk each other home.