The Wonder of Friendship

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:

If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 (NIV)

Hey girlfriends! Okay, so I have to write about something that happened to me yesterday in my Bible study. This is the fourth week and I have cried in my small group three times out of the four (thank you, Holly, for giving me this avenue to release the pent-up emotion in me!) that we have met. It is one thing to be vulnerable to my friends that know enough about me and still decide to love me. I generally like some history with a group before I let the floodgates open. I don't know why I have been so quick to wear my emotions on my sleeve. I think that I am profoundly grateful to find other women who are desperately hungry for God's Word to transform them. I get weepy thinking about all He is teaching me through this study.

We were talking in our small group about a very thought-provoking question:

What are you glad that you never got caught doing?

You should have seen nine women squirm under that question. The sweat beads began to appear and suddenly no one could think of a thing to say. I know what was going through all of our minds: Do I dare to tell the truth (after all, this is about something we obviously were trying to hide and had been successful at hiding)? We all just kind of looked at each other and laughed nervously.

Do you and I portray a picture of perfection to others? I believe the reason that all of us had such a hard time answering that question was because it would reveal what is scary for us to admit--we are not perfect. I have lived in such bondage to this lie that I need to have it all together before I am acceptable. I would rather be weighed down with despair over my flaws than to admit that they are there and I need help. Girlfriends, no one is perfect, no one has it all together. We do ourselves such a disservice when we pretend that we aren't crying inside over some weakness in our lives.

I am not saying go out and tell the whole world about our struggles. Unfortunately, there are those who would abuse that trust and use the information as a juicy tidbit of gossip to someone else. But Jesus said that we are to bear one another's burdens. There should be women in our lives that get to see the real us. Please do not believe the lie like I did for so long that they do not exist. The Lord has placed friends in all of our lives that are the genuine real deal. We are rubbing shoulders with them, but may not know it. How do you find a soul friend?

I believe the first thing that we need to look for is that woman whose passion for Christ and obeying His Word is apparent about her. She is the one who doesn't participate in gossip, doesn't hold grudges, and encourages others. If you and I look hard enough, she is there. She just might not be a peer. Maybe she is ten, twenty, or thirty years older than us.

But now I want to ask us a question--will she find those same qualities in you and me?

Jesus, thank You for friendship! Thank You that You have created a need in us to need each other. Make us women who love You more than anyone/thing so that out of the overflow, we can love each other like you intended for us to. May we treat another's confidence as the precious privilege that it is. Put a guard over our mouths. We can say such foolish, hurtful words to each other. May we bear each other's burdens out of our love for You.