Friends, you will be so blessed by today’s post written by Rachel Scott.
Be sure to check out her website!
Standing at the counter, I watched as my 8-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, paced back and forth in the kitchen. I’d been chatting with a friend on the phone but suddenly became aware that something was going on with her as her small voice filled the room with words spoken aloud, but to herself. I decided to use my unoccupied ear to zero in on what she was saying.
I knew she had been trying to call her friend from school for a couple of days and was unsure of why her friend wasn’t calling her or responding to her attempts. Finally, she called, and her friend answered. It was then that she learned that her friend had been avoiding her calls so that she could talk to their mutual friend without her presence or participation. Gabby was completely shocked and shattered.
I gave her some time to process the emotions she felt but when she sat down to eat her lunch, I looked at her face and knew she needed a mommy moment.
Interrupting my friend mid-conversation, I told her I’d call her back, hung up the phone, and walked over to sit across the table from Gabby.
“Are you okay Gabby?” I asked her.
“Yes!” she said with a straight but completely upset face.
“Okay, tell me about what happened on the phone?” Although I had already figured it out, I knew she needed to release her feelings.
Holding back tears, she began to share the details that had occurred and as she ended the story, I said these simple words, “I’m sorry that happened, it’s okay to cry!”
A flood of water began to run down her soft innocent face as the wave of emotions that were weighing down her heart started to be released. I picked her up from the wooden kitchen chair and held her as I walked over to the couch in the living room. We sat in that moment for several minutes as I rubbed her hair and back and let each tear fall on my shoulder. No words just tears. From my own experience, I knew that this wasn’t the first friend that would leave her wondering and it wouldn’t be the last. My mind whisked back to the stream of tears that had fallen from my very own eyes a few months back as I endured several broken friendships.
I knew the pain she was feeling, the disappointment, the questioning, the rejection. I had felt it many times before because I tended to make friends easily as well. You didn’t have to complete an application or go through a qualified friend background check for me to befriend you. I was just willing to be friends with those who were friendly. This has led to a heap of hurt and teary eyes especially when I didn’t choose truth and would rather succumb to the stream of lies that presented themselves.
You’re not enough
You are the problem
You expect too much
You didn’t say the right words
You weren’t there that one time they needed you
You’re not a good friend
Our hearts were never created to carry the weight of lies, which is why we feel weighed down when they seep in. Lies are the language of the enemy, truth is the language of a loving father. Broken relationships can plant seeds of hurt or seeds of hope, depending on whose voice we choose to agree with.
Friendship can be as beautiful as a brisk walk on a sunny day or as challenging as a tornado in the middle of spring. This is one of the things my daughter would soon begin to understand as she navigates the terrain of relationships. But there is a deeper matter at hand that is often missed when we lean into the topic of friendship, it’s the assignment.
The reality is, as followers of Jesus Christ, our focus should be to fulfill the purpose of leading people to Christ and showing them how to serve him. Our assignment is how we have each been uniquely created to fulfill that purpose. Friendship, at its core, is an assignment where we get to sharpen and support each other as we go forth in our daily pursuit of God’s plan for our lives. Much too deep a concept for most children to understand but rather profound for those of us that desire friendship with meaning. This understanding can help us handle the unavoidable seasons of transition in friendships.
I have learned that when it comes to friendship, like-minded is great but like-missioned is even better. Our willingness to serve God by championing and supporting our friend’s assignments has both earthly and heavenly reward.
This, I believe, is why God created friendship. Jonathan partnered with David’s assignment and the disciples’ partnered with Jesus’ assignment.
Whose assignment are you partnered with through friendship?
Letting go is still difficult at times however, since embracing this new perspective, when I am blessed with the opportunity to be friends with someone, I quickly ask God what my assignment is in their life and what their assignment is in mine. He may not always reveal it right away, but he always reveals it along the way.