Friday, July 17, 2015

I haven't been a good friend.

In light of yesterday's post about friendship, let me share what God's been showing me about myself through this process: I have not been a good friend.

I know that I pointed out that I had some people who have dumped me as a friend.
But, know that I have not been the friend that I expect everyone else to be.

Talking on the phone to one of my dearest friends a few days ago, I confessed to her that God had shown me that I should've been there more for her when she was going through a similar situation. I apologized for not doing more. I am embarrassed to say that I did not even drive out to this friend's house one time. Sure, I called. Sure, I texted. But, that was not enough.

Sometimes when friends go through serious stuff, we think we should back off. We think we should give them time and space. We think maybe it's none of our business. We think they'll let us know when they want us to come around, when they need us. I'm here to tell you that NO they won't.

Now being smack dab in the middle of the same kinda thing as this friend, I KNOW I could've and should've done more. I should've texted or called more (even though she's a slow texter and doesn't usually answer her phone ... ;)).

I was so consumed with my own life and used busyness as an excuse not to be a good friend. That's appalling.

Friendship takes sacrifice.

You know what that friend said after I apologized through tears? She said, "You were there." I think that was a pity "you were there". I was not there nearly enough, y'all ... not at all. What kind of person ... what kind of friend doesn't drive out to someone's house to visit them during hard times?! A sucky friend. A friend who is going around with blinders on and only sees her own life, her own stuff. A selfish friend. So, really not a friend at all. What's the point in having a friend if she's going to be absent when times get tough?

Not only am I learning to recognize what a good friend is, but I'm learning what it is to be one.

I'm committing to be a better friend, even more when times are hard than when they're not. Sure, it's easy to be there when things are easy ... dinners, parties, trips, girls' nights, lunches, etc. Those are easy to be there for. Duh. In fact, I'd like to have some of those easy friendship times right now. To all my friends here ... I'm booking reservations now for some good, easy friend time by winter!

But, friendship isn't always cute and pretty. Sometimes it's messy and not-so-cute. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes we need to give more of ourselves even when we don't think we have anything to give. Sometimes the fear of not knowing what to do keeps us from doing anything. Let's face it none of us want to be in a situation where we don't know what to say or do. It's awkward. It's uncomfortable.

I know now that I have not done enough in many friendships. I have not been there during hard times. I have been a fair-weather friend at times. But, God is changing me to be the friend that I expect my friends to be.

I want to be there for my friends so much, but even more now than before.

You know what else that friend said to me after she lied through her teeth to pity-tell me I was there for her, she made this statement: "God allowed me to go through that, so that I can be there for you."

Ding! {light-bulb moment} Geez. She's got such much more insight than me into some of these spiritual things.

It's so true that we just don't know about stuff until we experience it ourselves.
We don't understand what it feels like until we're in it. We don't understand how true compassion feels until we see it from the perspective of the one who needs it. And, we don't know what it's like to be a good friend until we need one so much and have it shown to us by others.

Now that this good friend has gone through her experience, she's there for me in my own situation like no one else can be. Because she lived it.

My prayer is that I can do the same. My prayer is that I come out of this a better friend. My prayer is that I can be the one who is lifting up those who are going through similar circumstances.

To all of you who I haven't been a good friend to, I'm sorry. Now, get ready for me to smother you. {just kidding ... maybe} And, to all of you who think I'm already there for you too much and I need to back off, too bad.

1 Comment:

The Hat Chick said...

I could have written this same post. After my mother's illness and death this year, I didn't have an appreciation for what my other friends have been through. I wasn't there for them. They all came to my rescue or the rescue of my family when I was drowning because many have been through it and know how hard it is. I am continually praying for you and your family.