This evening has me thinking about friendships, rather than marital relationships. Time to switch up the pace.
I was discouraged by a friend this morning. It put a big downer on my day, which sucked. It made me think of other comments of hers that had discouraged me earlier in the week. I've been praying about it all day, asking God why I was so upset (I felt like I was a little OVER emotional about it), why I am more emotional over issues with some friends and not with others, how it might relate to past wounds caused by people I thought were true friends...
I keep reminding myself that the old adage about not being able to make someone love you is just as true with "just friends" as it is with lovers. Some people just don't love you the way you want them to and you can't make them. You just have to let them go. Some people do genuinely love you, they're just so busy and consumed with other things that they don't stop to think about how their actions are affecting you.
So that fills me with questions.
How and where do you find the kind of friends that go with you through anything and everything - the ones who endure the nitty gritty with you, the ones who endure your bad days just as willingly as the good days? Why are they so rare? How do you cultivate those friendships? What is it about a person that makes a friend WANT to be that kind of friend to them?
It seems to me that more often than not, "friends" just run away when things get too uncomfortable for them. The ones that stay through thick and thin are hard to find.
Also: If I want to be that kind of a friend, what do you do on days like today? Do you forgive and forget - or is that being dishonest? Is forgiving and forgetting really true love if you're not being honest about what hurt you - whether it's over-emotional or not? Do you take the risk that they will reject you if you put your feelings out on the line, or do you just let it go in order to not risk rocking the boat (i.e. the relationship)?
Relationships are complicated, romantic or not.
When I was a little kid (before I was saved), I used to lie ALL the time. I was a terrible kid. I stole cookies, I stole money out of my mother's purse, I snuck clothes my mother wouldn't let me wear to school in my bookbag and changed in the bathroom...and I lied all the time (of course - to avoid getting in trouble - which didn't work anyway!). But I came to a point in my childhood - I believe it was when I was 10 - that I decided lying wasn't worth it, and I stopped. I came to a different point, sometime in my teen or college years, when I decided that honesty was always the best policy - no matter how much it might hurt to hear it sometimes. And I still believe that wholeheartedly. Honesty is the BEST policy.
So, with the risk of hurting feelings or hurting a relationship, I'm going to have to choose honesty anyway. Because a relationship without any honesty isn't a real friendship, anyway. And I WANT the friendship in which we would do anything for each other, sink or swim, do or die - including going through the nitty gritty, enduring the good days and the bad - the days when I'm not the most awesome person and you kinda feel like punching me in the face. Knowing me, I can guarantee there will be some.
And I'm willing to take the risk of being honest in order to find it.
Update: We talked, and it was easy :) She is such a beautiful woman of God. Sweet, sweet soul, that girl. And definitely a true friend :) BUT, I still think those questions are ones worth pondering, and do-or-die friends are always worth it when you find them. I hope you have a do-or-die friend... and if you don't right now, I hope you will have the blessing of one in your lifetime... if not, I hope you meet the best do-or-die friend of all in Heaven.