The other night we had some friends over – friends that we have reconnected with – knew casually in college and through this wonderful invention called the internet – were able to find again after almost 30 years.
It is a special thing when hearts and minds are similar – have shared common experiences and have put you on a parallel path. Though unseen and unheard for many years – the hearts have stayed the same – and time and distance has not severed the feeling of understanding and being understood.
As we were sitting, talking and laughing – I was reminded once again of how important people like these friends are to me – as I am in a different ‘season’ of my life – and my journey. Superficial friends are not my number one priority anymore – I don’t have time for just an ‘acquaintance’ – for the look of it – No – I want – No I need authenticity in my life and with those who are on my journey with me. I don’t want to ‘sugar coat’ life in the “isn’t life great?” because sometimes it isn’t. I don’t want to hide behind the ‘smiles and cute phrases’ anymore. It doesn’t impress me. It no longer works for me. I need real friendship in my life.
As we talked – I knew we all felt like this – it is with very few people who you can actually be real and take off any ‘former’ ministry hat. Those who won’t ‘judge’ you. These friends have walked that road like me – there’s no pretending. There is only understanding and honesty – and that is a rare thing among ministers – even former ones. When I said that I want to have relationships like this – our friend Ron added, “and I am also wanting church to be like this – simple – and not so complicated” I totally agree. Back to the basics of why we do church. So true. Back to honesty – simplicity and being your true self – with no fear – and no judgment. Ah – it feels good.
Can we do this? I don’t know. But I know I’m not alone in wanting it. I know I’m not alone on this journey – and as long as there are people out there like me – I know we all will find each other – and develop life long relationships. There is strength in numbers – and in friendship of like minds that bind the heart together to help you overcome any adversity that may come your way.
I’m loving how God knew what things would come into my path. And He placed loving friendships in my path to walk beside me and help me by daily encouragement – bringing simplicity and honesty back into focus once again. Reminding me what’s really important after all. It is to those friends that I say, ‘thank you’. You showed me I am not alone. You showed me that we all struggle and are a journey. Thank you for investing in me.
Dear Lord – bless my dear friends who live close to me whom I have the privilege of being a part of their world and lives much of the time – and for those that I can’t see too often – but that I carry in my heart even though they are far away. ♥ Be with them today as they too are on their journey finding good friends with like minds.