Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Love Trilogy: My Friend

Guy Talk

This month, we will be jumping into part two of the Love Trilogy: My Friend. Last month I shared about some of my personal experiences in the realms of love and relationships. I shared how God took my brokenness and loss of hope and ability to “fix myself” and mended me into a better person. He became “my Healer.” God takes on different forms for each of us in the course of our growing relationship with Him. To one He may be Provider; to another He may be Rescuer. To me, at that particular time in my life, He became my Healer. He reached beyond my understanding of Him and made Himself known to me in a real, touchable way. If you have not read the first part of this series, I encourage you to jump back a month and read what God has shared with me.

This month I want to focus on Jesus as my Friend. My Jesus is my Healer and my Friend. Growing up in the church, I had always known that God was with me. He was “always beside me.” I remember sitting in Sunday school listening and nodding my head vigorously in agreement with my teacher that Jesus loved me and was my friend. But I did not let this revelation wash over me until years later when I sat in bewilderment with how my life had, in a sense, vanished.

When I started college at the young age of 15, I was surrounded by my friends. I felt so blessed to find other teens that started college at a young age just like me. I felt a part of a community. I was needed and wanted. It wasn’t a group unless all of us were together; and that meant that I was wanted by my friends. I loved it. But who wouldn’t? We did everything together: studied, shared class experiences, volunteered, hung out… you name it, and we were all there together. The best group of friends you could ask for. Always together!

Before I knew it, the time had come for college transfers. Some of my friends in our little group had moved to different states. The rest of us got along the best we knew how. We tried to stick together and do everything that we used to do as a group, but it just wasn’t the same. With friends missing from our circle, the dynamics just weren’t what they used to be. Because of the in balance, some of my friends changed, some for the better and some for the worse. And worse yet, some of my friends didn’t change at all. They clung to “what was” and seemed nearly incapable of moving on. I changed too. I became caught up with work and my classes and I grew distant with the friends that I had once admired and felt close to. Soon enough, we didn’t hang out anymore, and I didn’t mind so much. I wasn’t making any new friends throughout this time either. I was so focused on my career and accomplishing goals that I didn’t notice that I was going about my life essentially by myself.

It wasn’t until one night that I was staying late at the college to study. I had found a quiet spot near a window on the third floor of one of the campus buildings that overlooked the yard below. I sat on the floor with my books in my lap and a pencil in my hand thinking. Where had all my friends gone? What had become of my social life? And the more I soaked in the realization that I didn’t have many friends anymore, the more I cracked open the door for the devil to torment my mind. I began to contemplate my life. Would anyone really notice if I disappeared? Would any of my friends from my close-knit circle from years past show up at my funeral? I was alone! Completely alone! Was it really worth the facade anymore? I could just as easily give up…not that anyone would really care…or even notice?

Caught up so much in these dark thoughts, I hadn’t even noticed the tears that were streaming down my face until they hit my blue jeans. I was really upset about my life and it all came bubbling out now. And, of course, I was alone in the midst of this realization.

“But I am here.”

I rolled my eyes and wiped my wet cheeks. “Yeah, I know you are here, God. You are always here,” I sobbed.

“I want to be your Friend. I have always wanted to be your Friend.
I am here. I am always here.
You are never alone.”

That was my breaking point. I leaned back against the wall I had sat beside and willingly let the tears dampen my face. “Yes, yes, I want that. I want You. I need You. You are all I have.”

It was in that moment of desperation that God became known to me as my Friend. I began to talk to Him throughout the day. Even stopping, taking a deep breath and thinking about Him would bring me to immediate peace. The King of the Universe wanted to be my Friend. He was always with me. I was never alone; nor would I ever be alone.

God continued (and still is continuing) to teach me how much of a Friend I have in Him. When I moved to England, I didn’t know anyone and I wasn’t sure where I would be living or how I would manage away from my loved ones. But the awareness that my Friend was going to pave my path brought peace. All I had to do was trust in my Friend. I never felt alone once in England.

I am not saying that I never get lonely. It is human of us to feel alone at times. But the thought of our Friend with us banishes loneliness. We never have to feel that we are without friends or that we are going about our lives solo. There is always someone there, watching us, loving us, listening to us, believing in us, and waiting for us to turn and notice Him. He is our Friend.

“….I will never leave you or forsake you….”
~Hebrews 13:5

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
~Matthew 10: 29-31

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
~Matthew 11:28-30

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