[box] Every Saturday morning, I will be sharing a little snippet from my own personal walk with God...straight from the heart. God has work to do in me too, and sometimes it's not pretty. But my prayer is that as I am honest, He is more able to do that work in me...and at the same time, encourage you as well.[/box] One of my goals this year is to make an intentional effort to connect with other women,
not for business, not to work on projects, but simply for friendship and fellowship. Why is that so hard for me that I need to make a goal out of it? Aren't women supposed to find this "easy"? Girls are known for their bent towards people and relationships. But somehow, this is not easy for me.
The first thought that comes to mind is that relationships are not something you can check off and say that you've completed the task. Relationships require constant attention and nurture for them to thrive and flourish. I know that I can often get sucked into thinking that I am building a relationship with my family when I am just doing things for them. Real relationship requires more than doing. It requires emotional engagement and energy.
Relationships also require some type of risk, if we want to truly be friends. If I am unwilling to let people into my thoughts, dreams, fears, and even sins and woundedness, I will have at best surface friendships. And yet, I know that I am not always just satisfied with casual conversation and chit-chat. Somewhere down the line I need to take a step of faith and risk sharing who I am with others.
The third reason why I have a hard time is because I am afraid I am going to depend on people more than I depend on God. Perhaps it is because I have gone the other way before and have been pushed away in my "neediness." Since then, I had promised myself that I would not trust people that much again. I didn't want to be rejected or too much for someone to handle. I had built up the belief that if I had God, then I really don't need other people (picture nose in the air.)
But what God is teaching me is that even if it is risky, He did not create me to live on an island. I am in a world full of people. If He desired me to be alone, He would have put me on an island. There are plenty of uninhabited ones if He wanted that.
I am not made to be a Lone Ranger. It may be more convenient. It may be safer. It may even seem more spiritual. But over and over in Scripture, specifically in Ephesians, where I've been camping out the past couple of months, He makes it clear that while my salvation is a personal relationship with God, He has now put me into the body of Christ.
Over and over, I read words like: "together", "us", "both", "fellow heirs," "unity", "one", "all" and "members". He has broken down dividing walls of hostility, joining us together into a holy temple and dwelling place for the Lord. We are gifted with different gifts, to be sure, and yet despite that differentness, we all have goal: to become like Christ (Eph. 4:13-14). We are to grow up into our Head, Christ Himself, who joins us all together and holds us all together. When we play our job, when we do our role, we build up the body in love and help it to grow.
If this is so, then relationships are not really an option but a requirement. Again, not just for the business of the church, but because when I play my part, when I receive others into my heart, we are helping one another grow and build up the Body. It is not all about me giving, nor is it about me taking. It is about both. I can benefit from the gifts of others that I do not have. I can give to others what they are missing. And together, in this joyous give and take, we further His kingdom.
In myself, I cannot do it all. Not that I haven't tried. God has been convicting me of the pride and fear that is in my heart that keeps me from admitting my neediness. While He is the only one who can fully meet my deepest needs, in His wisdom, He has chosen to meet that need through people. When I try to do life myself, in my pride, I may end up missing out on what God has been trying to give me through the people in my life.
Heavenly Father, I have been so blind. Thank You for bringing godly women into my life that have a heart for You. Thank You for reminding me that as wonderful as it is to be productive, the things that will last for all eternity are not wrapped up in what I do but in people. It is not the way I have been brought up, nor does it always make sense to me. Heal me from the inside Lord, so that I may receive others into my life as well as pour myself into them freely, just as You did for me. I pray that You will show me which friends to invest more deeply in, to risk more with. I pray that we may be as iron sharpening iron, so that we may be a blessing to each other, to the praise of Your glorious grace. In Jesus' name, Amen.