(above: my twins, and their friend who asked Jesus into her heart last night)
It would be far less painful,
and far less risky,
and far less messy
if I just avoided friendship altogether.
I wouldn’t have to:
answer hard questions
invest my time, my heart, my energy
be honest, be real, be open.
Fortunately, I don’t allow myself not to be in friendship.
I have learned in my wise old age -
the benefits far outweigh the risks.
Literally, in the last 3 hours, God clearly showed me this in two very specific ways – He whispered,
“Jenny, keep risking.
My kingdom changes because of it.
You change and become more like me, because of these risks.”
1. 5-6:45 pm – Spent a special time sharing my heart with a sister in Christ – shared our struggles, our sadness, our joys; shared our friendship, and ended with time of prayer, just celebrating that God would give us time together.
2. 8:15 pm – Just got off the phone with a friend I hadn’t talked to in a while. There was some hurt that caused our doors to be sort of halfway shut. It had been a good few months since we had talked. She took a huge risk, and said, “I just wanted you to know, I am grateful.” I said, “The doors were never slammed shut between us. So, as long as we can keep them open, God will do amazing things.” And I am confident. He will.
I asked some friends to answer three questions on the topic of Friendships, Risk, Fears, Benefits.
Here are their responses.
1. Why don’t you take risks in friendship?
SH Do they really care? We all have our stuff, and who needs more stuff?
HB I worry what people think.
PJ I always take a risk in friendship. Sometimes I win and keep the friend forever and some I lose and the friendship fades away. More times than not, I have a life long friend. It is worth the risk.
CL It can get messy and I need the willingness to love the mess - in both of us.
JW Fear of rejection.
SD I do not want to change the perception that others have about me.
CD Super scary to let people know my struggles; they might use them against me later or they might actually find out that I really don’t have it all together.
2. What is your biggest fear in friendship?
HB Fear of betrayal, judgment, showing my heart and getting hurt.
SS I guess the personality; everyone has different personalities.
PJ My biggest fear is losing the friend, hurting them and not being the best friend that I could have been.
CL Disloyalty; they won’t like the real me.
CK Opening up and having it used against me.
SH Do they care? Will they want to fix me or do stuff for me? Receiving love was not always so easy for me (practically a pro now).
3. When you have taken the risk, what have been the greatest benefits?
SD Guidance, acceptance, building confidence in decisions; perhaps to view a situation from a totally different perspective.
BK Trust, concern, and the knowledge that someone will pray for and with me. As we as Christians grow older and mature in the Lord there is less fear of risk. That is one advantage of growing old – for me.
SS Not being alone, and knowing that I have someone in my corner who loves me unconditionally.
EB Having someone to challenge me when I need it, give me that extra shove, accountability, and having someone who doesn’t just tell me what I want to hear, but what I NEED to hear!
PJ Having a life-long, honest, loving person in my life – someone I can rely on to laugh with, cry with, push me or just sit in silence, or hold my hand. I am blessed to have so many friends like this in my life. I am glad I took the risk!
CL Deeper faith, greater support, using the body the way it’s meant to be used as a compass and as an encouragement.
TW Accountability, community, and safety.
CK Being able to open up
HB Honest communication; “judgment” becomes “feedback” that comes from someone you trust (that they have pure intentions of helping you grow).
SH Worthiness. Accepting that I am worthy to have friends who support and love me (not just my family members, who are “supposed” to do that).
Your Response? What are you learning about friendship, risk, and trust?
Where do you need to learn to trust more? Risk more?
jenny bolt price