Monday, June 25, 2012

Growing Friendships to Another Level

I was having a bad day, probably caused by hormones or not enough sleep (is it ever anything else?). I felt defeated and low and confused about God's plan. I wanted to tell someone about it, to get the yuck out. I needed to hear something true.

But it wasn't pressing. I knew I'd only hash over the same old stuff I whine about when I'm in that way, stuff that sickens me and makes me feel like a wuss. So I stuffed it. I choked back the tears that kept misting my eyes and pressed on.

In years past I prayed about my funks, asking God to bring someone to my rescue in the form of an unexpected visitor or phone call or sweet email, but He only answered that prayer once, in one of my lowest places ever. Most of the time I whine to Him and wait and nothing happens and I assume I'm supposed to buck up.

But the cloud hung like it always does. It nagged at me, trying to sneak out in every encounter. I knew it would pass like usual, but how long would it take? Would it help to bleh it all out?

What I really wanted to do was see my friend, to just sit by her and soak in her lovely presence, to be. It sounded silly, childish even, so I pushed it away until God whispered, "Tami, use who I've given you. If you want help ask for it."

So I called her. "This might sound dumb, but, well, I'm having a bad day and can't shake the the urge to see you. Can I just come over for a little bit? I can't stay long. I just need you."

"Sure. Come on over."

She listened. She smiled. She hugged. She prayed. She said, "I'm glad you came."

And I felt known, loved, better, and able to get on with my day.

Often I tell myself I should be strong. I should suck up my petty problems and get over them. I scold myself because other people have real issues and mine are nothing. I listen to the lies that say nobody cares and I'd be a bother and it's stupid anyway.

But if God has given me people, people who love Him and know His mercy, people who love me and want my best, why would I hesitate to use them? People are resources, aren't they?

Would I refuse an antibiotic for an infection because I should be strong enough to fight it alone? Would I let a broken down vehicle sit in my driveway because I'm too proud to ask for help in fixing it? Would I neglect the busted furnace because I need to buck up and deal with the cold? It's ludicrous.

So why are we reluctant to admit our need in our relationships? We want people to come to us, not vice versa. We want to be the strong one, the dependable one, the together one. But there is no shame in asking for help, in admitting to weakness, in being honest and open and raw with trusted people. I'm finding a tremendous blessing in reaching out in my low times.

Relationships deepen when we are vulnerable.

When my friend opened her door and took me in, my heart healed, my spirit soothed and my appreciation for her skyrocketed. I hope I instilled in her a sense of being trusted and needed. Our bond strengthened in a mere 20 minutes of sharing the real. All it took was me asking for help.

Do you want to take your friendships to a deeper level? Share your need. Be humble enough to ask for help. Build up another by trusting them with your vulnerability.

And watch your relationships grow.

Photo Credit: tlr3automaton

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the reminder that we don't have to go it alone. That it is okay to ask for help along the way.