Friends

Friends: Friendship In Christ

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Written by: Dawn Stewart

Psalm 139 is one of my favorite places in scripture to go to be reminded of how intimate the love of our Father is. When I read those words, I am reminded of how God really does knows us. He knows when we sit; when we stand; when we lie down; and when we go out. He knows every thought that crosses our minds before it even forms into a thought!

This notion of being fully known is both beautiful and overwhelming to me. I actually spent the better part of my life trying to escape this exact thing – being known.

As I was growing up, I developed a fear of being known by people in my life. I had this tendency to keep the people I allowed into my life far from my heart. The result of this was detrimental to my ability to maintain healthy friendships.

I spent most of my childhood feeling very left out, but it never occurred to me that the reason I felt that way was because I wasn’t allowing people in. I thought I felt left out because no one really liked me. But how could they like me if I didn’t let them know me?

What I thought was protecting my heart from hurt actually caused a great deal of pain in my journey because this fear of being known eventually turned into a fear of being rejected. Living from the constant state of feeling like I didn’t fit in created a desperation to be in the inner circle. So, I developed this character – a girl who would pretty much go to any lengths to be accepted – and the end result was destructive for sure.

It wasn’t until I began to develop a friendship with the Lord that I started understanding the deep level of confusion I had in this area. The truth was, I had no idea who I was. I was so busy trying to be who everyone else wanted me to be, that I never took the time to get to know me.

By the time I started pursuing a relationship with God I was 35 years old and a complete stranger to myself. I didn’t even know what I actually liked and disliked! If it wasn’t for the grace of God, I would probably still be fumbling around this issue.

During that time, God brought a friend into my life. Her name is Jen. We’d worked together since my mid-twenties and had connected through some brokenness in our lives. God had us on the same journey for a purpose.

As I was awakening to who God was in my own life, she was doing the same! We connected with one another as we developed our relationship with God which allowed us to open up authentically to one another. It is truly amazing to be able to drop my guard and let another human being into my heart.

Seven years later, she is my best girlfriend – more like a sister than a friend, actually. She knows the inner workings of my mind and my heart like no other (except possibly my husband). She can tell by just the sound of my voice what kind of day I am having – and vice versa.

Because we based our friendship upon the solid rock of Christ, we have an extremely healthy friendship. We pray together, read the Bible together, cry together, and celebrate together. Our friendship has been a blessing from God and it continues to grow stronger each day.

I lament the many lost friendships over the years. I realize that even though I cared for people, I never truly cared for my relationships because I just didn’t know how. It wasn’t until I understood the love of Jesus that I began to tend to relationships with the love and care He Himself has shown me.

To be fully known and fully loved – this is a great desire in the hearts of human beings. This desire represents the intimacy of a true friendship in Christ. I must remember that the only reason I am able to live in transparency and honesty with human beings today is because I first became transparent and honest with God. He taught me how to have a real friendship – first in Christ and secondly with others – and for that, I am truly grateful.

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