A few weeks ago a college-aged girl was talking to me about her relationships. Specifically, some of the issues with one of her best friends. Later, I mentioned that I really could not stand what one of my friends was dealing with and that I was “really upset” by it. The young girl made the comment that she doesn’t understand why people get upset about things that really have nothing to do with them. Unless it is dealing with you personally and directly, what is the problem?
I remember being that age. It can be a very selfish age. The “all about me, all about me, all about me” age. A little too self-centered, self-focused, and self-serving. That’s when many friendships exist to satisfy self and the needs of self.
But something happens as you age. Friendships become deeper, more personal and begin to matter in a different way. 6-7 years ago Hubs and I were visiting a church that was really pushing “life groups” (I guess that’s some new version of Sunday school but you meet in homes with virtual strangers to “do life together”. The whole Life Group thing never really worked out for me personally with all of the gossip going on, but I do think the concept is fantastic.)
Anyway… this preacher said that church family friendships should really fellowship on a deeper level than just attend church weekly together and that the concept of small groups is biblical. We are called to “share each other’s burdens… If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.” Gal 6:2-3. We are called to “rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Rom 12:15.
A few years ago I began journaling for my Blended Family Hell on Earth blog and this past year I created an online small group to test the waters of the concept. Many of my close friends with whom I have a real friendship are in the group. We started the group with a focused topic (blended family, divorce, single mom life, etc.) but over this past year so many things have happened to members in the group. Some people have gotten divorced, one sweet friend lost her son, another friend has gone through a CPS case placing her stepchildren in her home virtually overnight. Life has happened. And guess what? We are going through it together. Whether it’s good or bad, a high or low, rejoicing or mourning it’s happening. It’s become so much more than a topic-focused forum.
There is something truly beautiful that manifests when friendships turn from surface level only to truly personal, deep and real. Embrace it.
Coffee cheers your way guys.