Friday, July 6, 2012

friendships || life

I'm going to try to make this as raw and unedited as I can. There are times for planned, edited, clean-cut pieces of writing and then there are times you just have to let it all go.

I'm 25 going on 26. I'm a quarter of a century years old. I still can't believe it. Through the past 25 years I've met hundreds of people with a handful remaining in my life. There are a few I can call my best friends. We're so close we're like family. Despite having such amazing friendships I still find myself so uncertain about how to be a friend and what it means to be a friend. In the past few days I'm discovery how much I've failed, how much I lack and how little I know in regards to friendships. BUT with that, I'm also discovering that I can redeem it all.

When I was in 8th grade we had one big final project in English where we had to make "HOW-TO" projects. We had to teach the class how to do something whether it was baking cookies, writing an essay, sewing clothes or whatever. I, being the odd one, decided to do my how-to project on how to be a good friend. It's been something I've always wanted to be good at and 'master', if that's possible. We're taught many things in life, but we're never really taught how to be good friends with those of the same gender, those of the opposite gender and those we want to eventually date/marry. We just did it. While doing friendship we're learning. 

I was bullied in 5th grade and from that moment I believed a lot of lies. I believed that I was disposable, replaceable, a nobody, unimportant, insignificant and a loser. It was with this mindset that I would enter into friendships. Any friendship that happened after 5th grade, I did with a sense of fear and precaution. Out of my fear I clung on to my friends and could not grasp the concept of two people drifting apart. 

15 years later and I find myself in friendships with that same mentality. Whether we've been friends for a few months or 20+ years I've allowed those lies to influence the way I related to you. 

Recently I've had close friends and God himself strip away these lies for me. I'm in awe that I'm 25 and I'm still figuring out what it means to be friends with someone. 

I'm learning....
- when a friend is having a tough time and they say "I'm fine" you don't give up but relentlessly ask and love them. this is not the time to think, "but she might get mad at me for bothering her". That's still YOU thinking about YOU. you pursue them even if they reject you
- when you make a commitment in a friendship, you work hard at it. it isn't based on location, how you feel, what you do or how much you talk at that moment. you fight for it. 
- I need to be raw and vulnerable without any fear of rejection or abandonment because a true friend sticks around when you're at your worst
- I am not what I was in the past and neither are my friends
- it is so important to be yourself. 
- if you're upset with someone, let them know, if you love someone, let them know, if you appreciate someone, let them know. 
- communication is so important! talk things through rather than make assumptions or live out of false realities that you created in your head
- even if you find yourself going on different paths, keep loving them. love perseveres
- to understand why people react and respond the way they do so I don't take things so personally

A few weeks ago a friend did something that hurt me. I took it personally and, being the extreme person that I am, I questioned our friendship. I thought, "if we're as close as we say we are he wouldn't have done that".  So I was upset and annoyed with this person, slept on that, woke up annoyed with this person and couldn't enjoy my time with them even though we had a fun day planned. Well, not only was he oblivious to my anger I was the only one affected by my anger. We ended up talking about it and turns out he thought that because we're so close he could do what he did knowing that it wouldn't affect our friendship. Funny. We processed the event in complete opposite terms that we were so clueless to what the other person was feeling or thinking. 

I don't have it all figured out. Only because of the amazing friends that God has placed in my life am I able to be a good friend. I'm in the process of figuring it out. 

It's scary being so vulnerable with your friends. You have to strip down, become undone and be unashamed of who you are. There are many times I want to cut and run so others don't see my failures and weaknesses. I want to protect myself and be friends at a safe distance. It doesn't work. That leads to isolation. You end up sitting in a pool of lies and a broken mindset. Friends are amazing for healing and restoring our true identities. 

Proverbs 27:5-6 

An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.


  1. We all need to remember how to be a good friend. It takes more than one person to "ruin" relationships.

  2. I always go back to Jesus—he loved even when he was betrayed by a kiss. I have no excuse to not be a good friend, even when my friends wound and hurt me.

  3. Wow, it's like you took the words right out of my mouth! To love is to be vulnerable, keep it up!

  4. i've missed you hannah!! good thoughts here. thanks for sharing :]

  5. Your last three points were great ones! They really are so important =)

  6. "even if you find yourself going on different paths, keep loving them. love perseveres"
    fo sho.

  7. thank you so much for this post! It really hit home with me. Especially the part about relentlessly asking them what's wrong & loving them. I've always believed in 'giving them time& space'. Now, I realized that it was me thinking about myself. & thanks so much for the bible verses :)
    I actually did the Ecclesiastes verse with my youth group a few months ago. We shot a video for it and played it during a thanksgiving party to appreciate our friends/guests. Thank you for reminding me :)

  8. what a thoughtful post! i absolutely needed to hear this and will be retruning to it. thanks! xoxo Mila

  9. Ah yes, in grade school all the way through high school I had a different "best" friend for each year. I have yearned to have a constant best friend but through this God has taught me that HE is my best friend.


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