Thursday, April 12, 2012

Ripping Open the Box

Side-by-side, we sit.  The words come slow but welcome; the kinds of words that sit heavy on my heart and push me to prayer for days after the hearing.  I wonder this and that and she answers freely, without hesitation or fear.  Things in the past and struggles in the here and now; they've invaded the normal "fine, how are you" replies.  The deep, painful stuff of life is what strengthens the bond we've been blessed with, and I realize that although this is what I've desired all my life, I've always pushed it away.

Too often, vulnerability and truth have seemed too hard, so I've folded my sins up neatly, placed them in the tattered box, and hidden them away for that perfect friend I would find some day who would be the everything I was looking for.  Never wanting to get too real, I've shied away from the ripping away of the thick skin.

And while I thought I was helping and protecting myself, all I was really doing was creating isolation.

But today, as I sit and listen with unconditional love that can't be shaken, no matter the confession, I am thankful for the learning of what friendship really is.  It's not just the having of someone to go places with or even the having of someone who will hear your words; it's the having of someone with whom you trust you heart's desires, fears, sins, and needs.  Yet when we find ourselves fearful of reaction and rejection, we miss the beauty of the bond that God allows.  The more I surrender self, the more I come to understand that, in spite of what I've convinced myself of, we all have struggles and issues and fears.

Finally, after days and weeks and years of the wanting, the hoping, the praying and the begging the God of the universe for someone who understands, He's answered and blessed and given.  I've come to realize that all that time, when I cried out in loneliness, He wasn't ignoring my pleas.  My precious Jesus knew full well that I wasn't ready to receive this kind of friendship, but more importantly, He knew I wasn't ready to BE that kind of friend yet.  For how can you really be someone else's "truth-telling-in-love-that-is-able-to-be-real-and-offer-grace friend" unless you've accepted truth and love and grace yourself?  How can you give truly unconditional love unless you've begun to understand that it's been imparted to you?

I'm finally ripping open the box and God is giving me a tiny glimpse of heaven- of Himself.  And I find myself wanting to do cartwheels in the street!!!

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: "What! You too? I thought I was the only one.” ― C.S. Lewis


AshlieWrites said...

ahhh, i LOVE IT!! beautiful words. isn't He so good with the way He does things? the timing of it, the way He knows better than we amazes me.... I'm doing cartwheels too, my friend!! 

praying He keeps helping us to love, receive, and give, by His grace....

love you!!!! :) *hugs

Nikki said...

So true, friend. We have to vulnerably receive the grace imparted on us first, don't we.
I feel like doing cartwheels with you I'm so happy for you!

So blessed by you. Beautiful heart revealed here today!

Amy McCollister said...

Oh friend! Together we are learning these lessons. I can't wait to hear where He takes you through this too! :)

Love you girlie!


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