People have always expected me to have it all together. I don’t blame them. I make it easy for them to believe it. So because of that, my friends always come to me with their issues and the expectation that I will have a solution tucked somewhere up my sleeve.
But what if I don’t?
It feels like I haven’t been allowed to be sorry for myself. I wonder if someone else could reach out their hands to me instead. Don’t I get to grieve and mourn over the joy I too have lost?
Am I allowed to not be okay?
HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE
When I was at my lowest, I was told by a friend that I’ve apparently come up short of her expectations. I felt let down. I was disappointed that she was unaware of how much I was struggling – but I knew she had been hurting too.
I struggled with forgiving this friend. Call it a defence mechanism; I had mentally decided to cut this friend out of my life because I wasn’t willing to sit with my hurt and look at it in the face. I didn’t want to risk the pain of processing. I was exhausted.
When you are weighed down by things that are unseen, a steady and unwavering friendship can do wonders. While your hope should be in God first and foremost, He created community for a reason.
The damage had been done but I knew I had to keep working at it to let go of the hurt that I felt.
After not speaking for a few months, by God’s grace, we were able to reconcile and talk about what happened. God knew what we needed – in that space of silence during those few months, we were able to process and heal in our own time.
STILL THERE FOR YOU
Throughout the whole episode, I made it a point to continue being there for my other friends. I did it because I knew firsthand how difficult it is to ask for help – even more so when you’re debilitated and feeling like Satan himself took a dump on you. I know the doublemindedness it comes with; the hope that someone’s presence or words could comfort you but yet the dread of being an inconvenience.
When you are weighed down by things that are unseen, a steady and unwavering friendship can do wonders. While your hope should be in God first and foremost, He created community for a reason: To comfort others when we ourselves have seen the grace in His comfort (2 Corinthians 1:4).
Even when we have been slapped around by life, we still have to work that muscle. The muscle that stretches when you choose to see beyond your own hurts and help to ease someone else’s. The muscle that holds you upright when you choose to stand by someone in their battle even when you’re in the middle of your own.
That’s the lost art of friendship: Doing unto others what you wish others would do for you.