Oct 12, 2010

Where Do I Begin...Chapter 5

Where Do I Begin?

Chapter 5 - from Friendships for Grown-ups

I enjoyed, Lisa Whelchel, sharing about her friendship with Jennifer, the woman who wrote the Bible study she was currently using.  I think it is a beautiful perspective to look at Jennifer's life as a blind woman and Lisa's life as a woman desperate to find intimate friendship. Jennifer's need to learn to trust, Lisa's very real need to learn to trust.

Although I was reading, actually rereading, I am still in the studying game of this part of friendship.  I need to learn to trust my friends more too.  I need to learn that even if they drop me on my head, that it is okay, they probably will sometimes, but God has got me covered regardless of the friendship outcome.

I agree that Jesus is the kind of friend we are looking for on this earth.  We want a friend who is loving, compassionate, a listener, one who stands by us through thick and thin.  I have been greatly blessed by friends who have shared some of life's harder spots with me.  Friends who have cheered me on through infertility, through adoptions through the foster care system, through many, many days of waiting for adoptions to come to fruition.  I am grateful to have a few praying friends, who hold me up in times such at these, where I am searching for who I am and for the bigger things within my heart to be found; like deeper friendships.

 I was blessed last week to have two of my friends over for our weekly gathering, they both gathered around me and prayed for God to help me get beyond the sadness that my heart is stuck in.  My friends understand, they offer godly advice, they stand in the gap in prayer when I still just can't shake it and are willing to wait for God to move me along in this particular journey of understanding.  

I am so fortunate.  

These same friends will gather this weekend with me.  Several times a year we sneak away from our families and have some girl time.  We eat, drink and talk.  We share bits of what God is showing us and where are hearts are in this season of life.  I am looking forward to Friday.  I am hoping that some walls fall down, walls that we all KNOW we have.  Boundaries each have us has erected around ourselves, to hedge us in and protect us.  Weird, as we are all friends. Actually we are all strong Christian women of active faith. We have been for a long time.  Still in many ways, though we have shared our roads, our hearts and our families for what seems like a very long time, in many ways we are still strangers to each other.  Still each of us carries this weird loneliness that doesn't belong.  We have talked about it some, but can't figure out the *how come* to it.  Perhaps, it is just busyness in life-too busy to move into real intimacy.

One of my friends who is going (there are 6 of us), has been really working on some of our boundary lines.  We have realized we were only friends from Monday-Friday until dinner time.  After that, her boundary line went up.  Though she loves my family, she thought once my Knight came home, she was out of the picture.  Over the past few weeks we have spent time outside of our borders, it was good.  Actually, it was sweet, because I knew she was stepping towards me, though she was unsure.  It is movement into the right direction, perhaps we will get beyond the surface and into the heart of our lives together. 

Does this tie into this week's chapter, oh, I don't know. 
Perhaps not, but as this is what I am living between headaches.
(yes, the $156 dollar wonder antibiotic hasn't fixed me yet and I only have 4 more pills to go. sigh.)

You can jump in anywhere you'd like in this weeks read...
here are some of Lisa's suggestions for us:
1. What are some of your thoughts and feelings about intimate friendships with the opposite sex?

I have friends that are guys- some are close friends that are dear to my heart.  BUT I don't think intimate friendships with the opposite sex are wise for married people, as I believe you are walking in dangerous territory for sure.  My Knight is the only guy who will share the deepest details of my heart.  My search for intimacy has nothing to do with my wonderful friendship and love for him, he is my best friend and always will be.  I am just longing to have a girlfriend who will come along side of me and fill the need that even my Knight cannot.

2.  Which member of the Trinity do you relate more easily~God the Father, Jesus the Son or the Holy Spirit?

Hmmm, probably Jesus.  But I pray to the Father, through the Son (Jesus) everyday and I rely on the Holy Spirit daily to guide, teach and direct me.  Not sure I can clearly point to just one. 
I long to know the Holy Spirit in a deeper way.

3.  Are there any areas of your life where you feel like you are walking around in the dark?

Yes, in what God is doing in me through this desire for an intimate friendship...sometimes I wonder if I am looking for a mentor friend, or just someone who has time for me.

4.  If you could pray for sight, what would you ask for specifically?

Wow, this is hard.  I would ask for a greater vision of what God wants to do in and through my life for His purposes.  And maybe a glimpse at me with this friend I am hoping to have- when He shows me the vision, I am hoping that the running *movie* isn't me really really old...but sometime like maybe this weekend.  Yeah, I am still working on patience.  You'd think with the countless years of infertility and waiting on God to build my family, that I'd be more patient.  Guess again. I am a work in progress for sure.

Enough about me, what about you my friends?


Expat Mom said...

Well, first, I'm sorry the pills aren't working. :( And second, thanks for being my friend . . . I really needed it this past week!

My answers to the questions:
1. I think having male friends is ok, but not intimate relationships. It can become confusing. I have friends who are men, but I am more friends with their wives in most cases.

2. I'd have to say Jesus, since he actually walked among us and experienced life as it is.

3. Yup, parenting!

4. I would want the wisdom to raise my children correctly so they can be wonderful men.

mom said...

Kimmie, what a blessing that you can get away and fellowship with like minded godly women! That is something that is rare in my life and I'm certain would take my friendships to the next level.

And remember, as we take steps of obedience in our lives, God richly blesses us and often in unexpected ways!

Tammy ~@~

Stace said...

Generally speaking my guy friends are really "couple" friends. If that makes sense. I think it's important to distance yourself from being vulnerable with a guy if you and/or he is married! I think Lisa W. was VERY wise to tell the man to let his wife know how often they were speaking. KEEP IT IN THE LIGHT!

I wanted to thank you for helping us evaluate our friendships or lack thereof. I have branched out and have been successful at connecting with a Christian friend at work! We're going Zip Line riding through the trees with the Science Club in a few weeks! Looking forward to it. Making memories together is part of the bonding! So excited that I've reopened that part of my life and starting taking the risk! THANKS for the push! (Thanks even more to OUR LORD!)

Anonymous said...

I've found with my friendships that I can only go so far with them if they're not Christian because we don't share that same spiritual bond. I have a lot of very close friendships with women that aren't Christians but there's a huge part of me that they'll never be able to understand or relate to.

Even though I have some close male friends, I find it's wise to put up some boundary lines that I absolutely won't cross when it comes to sharing intimate details of my life. If I feel I'm getting close to those lines then I start to back off because like Lisa said, emotions/feelings start to creep up.

Jesus is the one I feel the most comfortable with in the Holy Trinity.

One of the areas that I feel I'm still walking around in the dark is my identity. God has shed tremendous light in this area, but there are definitely still some dark places.

Annie Chase said...

Ive been running a bit behind in my reading but I've finally caught up to chapter 5. This chapter didn't reach me as much as the others did although I am curious why she hardly ever talks about her husband.
I had a friend hurt me REALLY badly a few years back and I cried for months. It was heart-wrenching to me. But through it I began to hear the holy spirit and I walked with Jesus in a way I never had before. Looking back I'm beginning to see a peephole of the way God worked that friendship into his big plan and used it to reach the depths of my heart to bring me closer to him.

Another thing I really liked in this chapter was the email idea. Kids my age don't use email very much anymore. I am so blessed to have a friend (the same friend who ripped my heart out and stomped on it a few years back) who emails me regularly and who is now walking the road of friendship with me even though we both struggle with friendship. And what she said about the short texts of encouragement and asking God to reveal how she can help her friend more spoke to me as well.

I'm really enjoying this book. Thank you so much for starting this study.

Roselawn said...

I have to say that Annie seems very wise beyond her years. God is going to use her for great things. Stacey: The Zip Line sounds so fun! Glad you're getting to do that with a friend... and so happy that we are starting to develop and online friendship! At in reference to "Disjourney's" comment... I totally agree that the spiritual bond is crucial to developing intimacy in a relationship.

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