Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'll Meet You There

I wrote a poem for my best friend. She’s my sister-friend – you know, the best of both worlds. We’ve known each other for about 18+ years now and we’ve shared some really good and very bad times together. She’s had a rough time the past year and as she’s tried to navigate her way through some tough life issues. It’s been difficult the past few months as I’ve felt her pull back and construct some boundaries that I wasn’t sure I understood. I tried my best to honor her feelings and yet struggled at times with feeling a bit rejected, misunderstood and even a little angry. Somewhere along the way, however, I realized that if I really loved her as a friend, that I needed to give her whatever space she needed to “order” her life a bit. So I’ve done my best to honor her new boundaries and sort of sit back hoping that our friendship wouldn’t be permanently different, but understanding that it was a possibility that it would be.

Several states separate us, but we got the opportunity last month to spend a day together, and it was so fun! We talked for hours, sang in the car, went for a walk and prayed…it was awesome. She sent me an email afterwards, thanking me for meeting her where she was at. I starting thinking about that….isn’t that what we really long for and need from all of our close friends? I go back to Proverbs 17:17 again, but it does say a friend loves at ALL times. I guess that means when we feel great about changes in our relationship and even when we don’t. I wrote her this…hoping to convey that of course I’d be willing to do whatever…because I love her and sometimes you don’t understand, but you hang in there anyway.

I’ll meet you there
In those places of fear, shame or weakness
Where you hide your heart and pretend
I’ll meet you where
God’s Spirit makes you whole
And the hope of a pure heart seems possible
I’ll meet you in prayer
Approaching the throne together
Hearts laid bare
Hands lifted high
Or face to the ground
Struggling to make sense of it all
I’ll be there
Walking together on life’s journey
The sweet taste of victory
And the bitterness of failure
It doesn’t matter which
I’ll meet you
Walk with you
And be your friend

I’ve learned a couple of important things about relationships along this crazy life journey. The only relationship we NEED is Jesus, every other person we love is simply a blessing and a gift. I know that seems very simplified, but I truly believe that. When I was 19 my best friend at that time died in a car accident. I really thought I was going to have a breakdown because she was the only one I’d ever completely shared my heart with. I didn’t. I just picked up a pen and started writing poetry and reading my Bible more. I had a few friends that I was very close to move away when I lived in St. Louis and I thought it would break my heart. It did for a while, but we’re still friends and now we just communicate differently. My husband stopped confiding in me and started sharing his life with people I didn’t even know, and then ultimately he just left. I remember thinking that I literally wanted to die. Not that I ever considered suicide, don’t get me wrong, because I didn’t. I just thought that death would surely be easier then the hell I felt I was going through. But I’ve survived, and in fact, grown closer to God and the friends around me more than ever. All of that loss along the way has helped me to have a little perspective I guess. I have always been fine after some period of grieving for whatever loss I was experiencing. God is the only relationship who hasn’t left me or changed in some fashion over the years. I wish I’d learned that lesson when I was younger because it could have saved me a lot of grief, and yet, I think the grief is where I learned the lesson. And so of course I’ll meet my friend where she’s at…isn’t that what God has done for me every step of the way?

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