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Seasons of Friendship

The most telling test of a true friend is what they do when your life hits its lowest point, like mine did this year. I was hit with one thing after another, each compounded by complications of those circumstances. That’s vague, but that’s all you need. If you’ve been through a time when all you waned to do was stay in bed and hide from life, but you knew you couldn’t, so you robotically went through the motions, then you know what I mean. Basically, the only way I could have felt worse would have been by the death of a loved one, which thankfully never happened.

In this time, I desperately needed friends. The thing is, people are busy with their lives, and the formalities of one text to check in on me one time may have come, but only a few continued to check on me, knowing my introvert self was unlikely to reach out on my own, but that I still needed to know people cared. I am so grateful to those people, even if all they did was repeatedly send me texts to check on me, and for the ones who got me out of the house and just let me talk it out. I was surprised when certain people I had always thought would be the first at my side seemed to shrug their shoulders at my pain, seeming never to give it a second thought, while others who I really didn’t know all that well yet reached out and helped me through.

I didn’t even realize that I’ve been dealing with anger and rejection until recently. What happened to the friendships I had valued so much before? They disappeared in my darkest time and sometimes even seeing these people in passing actually made me feel sick and angry, smiling and hugging, and going about their business, or should I say busyness.

I hope when my friends need me that I am not too blind and busy to see. I would hate to ever make anyone feel that pain.

Then I heard the song “Seasons of Love” from the play Rent, and I started thinking about how our lives go through seasons, and our friendships fall into that as well. Admittedly, I do not easily open up and truly connect with people, so when I do, I obviously hope such a friendship will last forever, but life doesn’t work that way most of the time. Some of our friendships are just for a season, and when that season passes, new people enter our lives. Even in my hurting, God knew what I needed, and He brought me comfort and love, even if it wasn’t where I would have thought to look. But that’s why He’s God and I’m not.


Having a Mary Moment

When I think about my personality, I realize I’m a Martha, as in Martha and Mary, Lazarus’s sisters (the guy Jesus raised from the dead).   How cool would it be to just hang out with Jesus like these siblings did?

Luke 10:38-42

[38] As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. [39] She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. [40] But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

[41] “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, [42] but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

So, Martha was a type “A” perfectionist.  I totally identify with her.  She probably labelled and color coded her clay pots and wineskins.  I get that.  I once took a “Which Friends Character are You?” quiz and came out between a Monica and a Chandler (I guess I would be their offspring), so I’m a goofy, anal retentive person.

Anyway, I digress.    Martha was working hard, like she probably always did, trying to make everything perfect while her guest was there, and she saw her sister just sitting around hanging with Jesus, so she got mad at Mary.  Deep down, Martha wanted to be the one hanging out, listening to Jesus tell stories, but she couldn’t let go of all the “stuff” that needed to be done.  Out of anger and jealousy of Mary’s ability to just chill, Martha called out her sister, but got a surprise response.

Mary had already taken stock of the situation and she realized spending time with Jesus was far more important than making sure the dirt floor got swept again.  Seriously, the disciples were just going to keep on tracking in more dirt anyway.  It isn’t that we should ignore our responsibilities (there are plenty of scriptures against laziness), but we need to prioritize sometimes and realize that time with the Lord should come first.  We should keep a day of rest.

When I got to church today, I kept thinking about all the research papers I have to get graded in the near future and was planning how many I would get through today.  Then the message was about worship and letting God know we love Him by spending time with Him in worship.

I’ve had many circumstances on my mind lately, some big and some small, and I have seen many prayers answered.  While I sat in church today, I began to realize that I should probably carve out some time from grading research papers and the many other “things” that always keep me busy (after all, I worked on similar tasks all day yesterday already), and spend some time with God.  So that is what I’m going to do today…