Do you have people in your life who enrich it to the point that it begins feeling disingenuous? I have been considering this for some time now. I have been blessed with some of the most encouraging friends and for the life of me I don’t know why. I don’t feel like I have returned their encouragement as well as they have given it out. I often walk away wondering, what I’ve done to deserve their love and acceptance.
It’s easy for me to assume their attention must be laced with negativity, but then I stop myself two seconds into my questioning because there’s a reason I chose them as friends. They’ve proven themselves worthy of my trust. Not all these friends are seen daily, monthly or even yearly but they continue to come into my life whether it’s on Facebook, email or through the various ways to get my attention via phone. I adore them, you, all of you. Thank you for being exactly who you’ve proven to be.
A few years ago, when I was new in town I met a woman, by chance (or by me signing up for her group 🙂 ), in a bible study. I had seen her around and was aware of her position at the church. I was drawn to her light, her love for Jesus and His people. I was drawn to her for so many reasons but mostly because of how she treated everyone around her with love and encouragement.
It was during a retreat, she was hosting, where I read the words she had written down, for all of us to pray about, and try to achieve during our walk with Christ. I’ve been working on them all for a long time now and some of the items seemed obvious, others more challenging and one I couldn’t wrap my head around.
She’d written a, No Matter What, list to keep us grounded in our faith. She wrote:
1. Believe God, no matter what. I want to tell her that I do and it has kept me focused.
2. Live with integrity, no matter what. I want to tell her I work on it every time I walk out the door and often consider those times when I fall short, but I am aware that no one but Jesus lives a perfect life and I accept His love for me, even when I fail.
3. Stay in a Bible-believing church, no matter what. I want to tell her I have and it’s been a constant stream of growth, but I miss her pushing back on me and her presence in my world. I want to tell her that what she’s done for me in the past affects me every day and most assuredly my future. I love you, Girlfriend.
4. Keep reading the Bible, no matter what. I want to tell her I am and it’s teaching me everyday. I am His child and I finally see that He does have a plan for all of us. I look forward to my walk and pray it brings me back to her guidance.
5. Keep praying, no matter what. I want to tell her I am praying. I pray for those I know and have yet to meet. I’m praying out loud more and more and I no longer have that uncomfortable feeling I once had, which I mistook for inadequacy.
6. When it’s dark, don’t move…no matter what. I want her to know I didn’t move and felt His love while He worked out His plan. I can see the joy in waiting, working and watching what God can do. (This seemed impossible and can still be one of my biggest struggles.)
7. Laugh every time you can, no matter what. I want her to know that I try to surround myself with those who want the best for me, even if I don’t feel comfortable with what that is. I also laugh with those who I can push towards their own greatness because I’ve witnessed their need to go deeper.
8. Enjoy God’s good gifts, no matter what. I want her to know we have been blessed, but more so, I have been blessed with the ability to accept God’s gifts. Also, I’ve learned a lesson on how He is the One who provides in all areas of our lives.
9. Love your family well. I want her to know that they’re all I think about after my time with God. I am in constant consideration on what is most important for them and what truly isn’t.
My hope is that we all have been blessed with someone in our lives who can not only push us, but encourage us. During the retreat I came across a quote “Wait on God and He will work, but don’t wait in spiritual sulks because you cannot see an inch in front of you!” by Oswald Chambers. I’ve found that reflecting on all the positiveness in your life can always outweigh any of the negative that tries to push in.
I have a strong desire to feed the friendships that I’ve been blessed with, in a new way. I want my friends to consider the nine sentences above. I want to be a better encourager for them. I want them to see the greatness they have inside themselves and offer them encouragement, as Karen did for me.
8 thoughts on “My ‘No Matter What’ Friends”
Thank you!!! You know you’re in there… 🙂 I’m so glad to see you here. ♡♡♡
I do the laughing one. Of course, it’s more like hysteria. Hmmm… I should try the rest.
A very great list. I like it.
Thank you, Professor. I aim to please. 🙂
Thank you, Bethy!