Heartspeak: On Being a Friend

Friendships are fragile things, and require as much care in handling as any other fragile and precious thing.
–Randolph S. Bourne

Friends are wonderful, and I am certainly not exaggerating when I say that a good friend is a lovely blessing in one’s life. I am so thankful to have been bestowed with so many of those lovely blessings, many of whom are scattered to the four corners of the globe (which is rather funny since the world is round).  Despite having so many friends that I hold very dear to my heart, at times I feel very hesitant when it comes to making new friends.

I am by no means a snob. I would say that I am generally a more accepting and trusting person than a lot of people my age, and if you disagree with my statement, I would politely venture to say that it has been awhile since you visited a high school or a college (although I have had better experiences at most colleges, to be completely honest). For many years, however, I have struggled with reaching out and making friends, and it hasn’t been until recently that I finally figured out the reason for my hesitance.

I am very good at being unavailable.

Unavailable, you might ask? How is that a good reason for avoiding friendships with other people? To tell the truth, that’s the whole point: it isn’t a good reason.

friendship

Yes, I’m there for my friends always, and I say as much to them. “Text me (although I might not answer). Call me (although I might not get your call). Let’s meet up and hang out soon (although I don’t know when that will be).” I say all of these things with the best intentions, and for the most part, I do keep in touch with my friends. Time passes, and I suddenly find myself out of touch with those people I hold most dear, and I’m stuck scratching my head, wondering how on earth did that happen?

It happened because I allowed it to happen. I started holding my friends at an arm’s length… again.

I didn’t distance myself from my friends because I didn’t love them, so what excuse do I have for my not-very-loving behavior towards them? I don’t really know, to be perfectly honest. Some of it might come from having moved around so much during my life, and not wanting to be hurt again when it came time to say goodbye to the friends I had made. I could blame some of it on my particular dislike for smartphones and Facebook (although ironically, Facebook is how I stay in touch with most of my friends). And yet, those are not really the reasons for my disconnection with friends.

I guess I’m not too sure why I have such trouble staying in touch with my friends, but it’s something that I will continue to bring before the Throne of my Father. For all of my friends that are reading this, please know that I love you dearly, each and every one of you! If you haven’t heard from me in a while, just know that I still do love you and think about you often. I am so blessed to know you all, and I pray that it won’t be long before I do see you all again, whether it’s here or Heaven! (What a day that will be!)

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