Saturday, March 4, 2017

Navigating The Waters of Friendships

God has taught me so much about the value of healthy relationships, and the wisdom necessary to obtain them.

Many of us in today's world communicate through social media: It gives us avenues to connect with family and friends. It also provides a means for one's voice to be heard.

If given a choice, however, I would still prefer the physical realm of friendship. I find there's a more profound connection through the sharing of our stories face-to-face.   

Don't get me wrong. I write snippets about my life here on my blog, and I do hope it helps my readers navigate through similar situations. Furthermore, if I aspire to be a great writer/storyteller, I also know there's a certain amount of vulnerability that goes along with it. But not at the expense of having my life totally exposed. Seeing the political scene continue to play out on social media in the USA is a blunt reminder of the scrutiny created through its use. So for me, there are certain aspects of my life I would rather not share with the cyber world.

But whether it's in the cyber world or the physical world, some acquaintances and friends will come and go. It's a fact of life. Because life is a sequence of events, and sometimes these events not only alter us but they change the circle of people we associate with as well.

When Derick and I became a Christian, for example, our circle of friends changed. Some remained acquaintances but most drifted away. And our circle of friends changed (yet again) when our daughter came out gay.

During our daughter's coming out, we attended a church that was very conservative, and at times they exhibited a harmful stance toward homosexuality. Many felt our daughter needed fixing, and that our love for her should be conditional. Derick and I tried to conform to what they deemed acceptable, all the while our daughter's life hung in the balance. But thankfully, unconditional love did find a way to prevail. I shudder to think of the implications had we chosen a different path.

When facing life's storms, ask God to navigate you back to the friendlier waters of life. He created us not only to desire the bond of a family but of friendship as well. And sometimes He even blesses us with friends that become like family. These friends are, indeed, a rarity, and a true gift from above.