Vulnerability is difficult for me. There are very few places that feel safe enough for me to be you know…really real. But those places aren’t actual spaces on the earth, but faces of people. People who will see me with eyes of understanding, mercy and love, not judgement, disappointment and scrutiny. They have ears that can handle my reality as I perceive it.
All of us have these people. And all of us should have them.
They are sent to us by God. He intended us to have real, honest relationships with each other so that we can experience community based on truth. So that when our strength fails us, others will be strong in our place. And in doing this we will experience God’s intimate care for us.
These companions for life laugh with us, give us needed perspective, take pleasure in our success’ and mourn with us in loss. They bring peace in the chaos, not added storminess. And they don’t flinch in the middle of vulnerability.
These are our friends. Not the Facebook-kind. The hand-picked family kind.
I have them and so do you. Some live hours from me and some many miles away and in other countries. We don’t talk everyday or see each other all the time, but when we meet the masks come off. The apologies over messy houses or cranky kids need not be explained. There is a common understanding that we come as we are.
Unfortunately I am a fallible friend, which means I know I don’t do friendship perfectly. Far from it. And that is what makes it all so much more blessed. Because with all of the ways I know I have failed my God-given friends, somehow they still love me and somehow the ties of our hearts stay knotted.
I thank God for my friends. For their loyalty and love. For the way they challenge and encourage. For how they show up in times of need. For the laughs and silliness and down-right shenanigans’ that take place when time allows for it.
To my friends, you are the greatest of gifts in this world to me. I am rich because you embraced me even with all my flaws. Thank you.