Friendships That Matter

Do you have mom friends? 

Yes, of course you do!

How many of them are close?

Most of them, that’s why you call them friends.

But, how many of them can you be messy with? And no I don’t mean you forgot to do the dishes in the sink kind of messy.  I mean, let all your struggles and heartaches and craziness just fall out, in the open in front of them.  Someone you can ugly cry with and not feel like a crazy person.  Someone you don’t have to “keep it all together” in front of.  How many of those friends do you have?

That question is a little more difficult, isn’t it?

Why?

Why do we struggle to be this open with those we call friends, the same people that mean so much to us we may even call family though they don’t share our DNA? Why are we so stuck on not letting anyone see us that way. Why can’t we tear down the mask, and live fully exposed?

Because that’s a whole new ballgame, isn’t it? 

That’s scary.

But isn’t that how we create authentic relationships? 

I don’t know about you, but the friends that I don’t feel I can truly be myself around feel so fake.  I mean I may really enjoy their company, and that’s not fake, but do I really know them? Do they really know me if we’re not both being authentic?

Maybe it’s time we start getting messy.

I am fortunate enough to have three friends that I can say that I am messy with.  Women with whom I share my most intimate self and know that I am still loved. 

Now, when it came to friends, I always thought there were only two ends on a spectrum, but our personalities say otherwise.  Between the four of us, we could not be more different.   Typically you wouldn’t see personalities and lifestyles as different as ours get along.  

But we do! 

And not only do we get along, we are free to be as emotionally (and physically sometimes, I mean not showered for three days with spit-up all over) messy as we need to be!  And we are! And we accept each other despite those differences!

And there is so much beauty in our friendship, because we are SO different from one another! We celebrate each others’ joys and accomplishments as our own!  And we mourn the heartaches just as deeply. We can offer a different perspective.  We can be honest with each other.  We know there’s no judgment.  We can even *gasp* tell each other we are wrong, in love of course, without any of us being offended.

We can do that because we believe in grace. The acceptance of someone else being a sinner and still loving them despite that. 

We are truly authentic with each other!  Mess and all!

And I believe we were made to be authentic with others.  I don’t think we are suppose to get through this life alone.  And how lonely it must be to feel like you don’t have anyone to let everything out to. And how tiring to always have to keep it all together for everyone you interact with!

God made us to be relational people.  We NEED these kind of friends in our lives.  And we need to not feel afraid to find these kind of people in our lives.

And no, we can’t be this way with everyone.  How beautiful would life be if we could? But that’s not reality.  

My dad always said to me, “In the end, you’ll be able to count your true friends on one hand.” 

I believe he’s right. 

And even though life would be beautiful if we could all be authentic without judgment, all we need is just a few close and authentic friends, lifelong friends, that time may separate, but you can pick right back up where you left off.

Even Jesus had these friends. Of course there were the twelve, but often in the Bible, we read about how He would take James, John, and Peter and reveal intimate parts of Himself. If He is our model, then it only makes sense to live life this way.

But maybe you think your mess is more than someone else’s.  Or someone is going through their own mess and can’t be burdened with yours too.  

Let me tell you, that can’t be further from the truth. Those are lies from the enemy.

The beauty of a messy friendship is that those kinds of things won’t matter, it won’t feel burdensome. That’s because we help each other carry that yoke and the load becomes so much lighter. 

If you don’t have this in your life, it is my prayer that God brings these people to you. Be willing to be messy and open up. Live life fully transparent, and you will discover the true life God intended you to have. Open, messy, full.

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