A week ago I had a huge disappointment. I had applied for an internship that seemed too good to be true, and I made it through most of the whittling-down process. In fact, I was in the last six. But, I found out last Thursday that I didn’t get it. I had prayed since the beginning that God’s will be worked through the process, and so I was surprised at how hard it was to hear the “no”. Hard might be a bit of an understatement. It hurt like – heart-being-pulled-out-of-you-while-still-fully-alive-and-breathing hurt. Like I-suddenly-couldn’t-breathe hurt. Like 1,000-paralyzing-brain-freezes-hitting-you-all-at-once hurt.
So, like any self-respecting woman who has emotions and admits to it, I cried. I actually curled up on the floor of my bathroom and poured my heart out to God in tears (I didn’t have words). Eventually, I pulled it together enough to text my dear friend, asking her to pray for me, because I wasn’t in a very good spot.
And then I went to Lifegroup, because it was Thursday, and Lifegroup happens on Thursday nights. And no, I didn’t really feel like going. But these people are the ones who weekly remind me, and challenge me with different aspects of my walk with God. These people also care about me pretty intensely. And, well, I’m a sucker for routine. Routine is a great place to hide if everything is not okay.
So, when I showed up at the door and one of my friends asked me how I was doing, I tried to pretend everything was okay, and said “good”. Except my friend knew me better than that. She knows me so well, that she could look straight into my eyes, and say, “No Honey, you’re not okay at all. Let’s go talk about it.” She has, after all, been a part of my life for over a year now – almost two. And she can read me pretty well. That’s one of the benefits of Lifegroup. Some of the people become friends who can tell when something’s up with you before you even know something is…or can tell when you don’t want them too.
Anyway, my friend somehow pulled the super-human feat of understanding what all my tears were about through my sobs and sniffles. Later, when the group was sharing prayer requests, and I knew if I even opened my mouth, more than my eyes would be leaking (which they had been doing all evening), she went ahead and added me to the list. She knew.
And really, that’s the point. Wherever you are in life – young or old, student, or adult, you need friends. The really good kind that care about you, and that tend to know what’s going on; the kind that will keep you accountable and remind you of the big picture. It’s called living in community, and if you intend to live your life in a way that pleases God, it’s vital. You HAVE to have it. You won’t make it without a close group of friends.
That being said, of course, if you pick the wrong friends to surround yourself with, things won’t be pretty for you.
So, be careful who you invite into your community. Be purposeful in who you invite. Are they people you want to be more like? Only invite those sort. Because whoever is in your community, your friendgroup, that is who you eventually will look like.
Have friends; have challenging, God-loving, honest, awesome, slightly scary friends. And then let them in to your life. You will be incredibly blessed.