Wednesday, October 19, 2011

when relationship is worship

I once lived in a house with seven other girls.

It was one girl's friendship toward me that encouraged me to do it. She expressed an interest in me. I remember how she was so nice to me. I remember it as the first time someone wanted me to do something with them. This girl quickly became a real life friend.

Yet, one day, specifically, I remember not wanting her in my life.
I couldn't let her *in.*

This friend and I both left for classes at the same time and we'd often walk together. But on one particular day, and maybe for several days, I couldn't do it. I had to walk way ahead of her. I'd rush out of the house to avoid her.

Though we never talked about it, I knew my attitude toward my friend was less than grateful and heavy on the leave-me-alone side.I'm not sure what I was dealing with that would keep her out, but I remember how I felt with the wall between us.

I needed her and I missed her.

Why is it that friends keep quiet when they need *relationship* the most?

Do we fear we won't be accepted?

That girl became one of my best friend's. She sang in my wedding and stood by my side as I committed to Every. Day. with my forever-groom. She's stood in the gap for me and accepted me with arms wide open and a heart of understanding.

Years later, I was married and she wasn't (yet), and I lost a baby four months into my pregnancy. I struggled in thinking that I deserved this fate and at the same time, I prepared myself to keep my friend out.

After delivering a baby way too early and coming home empty handed, I sent an email to several people with my best friend in mind. I didn't want any phone calls and didn't want to talk about it. My announcement was an arm extended with a message to keep away. To this day we still have hardly talked about it.

Why do we allow ourselves to hurt *longer*
instead of seeking comfort from those who care?

Do we fear we won't be understood?
Do we fear we won't be given freedom to live our own way?

My mom has recently learned the news that her best childhood friend has been living a scary year--her husband has brain cancer. It hurt her to find out her friend is hurting.

In learning the heart aching news, my mom realized that she hadn't let her best friend know of her own heart break nearly a year ago--her own mother's death. Yet, she'd hop a plane or drive a day away if she knew her friend needed her.

Why are friends often shared with only when it's *safe*?

Do other people's stories make us think our own story isn't
worthy enough

Questions begin to fill my mind...

Why we keep out people who love us?
Why do we shy away from sharing bad news?
Why is *life* not shared?

I can't help but wonder why we do this to ourselves.
And most especially, I can't help but think about Worship.

When we reach out and share our story...

...when we call and tell the truth...

...when we admit our weakness...

...when we admit our imperfection--our humanness...

...when we lean on another...

We honor the One who created it all.

And most especially, we give permission to others
to Worship *free* in the Real

That honors Him the most, I think.

Telling. {and} Inviting. 

{After all, He did tell us to Go and Tell, right?}

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  1. this is so good, Amy.

    and i am shaking my head in wonder, too, as i read you asking the questions. mostly because ive DONE this recently. and i had to apologize to my friend for it.

    i think, yes, we ARE afraid of not being heard correctly, being judged, being told what to DO with our life once we let them in.

    yes, yes, yes, you said it perfectly--i think this is our highest praise--admitting we dont have it all under control, but HE does--and living that out in a real way with those around us. i liked this a lot.

    blessings in His grace,


  2. Your thoughts had an effect on me, so much I cried and still feel emotional. I have put up so many walls and shut out many friends. Some of these friends are no longer in my life and that saddens me. Your words give me some peace though - for the relationships I do have, I strive to be truthful about my feelings. Often I hold this in, for fear of rejection, fear of hurting their feelings, fear of not living up to their expectations of me. I'm learning how to let the past behind me, to treasure the memories I have, and to honor the path that God has chosen for me, even though it has turned in ways I didn't expect. Perhaps that is too why I shut out friends, because my life was turning in ways I hadn't planned, or because I was too scared to admit that I had failed. I recognize this "failure" is leading to new opportunities and with that a husband to be, two children, a fruitful teaching career, and wondrous ways to have an impact. I'm rambling to you - thanks for your words!


  3. so so so true! i have done and do the same thing...I hate being wrapped in so much fear (judgment, misunderstood, condimation etc..) I desire such close relationships but run away at the same time....thanks for putting into words the feelings that i have :) love ya!

  4. This is a beautiful definition of worship Amy. . . to allow others in, to admit our weaknesses, to share life with others.
    And always, always a struggle for many women. I wish I knew why too, but all we can do is choose to climb the fences of our fears.

  5. Pure grace here, sweet Amy. This rocked me my friend and sits heavy on my heart as I sit here and let your words soak in... That we would learn to live being willing to tell it, willing to whisper or shout to the ones we call friends when we need them
    most. I know for me it's partially a pride thing. God forbid someone find out how much I need them, or how terribly far from having it all together I actually am... Thank you for sharing these hard truths... I am so thankful for you.

  6. I find this to be so true. It was easier to reach out the outter ring of people in my life during struggles than the inner ring. Rejection is a strong fear