As you know, I’ve added a word a month to my 2018 deeply rooted year. Being intentional has brought significant change, and, although I may not write about the journey, God has been doing an exceptional work.
January: Gratitude (Gratitude brings joy despite your circumstances.)
February: Hope (Hope is an action word. Take steps and make plans with a hopeful viewpoint.)
March: Discipline (I can discipline myself to improve my physical and spiritual well being. We began our Whole 30 journey as a family.)
April: New (God has shown me the fresh “new” in my personal and professional life. I’m setting goals based on a desire to get out of my comfort zone.)
As I prayed for the month of May, God gave me confirmation of the word “friendship” when my oldest posted pictures of her little girl’s friendship and a precious quote. I also noticed that our lesson for Woman of Worth was on “burning flames”–mentors or friendships in our lives that support our faith walk. Equally compelling was the natural conflict in middle school relationships with my youngest. As much as we gain from a relationship, we can also be deeply hurt or troubled in the process of building the relationship over time. How do we restore?
Highly personal in nature, the month of April and first of May, have been an engaging friendship time of the year. Connecting with others over the Whole 30 eating plan, yoga retreats and practice, Woman of Worth, and the budding of new friendships have all been events that have nurtured my soul. I guess you could say I’ve taken notice of the value and the precious gift given when someone says, “Yes–I want to spend time with you.” As much as events and time can nurture the soul, a simple act of kindness, a hug, a smile, a reassuring comment, or a little message through text or email can create a connection that sends the message, “You are not alone.”
This month I purpose to be intentional with those God has put in my life to call friend. How can I listen more and encourage? I also plan to value the relationship by praying for my friends, and praising God for the gift. When conflict arises, I hope to lean into the discomfort and remember this quote:
“A friend is one to whom one may pour out the contents of one’s heart, chaff and grain together, knowing that gentle hands will take and sift it, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.” George Eliot (This quote was my mom’s best friend’s quote they shared and has been passed down to my family.)
Lastly, I read a devotional about a man who was continuously disappointed in a relationship with one of his adult children. Reconciliation never occurred. The impact of his disappointment troubled his marriage and the quality of life in general. The message was clear. We can never expect a friendship this side of heaven to fulfill all of our needs and all of our desires. The only one who is a true Friend and forever faithful to us is Jesus. We know this, but we must practice in our thoughts, attitudes, and actions. If you find yourself completely immobilized by a relationship that impacts your quality of life, then it’s time to look up and look in.
John 15:15 I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.