This past year, I have really found God working through the people in my life. My friends usually brought the answers to my prayers, whether through a simple gesture or a kind word of encouragement. Lately I have found myself reflecting on my friendships and how wonderfully fortunate I am to have these people in my life. Though I may try, I feel like I can never thank them enough for all they have done or truly express all that they mean to me. I find the quality of these friendships to be astonishing.
No matter how many times I sang the song in Girl Scouts (the one year I was in it…), “make new friends, but keep the old” never quite stuck with me. Until now, I think I’ve been Breakfast Club-ing through life, not really keeping any social connections (if you don’t understand the reference, watch the movie and excuse the language). I migrated from clique to clique as each year passed. Second grade, it was the blondes – yeah, I know… Fourth grade, the four-square boys from recess. Fifth grade, the tomboys. Seventh grade, the anime fans who turned me into the character “Sasha” in their fan fiction novel. From then on, my friend group depended on who was taking the same classes that year. The only friends that stuck with me from year to year were those from church or the ones from Bible study before school.
But this? This feels different. Maybe I’m just tired of clique-hopping, and I’m just working harder at making relationships last. Or maybe the friends I have now are the kind of people who make you want to work harder, because the last thing you’d ever want is to lose their friendship. I don’t know. But I like this feeling. To think that I may someday be someone’s bridesmaid or the godmother of their child… The possibility of turning to some kid at the dinner table and saying, “Did you know that when your dad and I went to college together…” [insert humorous bit of nostalgia here]. I never expected that sort of thing to happen until now – until I formed these friendships that appear will actually last past graduation.
Right now I’m reading a lot about relationship as the root of God’s nature in Donald Miller’s Searching For God Knows What. Since the Fall, God just so strongly desires for us to be one with Him again, for us to be one with each other. For us all to be in relationship again – all because of Love. Miller writes:
The essence of Christ’s ministry was to display the worth of humanity, all stemming from God’s love for them. Even today, as Christ works to minister to hurting people through His servants, the message is the same (p 131).
Though I may seek to be a servant through whatever I do, I often find myself being served in the way Miller writes about. My friends and others in my life remind me of my worth, showing God’s love to me. Miller continues later in his book, “I have sometimes wondered if the greatest desire of man is to be known and loved anyway” (p 133). And that’s what Christ, in all his unconditional love and glory, was all about: loving us despite our failures, our insecurities, everything that the world says makes us unworthy. Jesus “goes nearly immediately to our greatest fears, our most injured spaces, and speaks into those spaces with authority” (p 133).
It is this same nature that I witness in the hearts of my friends. They know me and love me anyway. So perhaps, I’m not just tired of clique-hopping. Maybe I just don’t want to lose the light of God I see inside them.