Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I have encountered multifarious difficulties this semester. I did not anticipate these types of obstacles. I am glad that I did not know ahead of time the traumas that I would face, or I would have hidden away in the safe town of Clemmons, surrounded by the cocoon of my church family and friends. I didn’t know, and that was better. What has felt in many ways like dying is emerging into a platform leading to more complete experiences of living.
One of the greatest, if not the greatest, lessons that I have learned is in the realm of friendship. I have found myself hurt deeply on several levels over the past months. I was terrified of stepping back out into the dangerous world of relationships, so I hid. I hid from everyone, and in the midst of my hurt, I stayed stuck. Healing comes from the great Healer, and He works through community. I separated from community as a knee-jerk reaction out of anger and fear.
How do you reach out in the midst of your personal hell when you don’t even know how to deal with it? It seems selfish and unfair to ask someone to come along side to be with you through the pain and agony of grief and hurt. Is it more appropriate to keep it to one’s self? Is it just a “me-and-God” type of deal? Should I cry alone at night into my pillow, stifling the sobs so that no one is concerned or burdened? What is friendship? What are boundaries? When do I reach out, and when do I simply stay away?
I now have a new experience of friendship. This is a friendship where a companion does not enter into the pain of another in order to fix. There may be a place for encouragement, admonishment, and accountability. Sometimes, however, the only thing that is needed is presence. In the pit of my depths of pain, I did not need some one to fix me or even to give me the right words or read the right Bible verse. I just needed a shoulder, arms to wrap around me as I sobbed. Someone who was willing to sit and hear the stories and the nightmares and say, “Wow! That sucks. I am so sorry. Keep breathing.” I do not expect them to fix me. I just need them to be there.
On the other side, I see the weight lifted off of my shoulders in my friendships where there is a need. I don’t have to fix someone. I don’t have to have the right words. I just need to be accessible. I can sit and listen or sit and cry with my friend. There is no longer the weigh of having to be the “savior” or the “fix-it friend.” It is not my job to be the voice of conviction or the one who is always right. My job is to be the friend who comes along side, offers up prayers of intercession, sits for hours if needed, just to be present through the pain.
Here is the moral today: Friendship is presence. It is willingness to “enter in” with those that we love. We fail sometimes and we come through sometimes. But we love through being there.

1 comment:

  1. Megan, thanks so much for your vulnerability. It really speaks to my life this semester. WoW! I'm blown away. I've wondered if I keep this a just me and God thing or accept the help of friends, and I've also wondered how to be that friend to others. I love all you've said. So beautiful!