Friday, December 7, 2012

A True Friend

I've always had a deep and sincere longing for a close friend, a desire which I believe I share with all of humanity. People have a natural need for a deep bond which was built into us from the the time of creation.

Up until recently, I have always sought to maintain a best friend outside my family. I was willing to sacrifice whatever it took to keep that one friendship alive, often at the cost of other relationships. In the past I've given up my art, my blog, and even some of who I was to make other people happy. Sometimes I found myself disappointed or even betrayed by those same people I had given so much to and I was left feeling empty, lonely, and broken.

I never seemed to understand what I was going through at the time, or why my heart needed to feel agony, but usually after a while I could see I had learned many lessons. Even though I had often been told these things before, I never would have understood them so well as I do now without going through heartache and emotional pain. Pain is a very effective teacher.

So far, the pain of broken relationships has taught me:

  1. Absolutely nothing and no one should come before God. My only goal in life should be to obey and pursue a closer friendship with God. God loves and forgives, no matter what. He is the only true, perfect friend I will have in this earthly life.
  2. God is all I need. "My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever." -Psalm 73: 26
  3. God will never fail me, even though people will. I would never have chosen to have some of the most important friends in my life disappoint me, but God knew that experiencing loss was the best way to draw me closer to Him.
  4. God always knows what is best. I'm learning to trust that God will place the right people in my life and remove those who will pull me away from Him.
  5. I shouldn't change who I am for anyone but God. If the Lord is happy with who I am, I don't have to worry about changing myself just so that others will like me.
  6. Being open and honest about problems is best. If I truly value my friends and family, I should go straight to them with concerns and problems.
  7. I have nothing to fear. I pray that God will keep me from yielding to fear and protect me from those who will try to manipulate me when I'm afraid.
    "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Philippians 4:6-7
  8. Reach out and make new friends. No one earthly friend can supply all my needs. Even if they could I still need to reach out and learn how to serve all my brothers and sisters in this world.
  9. Love cannot be selfish. "Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." -1 Corinthians 13:4-7
  10. Be humble, always admit when you are wrong, and be quick to apologize. Being quick to apologize shows people that you value your friends above your ego.
  11. Forgive others who wrong you and learn to except apologies that are never given. Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to bestow, especially if the person who wronged you never said "I'm sorry". Our sinful hearts cling to bitterness, but God can free anyone from the burden of unforgiveness.

I can't change the past and I wouldn't want to. The lessons I have learned have been invaluable.


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