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Monday, March 31, 2014

Do I have to? {22 of 40 Stories}



Recently, I’ve been given a bit of truth about friendship. It seems as though I was caught in a snare – and didn’t even know it! Before then, I felt like I was a big friendship failure. I thought I messed up and hurt people.  I thought I couldn’t ever sustain a friendship across time. I felt like I let people down because I couldn’t return emails or phone calls or visits like I “should.” 

Now that I’m free from the snare, I’m a little embarrassed to write these thoughts. I can see now that they are lies – twisted, unkind versions of the truth meant to hinder me. Unfortunately I lived with these lies for too long, not even knowing I was caught.

I don’t think I’m the only one who has been trapped by a skewed version of friendship. As women, we carry all kinds of friendship hurts. It starts because little girls aren’t very nice to one another. Unfortunately big girls aren’t always nice either.

So when God asked me to find some other women to study scripture with, I kind of scoffed at the idea. When I was released from the friendship snare, I saw things more clearly. Still, I wasn’t so keen on a bible study with women.

God kept nagging me. Finally I sent a text to another woman in my church. I felt a little silly, but decided it was the only way to be free from arguing with God. Jasmine responded saying she was already in a group. 

I replied “Thanks,” with a smiley face. I went on my merry way, feeling smug that I was right and God was wrong on this deal.

A few days later I received another text from Jasmine:
Hey, I’m not sure why you asked about my small group the other night but I’m no longer in one. Anyway, I felt like I lied to you even though at that moment I thought I was in one.

I laughed when I read her text. Okay God, you get the last laugh, I thought. And then I proceeded to send the longest text of my entire life.





I rolled my eyes at the length of the text and then sent it. Jasmine’s response confirmed we have a playful God:




It turns out that Jasmine is always saying, God, I'll do anything, just please write it down for me! Although I felt silly because of the length of my text, it was exactly what Jasmine needed to see. In addition, her text was exactly what I needed to set my heart at ease about the whole small group deal.

Jasmine and I met in the sanctuary of our church tonight. It didn’t feel like a first meeting. It felt like the middle of a conversation that was started a long time ago and has much more to come.

God is very good. I feel so special that he connected us in a fun way, ironed out the expectations of our time, and took control of the learning and prayer. Once again, I can’t believe how close I came to missing the blessing.

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