I have such Friends

Somehow, Friday has come and gone but nonetheless I’m linking up with the other intrepid souls at Tales from a Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday, a group of writers who write for five minutes on a prompt without over editing, backtracking or worrying too much about getting it exactly right …This week’s word – Friend

13. I have such Friends 2

For various reasons over the past number of months the word ‘friend’ has been a major theme in my thoughts and considerations. Despite my love of friendship I find it an intangible word, hard to pin down in my life and for my life.
I am blessed to have all sorts of friends in many different countries.

Each friendship is a treasure, each individual and their influence on my life inimitable.
Some friendships we enjoy as a couple, others are family based, some are uniquely mine.
There are those who have known me since birth and remember me more as I was, than as I am.
Those who have grown with me and continue to have influence.
Friends that have fallen away…lives that have changed, hurts that have happened – regrets.
New friends with whom I hope to build a lasting trust.
I have friends I can talk politics to and some with whom I wouldn’t dare.
Those with whom I share the grand adventure of developing the artistic hopes within me.
Friends who know my Jesus and sharpen and encourage me in my faith and many others who don’t.
Those with whom I can be completely real and others with whom I hold back.
Friends who come for dinner and friends I meet in coffee shops.
Many who know me better than I know myself.
Varied, wonderful relationships enjoyed in so different ways enliven and enrich my life.
Offering me glimpses of the Eternal and the many facets of Life.

Yet there are often still longings…
For me and for my friends…
Initially I blamed unrealistic expectations and defectiveness.
I now believe all friendships are to be embraced, nurtured and treasured for what they are.
And the ache, also present, eagerly accepted as a marker towards heaven…
The aroma of the truth that we were made for More!
Five Minute Friday

Think where man’s glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.
William Butler Yeats

Scattered Words

12. 2013 Scattered Words 1Early this week some words scattered carelessly by someone I love wounded me.
Longing for approval and falling prey to measuring myself by others assessment of me, I was an easy victim.
Narcissistic, it was an easy opportunity for a dark festering to take root in my mind.
Self-doubt overcame me as lies informed the narrative of who I am.
I once again became ‘one offended’….

Let me not deceive myself, this week, this day I offended too…. I spoke without thinking and my words lightly off my lips went straight to another’s heart. My actions intentionally or unintentionally excluded. I wounded a friend.

It is clear that the one thing in life over which we have no control is the constant barrage of offenses (Luke 17:1). It’s the way of this fallen world. I also know, academically, that there is a way to stop the pain caused by the offense and in so doing end the cycle of hurt. Living it out is not always so easy. Jesus warns us (as the offended) to “watch out”! I think because we are at great risk when feeling exposed and vulnerable. Just as an animal is often most dangerous when wounded, it is easy for us to hide, or lash-out and to justify all manner of self-destructive behaviour simply by the fact that we are in pain.

In this situation, that brought all this to light, the words so easily spoken, paralyzed me. It made me want to protect myself. Filled with self-doubt I vowed never to expose myself again. Confused and in pain I wanted to hide. By allowing the offense to linger I opened myself up to bitterness, defensiveness and suffering.

10 The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy….

Yet He called me back to His heart, He searched for me as I fled.
Even now, in my fear and with all my reservations, He holds me to Him.
In Him alone there is truth and freedom.
He tells me my self-perception is of no relevance.
He calls me to Trust Him.
In accepting His view of me, I am set free from the bondage of self and ‘other’ judgment, and able to live this life without limits that He has for me.

…..I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

John 10:10
Amplified Bible (AMP)
12. 2013 Scattered Words 2

Jumping into Love

2013 April 19th - Jump 1

I don’t like to jump…. I have a sore knee and so when I am at Boot-camp I cheat on any exercises that require me to become airborne. The yummy mummies have no such difficulty though, and are full of enthusiasm for the above ground ‘spring’.

This aversion to bounding upwards and forwards extends into all aspects of my life. I am not a person who moves rashly into anything. Speeding downhill on my bike too scary without brakes. I over-think and am more of the ‘measured’ type. But I love to watch the enthusiasm that others enjoy when they wholeheartedly embrace a new opportunity.

I am at peace with the fact that I was not created to leap…
He made me the way I am, it was not a mistake
Fully embracing the truth that I am completely accepted,
just as I am…
Coming to understand my belovedness,
has radicalized my life and freed me
to appreciate myself and others….

I long for the same understanding for everyone. I thank Brennan Manning, who deeply influenced this process for me. He died on this past Friday April 12, at the age of 79. I like to think he leapt into the arms of his Abba. This week I posted one of my favourite quotes of his and I encourage you, if you are still struggling with a sense of having a deficit to find friends who can point you to the Truth that you are loved and accepted just as you are…

Define yourself radically as one beloved by God…
Every other identity is illusion.”

This post was inspired by Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday word: JUMP. I am loving joining other writers each Friday for five minutes of free writing. 

Five Minute Friday

 

I am Here…

I find myself Here….
View More: http://sofiewarrenphotography.pass.us/meyer

It’s a place of accepting my smallness and the reality that I know nothing…

God is here and my relationship with Him secure; even in my brokenness and faulted human way of relating to Him. Everything else is uncertain.

In my youth this would have been an unwelcome place, now I embrace it.
I used to have an opinion on everything. Now I surprise myself by often staying quiet and not always jumping in to offer an opinion or suggest an action. I am no longer convinced that any human has an absolute understanding of God and how He operates (e.g. I know Him to be good – but do not understand the way He demonstrates it).

Everything I ever said I would “never” do has turned out the opposite for me.
A combination of Love and time has shown me that the complexities of life and the way relationships and people connect mean there are often no clear answers… only more questions. My view of the world is limited. This is a truth I now embrace.

I am here….

I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I’ve come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them…

2012 Trees in London in the late PM Annie Dillard (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, 1975)

This post was inspired by Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday word: HERE. I am loving joining other writers here each Friday for five minutes of unedited, free writing. 

Five Minute Friday

Living in the After

Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH Autosave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH
What comes after?

After you have stepped down from leading a church for 10 years? After all your kids have gone off to boarding school way too young? After exhaustion and burn-out have worn your patience and love thin….

The great beyond is in the after and it stretches indeterminately ahead. There are the endless days of getting up and moving in a fog, pulling oneself forward in the thick mud of directionless activity…

In the after is the waiting.

In the after is the trusting that there is a future…. a new thing that is glorious and full of purpose.

The challenge is be content in the murkiness of the unknown.

Not to rush ahead to fill days and hours with meaningless activity but to be comfortable in the after. Knowing that He is more than able to intervene but that in the quiet and silence of unknown there is Life…

in abundance….

Believing in Him and holding tightly to Him in the darkness, so that He can reveal the personal truth that…

He is enough!

This post was inspired by Lisa-Jo Baker’s Five Minute Friday word: AFTER. I am loving joining other writers here each Friday for five minutes of unedited, free writing. 

Five Minute Friday