My life is filled with amazing people and so not to make one sound more amazing than the other, BECAUSE WE KNOW WHAT THAT CAN DO, I’ll skip the identification process and leave you in a state of wonder.
I have one who will drop just about everything and anything and show up at your door if there is a need, announced or not, with food, a drink or a hug.
I have one who is a vivacious dreamer and they inspire me to think BIG and way outside my box and every time I am with them, they keep my eyes focused onward and upward.
I have one or five who are incredible listeners and I know I can sit with them and share real-life as it is and will be heard and not judged.
I have one who craves quality time and every time I am with them, I know they are 100% WITH me and they teach be how to practice being PRESENT.
I have helpers, grace givers, pray warriors, teachers, fixers and counselors. I have hard truth tellers whose words sometimes sting but are sincere and well-meaning and I have those who tell me what I want to hear when I want to hear it and their words help ease life’s stings, even if temporarily. I indeed have a plethora of people in my life who are full of amazing characteristics and qualities, each bearing their own unique gift to this great universe. Drowning? I have a friend for that.
But here’s what I’m finding. I’ve sat in a room with a fixer when I needed a good listener and have left feeling bypassed and manhandled by their good intentions. Likewise, life gets big every now and then and a big life brings with it big waves and I’ve gotten lost trying to navigate through the storms. During these times, I’ve felt that I was drowning and realize now, the last person I should have called upon for help was someone who doesn’t know how to swim or doesn’t want to get wet in choppy waters because of their own fears.
Expecting someone to show up and BE for me puts an unrealistic demand ON them. I get that. It’s the whole “We are responsibly TO people not FOR people” thing. No one can save me if I am drowning. No one can fix my problems. No one is ever going to fully and accurately hear my heart or make me feel valued or accepted.
When I look you in the eyes and expect you to BE what and who I need or want in that moment is taxing and incredibly messy. I’m trying my best to hold each person I encounter in my empty hands, palms outstretched so they can flow in and out as they go. I’m learning to communicate what it is that I need or want instead of assuming that they know it.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
I’m learning and learning takes practice.
But no matter how I try to not hold anyone up against the picture I have in my head, there IS this major component in a relationship where it’s important to KNOW one another. To know each other’s INS and OUTS. The places where we are each strong and adversely, not because we DO rely and depend on one another and if we pretend we don’t, we shortchange ourselves. Think of the Garden. Of Adam and Eve. Of Helpers and “It is not good for man to be alone.” Seriously, all of these amazing relationships in our lives are to look like something. They are to look like Someone.
The body of Christ.
And you cannot expect a hand to be a foot.
Secretly hoping it will be will leave you disappointed and disappointment leads to feeling rejected and offended.
This is why it is so important to KNOW WHO YOUR PEOPLE ARE…TO YOU. I absolutely believe we are called to love all people but we are not called to be in relationship with all people. Thinking that we can or should sets us all up to fail and I have tried. I cannot pour myself and my time in to everyone. When I do, we all stand in shallow waters which lacks depth and eventually I can’t keep up and I let people down. So instead of going wide, I’m trying to go deep. I’m discovering the importance of focusing on WHO is in my life in THIS season. This one, right now, because seasons change and we need to give each other permission TO change. I’ve gone in and out of people’s lives and watched them do the same and it’s not personal nor should be taken as such. The homecoming remains sweet when we return to one another when we keep our hands open and don’t hold on too tightly.
So friends, make the time to ask yourself the hard questions and understand what it is you need or want then have enough courage to communicate it. God has given you a slew of amazing Helpers as a gift so spend time with your people and listen to their hearts. Go after discovering their identity and what God has placed inside of them for you to access. BUT do not expect them to be who they are not and most certainly do not ask them to change for you. It only leads to disappointment and a cold heart.
Love them as is. It is how you keep your love active, alive and engaging.
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35