Many times, over the last few years, I have heard, “This is a Job season.” in my spirit. I am aware that my life has been nothing as extreme as Job’s was, but we’ve had moments that felt close. It actually brought me a feeling of relief when I heard God confirm to me what I’d been feeling…by saying it was a Job season. At one point the “left field” craziness that was happening became so extreme that I started laughing. That laughter ended up becoming part of the shifting. It is a marked moment that began a taking back of the territory that had been stolen. The enemy did his level best to knock us down and then kick us every single time we tried to stand again. Yet, we stood. One thing is certain, I know we have a lot of tenacity. A whole lot. This season has uncovered new levels of steadfastness within Chris and I that I never knew existed. From the ashes we rise.
Today, I wanted to talk about something God showed me in the spring of 2021.
I was out walking and spending time with Him and thinking about all that was happening. I was wanting to reach out to someone, and I felt a pause. God said, “Stop. Look around for a minute and think about which friends of yours have reached out to you lately. Who are the ones who check in on you and have helped to bear these burdens with you? You are investing in the wrong relationships.”
Imagine my shock, when suddenly I realized that those that I texted and called most often never, ever reached out to me. They never asked how I was doing unless I came to them. They weren’t the ones bringing me groceries out of the blue. They weren’t the ones coming to my home and worshiping with me and sharing our life stories through tears of joy and sadness. No, I was investing in the wrong people. Then He told me not to reach out to those people anymore, and to see what happened. Well, as you can probably guess, I never heard from them again. Ever. Clearly, I wasn’t missed. Obviously, there never was a real relationship to begin with. This revelation brought a lot of sadness, but also freedom.
From that moment on, I became much more deliberate with my relationships.
I don’t want to spend all my time reaching out to people who can’t walk through the valley with me. Those same people won’t really celebrate my mountaintops either. Not to mention, I want reciprocated relationships. I want to know what my friends are going through and to cry or celebrate with them too. I became acutely aware that that hadn’t been happening either. In fact, the person I had invested in most, hid most things from me. It was time to let go.
I had 3 solid local friends after this encounter with God. He brought 3 quality people alongside me. Those I could live and laugh with. Those who shared equally with me. This is one thing that helped me navigate this tough season. Not to mention, I want close friends who tell me the hard truth. I don’t want fans or people who flatter me. I want people who say, “Wow, that’s hard, but keep going.” I want people who don’t tolerate self-pity. Thank You, God for real friendships.
Today I encourage you to take an account of the relationships in your life. Are there some people who you count as close friends, that you now realize aren’t? Instead of investing in those places, is there a person who is steady beside you that you may have not noticed before? Invest there. If you don’t have any close friend relationships, then pray and ask God to bring some people to walk alongside you. He will be faithful to do so.
Do to others as you would have them do to you. Luke 6:31
One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18: 24
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. Proverbs 17:17