Had an interesting experience this morning that I thought I'd share. I was reading the Bible verses for my devotion when I suddenly felt that low gut ache one feels after taking a swift kick to the groin.
The devotion was about choosing quality friends who support you, and being a quality friend who supports his bros. The verse that delivered the painful blow was Proverbs 17:17.
"A FRIEND LOVES AT ALL TIMES, AND A BROTHER IS BORN FOR A TIME OF ADVERSITY."
Why does this verse hurt so much? Because I have a brother who is in a time of adversity. FB messages are . . . OK. Texts can help. But, if the whole reason a brother is born is for times of adversity, then this is THE TIME to step up and fill that roll to the best of my ability.
It's easy in these situations to find excuses to lay low.
"He has enough stress without me bothering him."
"He probably doesn't want to talk about it."
"I don't know what to say."
"I don't like talking on the phone."
These are so WEAK. These are all excuses to make ME feel comfortable, when this should have nothing to do with me. It's embarrassing.
BUT IT STOPS TODAY
I've never been great at communication. I know that, when I'm in times of adversity, I pretty much never disclose any of it to anyone. It is this stupid idea that if I have problems then I must be weak. I have a terrible time letting people in and asking for help. I want to be the person who helps, not the one who needs help. I think this, in turn, makes it hard for me to reach out.
And not just when I have hard times, but all the time. It's easy to communicate with friends when you're in school. You see them every day! But after that, when you all have jobs and families and are spread out across the country, you have 2 choices:
let the friendship slowly die
DO THE WORK!
Friendships take work. Just like anything else, you get out what you put in. I haven't been the best about investing in my friendships lately, but I'm ready to put in the work. I want to be that friend who "loves at all times" and the brother "born for a time of adversity." I've always wanted to be the person everyone can depend on, but I don't think I really can until I learn to open up and depend on others. So get ready, friends. You'll be hearing from me. I'll be there when you need me, and I'm going to look to you for help when I need it.
Do you have friends you've gradually lost contact with? Are you like me and have a hard time reaching out for/to help? It's time to knock it off. It's time to man up and build those relationships. We're all stronger with a team.