Okay, so in this instance, I actually am truthfully talking about one of my dear friend and not myself. For the purposes of anonymity to respect his or her privacy, the person shall remain gender neutral. However, because I do not want to have to use gender neutral pronouns this entire blogpost, I will simply use the feminine pronouns in my narrative. Also, I am about 90% sure this person will never read this blogpost anyway, so I don’t think it should be a problem. Plus (but most importantly), I asked my friend profusely if it would be okay if I shared these stories and my friend said it would be totally fine.
With that said, I shall begin:
I met my friend years ago, so we have been pretty close for a while. She doesn’t realize it, but she has taught me so much about myself and about life. She is not a real deep person. In fact, she hates emotions and talking about emotions. It is ironic that she is like that because she is a feeler-type and emotions make most of her decisions. She does what feels right most of the time rather than taking the time to think it out and analyze what is best for her.
My friend is so dramatically different than I am. We are opposites in most ways. She is more secluded and introverted, where I love being around as many people as I can. She feels her decisions out where I use the scientific method on a daily basis. She hates talking about deep stuff where I thrive on it. Sometimes I wonder why we are friends.
I have known her for such a long time; she has often come to me for advice. I try to give it to her as much as I can, but most of the time, I do some overkill and give her way more advice than she wants to hear. Because she is so secluded in nature and doesn’t talk about what is going on in her life, I try to hit all the bases every time I see her, which tends to be overkill. Many times I see her rolling her eyes and shaking her head walking away from our conversations as if to say, “Thanks, Adam. I only wanted to know that one thing…”
Yet somehow through all this miscommunication and dramatic differences in personalities, we have developed a close bond. (I talk about this bond somewhat in my blogpost: Feelings.) We could go months without speaking and still talk as if no time had passed.
Because we are so bonded, I want the absolute best for her. I see her as one of my blood relatives, even though we are not actually related. There are few people in this world I am as close to as I am to my friend. However, when you are that close to someone, while you get many blessings, you also have the greatest potential to get hurt.
And that’s what happened.
My friend has never done or said anything directly to me to hurt me, but her actions speak volumes. As I stated above, she often comes to me for advice, and like an idiot, I always provide overkill on the advice. Still, she manages to listen and take into consideration what I say… but then goes around and does the exact opposite.
I won’t mention anything specific that she has done, but I will make up a hypothetic scenario to describe what a typical situation would be like. This will be hard because not all the emotions are transferrable between situations, but I will try my best to describe in this scenario how I would feel (were it to be true) and hopefully that will correlate to the other scenario:
My friend came up to me asking advice on what to do with her boyfriend. After giving her my opinion on what she should do, I share with her what I feel God would want her to do and then (as is true to my nature) talk her into the ground about what she should and shouldn’t do. Above all else, I strongly advise her not to sleep with him, because I have known her for so long and I know what is best for her. Sleeping with a guy would not only hurt her emotionally, but it would really mess with her mind too. She listens, nods, and says, “Okay, Adam, I hear ya. I won’t sleep with him. Thanks.” And the conversation is over.
I talk with her a few months later, and after our initial banter, she says, “Alright, Adam, I… uh… have a confession to make… I slept with that guy…” Words cannot describe what was going on in my heart and head at that moment. A mixture of sadness, anger, bitterness, surprise, disappointment, understanding, sympathy, thankfulness, and resentment were jumping around in my head so fast I couldn’t make out what to feel. On the outside I responded coolly, calm and collected. I told her I was upset about it and I was disappointed, but I still loved her and thought she should do what was best. She promised to never do it again.
A few months later, we talk once more. Again, after our initial banter, she confesses to me that she has had relations with three other men. Again, the feelings resurface. This was exactly why I warned her about sleeping around, because I knew that it would overwhelm her and not mean as much as it should. This time, I was even angrier than I was before. She had told me she would do something and completely did the opposite. She promised. She went back on that promise. It felt as if she had slapped me in the face and said, “Ya know, what Adam!? I know you think you know what is best for me, but screw you, man! I’m gonna do whatever I want to do!” I felt like I was losing her. I felt that I didn’t know her anymore. Who was this kid? This wasn’t the friend I grew up with and knew so well? What was she morphing into?
Whatever she was becoming, I knew it wasn’t good. I knew she was on a path that only led her to more pain and more sadness. She was trying to look for happiness in the only ways she knew how. My anger turned to deep sorrow. I grieved. I wept at night (literally) thinking about how to help her out. But her solemn nature kept her from talking to me about how she was feeling.
I sat patiently, waiting to see when she would talk to me, the entire time feeling like she was drifting away and that she was becoming someone who I didn’t know anymore. I watched her go through pain over and over again, never seeking help, just enduring it because society has told her that was the right thing to do; that she needed to deal with all her emotions herself to be strong. The entire time, she is only killing herself inside.
It was in that moment that God spoke to me. God told me, “Imagine how I feel every day, Adam. You have a strong heart for your friend, and you want the best for her, but I love every person on this planet. Imagine how I feel watching them walk away and ignore me on a daily basis. Imagine how I feel when they totally ignore my advice and do what they want to do. Imagine how I feel getting slapped in the face every moment of every day.”
It was in that moment that God showed me what love really was. God endures so much of our problems and still chose to come down into the middle of this rotten mess and walk among us. He knew how much people would ignore him and push him away, and he still chose to die a death that we deserved. He still died for us. He still sacrificed himself. He still chose to put our needs above his own feelings. He was still looking out for us when we were being selfish jerks.
That is true love. Agape. Unconditional, unrelenting, pure love.
He taught me that in that moment.
I am still waiting on my friend to trust me. I am still waiting her to open up and let me help her. Until then, I am praying and letting God teach me what patience and love is all about.
Think about that love today. Think about what God has done for you and what you are doing in return. Think about how much God really loves you. Think about how much you take that for granted.
I know I will.
Following his call,