Do you ever have those days when nothing seems to go right?
Maybe your morning started out with such promise but quickly dissolved when you spilled coffee all over your lap.
… or when you were running right on time for work only to discover that you had locked your keys in your car.
… or when your people all collectively decided to do things today to make you come completely unglued.
I’ve been there. And I’m excited to tell you about a resource written by women who have been there, too. Proverbs 31 Ministries just released our devotion book, Encouragement for Today, to speak into the hard places in life. Here’s a sneak peek of one of my devotions in the book:
When Friendship Is Tough
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. (1 Peter 3:8)
One of the wisest pieces of advice on friendship I ever got was from one of my daughters. She was in middle school at the time. You know, that awkward place where insecurities run rampant, hormones rage, and your best friend one day becomes your worst enemy the next? So lovely.
She got in the car one day with tears filling her eyes. She waited until we pulled out of the school parking lot to let all her hurt leak down her cheeks.
“Rough day?” I asked.
“Awful,” she replied.
I turned down the radio, waited until we were at a red light, and reached for her hand. “Wanna talk about it?”
“Nope,” she whispered as she turned her face away from me toward the window. The rest of the night she sulked around the house. And no matter how many times I tried to get her to talk, this normally very talkative child wouldn’t open up.
The next morning, I was surprised when she bounded down the stairs with a smile on her face.
“Well hey! You sure look happy this morning,” I said as I lifted up quick thank-you prayers to God for whatever had brought back the sunshine to my girl’s life.
“Mom,” she said with great authority, “I’ve decided something about friends. They all have good stuff and bad stuff. Things you like and things that really annoy you. So, you just have to decide if you can handle their package deal.”
How wise. How true.
Friends are a package deal. And sadly, not all friendships will stand the test of time. Some friendships are for a season. But other times, we have to be willing to deal with the messy stuff to fight for our friendships.
Recently, I had something hard happen with a friend I dearly love and greatly respect. A misunderstanding. Hurt feelings. Frustration. Part of me wanted to distance myself because it was hard to sift through the pain. But as I prayed through it, I had to remind myself this person is a package deal. Part of what makes her a great friend I love to be around is her tenacity and passion to accomplish tasks with excellence. But because she is so task oriented, she is less relationally sensitive.
And if I’m honest with myself, I can see that I’m a package deal too. With good stuff … and annoying stuff.
She has issues. I have issues.
We’re both messy people, willing to work on our not-so-fun stuff, fully aware we’re going to hit some muddy little potholes along our friendship path.
But we’ve decided the package deal is worth it.
Dear Lord, thank You for my friendships. I know some will last a lifetime, and some will fade after a season. Please help me be completely humble and gentle, patient, bearing with my friends in love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Friends are a package deal. Not all friendships will stand the test of time. Some friendships are for a season; others we have to be willing to fight for.
What friendship have you let go of because it got messy? What do you think about fighting for this friendship and reestablishing it?
Consider one of your friends. How might you invest humility, gentleness, and patience in her or him today?
Ephesians 4:2–3; Colossians 3:13
Today, I’m giving away 5 copies of Encouragement for Today to a few randomly chosen commenters!
Just answer the “respond” question from the devotion above for your opportunity to win.