Last week, as I was reflecting on Thanksgiving and all I have to be grateful for, I was honestly overwhelmed by all the good in my life. God has given me more than I could ever deserve. Of those many blessings, the greatest blessing of all is the people I get to do life with—my friends, family, and coworkers.
The irony is that a lot of the blessings in my life right now were, at least in part, the result of pain. In the midst of dealing with the pain of a broken relationship, and the broken trust that resulted from it, I had a choice: I could either isolate myself to avoid getting hurt again, or I could lean on those around me as I healed.
Last year, I made a hard decision that upset someone I care for. I don’t blame them for responding the way they did, but their response damaged my outlook on all of my relationships. If one friendship was that easy to break, could I trust my other friends to continue to care about me, even when I make mistakes?
I could have chosen to isolate myself—it’s harder for someone to hurt me when there’s distance between us. After all, if I can’t trust others to care about me when I inevitably mess up (and since we’re all imperfect, we’re bound to make mistakes), then maybe it’s safest to just keep them at a distance.
Fortunately, I knew better. I had already learned an important principle: we all need honest friendships, authentic relationships, community, and connection—especially when we’re hurting. Instead of withdrawing, I leaned on my friends. It helped me to heal and learn from the situation. And as I realized my friends could be counted on and wanted to be there for me, those friendships became even stronger.
A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.
Leaning on my friends not only strengthened my current friendships but also opened opportunities for me to form new life-giving friendships as I learned from my mistakes, grew, and honestly shared my experience.
We’re not meant to do life alone—in good times or bad. We need Jesus first and foremost, but as a close second, we need others who can help us experience God’s love in a tangible way. And then we need to help share that love with others.
When we allow others into our hurts, it can heal our hearts. It’s like medicine. And the more we heal, the more we’re available to help others do the same.
How do you usually respond to hurt—do you withdraw or do you lean on those closest to you?
How would you want the people you love most to respond when they’re hurt?
Who can you lean on the next time your heart is hurting?
If you’re not currently in a Group, I can’t encourage you enough to join one when the winter Group semester starts. One of the best ways to prepare for whatever life might throw at you is by building life-giving relationships right now.
If you’re currently struggling, reach out to a trusted friend. Just as you want to support your friends, healthy friends will want to support you—give them the opportunity to do so.
If you’re currently in a season of life where you’re thriving, look for a friend you can share the love of Jesus with.
God’s church thrives when we are there for each other.
Heavenly Father, thank you that I don’t have to do life alone. You have designed us to help and encourage one another—we are strongest in community. Thank you for the life-giving relationships you have placed in my life. Help me to build authentic community and connections. Help me to lean on others when I am in need and to support others when they are in need. May your will be done in us and through us. Amen.
This post was written by Payton Lechner. Payton is currently the apprentice copywriter at CedarCreek. In her spare time, she freelances as a writer and editor. Besides the English language, Payton loves swimming, cats, and a good cup of tea.
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