Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Constant: Change

Change is happening again. I'm living in what is constant: change.

What's been so unsettling over the past five years is that the thing that keeps changing in my life is the balance of friends. I can count on one hand the number of people now in my life that were there five years ago. {I take the blame for that.} Two weeks ago, I would've said I'm finally developing new, real friendships again. But maybe not. And I'm pondering the why.

Here's what I'm processing:

The more I let go of rules and traditions, and

the more I attempt to loosen the masks, and

the more I want to be real, to be who God created me to be (instead of fitting a mold),

the more the rule-and-tradition-keeping, mask wearing, too-scared-to-be-real people run from me.

I pursue, only to be rejected. So I quit pursuing.

The interesting and ironic part of it all is this:

I now find myself more comfortable among those I formerly would've condemned. I'm comfortable with people who love Jesus, yet don't want to keep rules and traditions. I'm comfortable with people who don't love Jesus and don't even care about rules and traditions. I feel the freedom among these people to be me...a mess who loves Jesus and knows that Jesus loves me. A mess who knows that no amount of rule keeping or rule breaking will make Him love me any more or any less.

As much as I want to be comfortable with rule-and-tradition-keeping, mask wearing, too-scared-to-be-real people, I'm not. And I wonder if there's a balance to be found. I wonder if my desire for them to experience and live in grace and to be authentic and transparent outweighs my desire to accept them as they are.

I wonder if the soul stirrings of constant change will ever settle into a rhythm and balance of people and friendships...


  1. wonderful post....this is so true...i have been where you are and it is liberating when we realize that grace is all that saves us...keep your chin up girl....

  2. I really think this post is what our journey is about, to be real ~ to be authentic to ourselves and do some soul searching. I will be praying for you. I love the comment about you becoming more comfortable, press on you are doing good.

  3. I'm in this place, too. I desperately want relationships with friends that I can be real with, and that can be real with me. People that understand the fact that when you're forgiven much, you love much. I'm looking for community among the broken, because I fear the polished will never understand.

  4. My favorite phrase "I wonder if my desire for them to experience and live in grace and to be authentic and transparent outweighs my desire to accept them as they are." I love that. I have a group in my life that is not as authentic as I would like them to be. It makes it hard for me to also be authentic, but I know that God has placed me among them for a reason, so I began to pray to love them as He does - praying with only the expectation that I would grow in love and not necessarily that they would change.

  5. This is the same for me, too. Being authentic brings rejection. Period. Christ said it would happen. It happened to him. It happened to Paul. It means people hide. It means people throw up defenses. It means people aren't willing to correct me lovingly. It means people aren't willing to listen. It means people aren't willing to encourage. It means people won't try to understand.

    Out of every 10 people I'm real with only one is willing to reciprocate and respond with authenticity. 9 of 10 hide in some manner... 7 usually ignore, 1 is usually belligerently cruel, and 1 gets bristly, but comes to understand eventually. I've found with that last one, often the Holy Spirit uses the anger/disbelief/misunderstanding at me to implant the seed He wants there and a year or three later I see evidence of it. Those reactions aren't surprising in unbelievers and it doesn't smart as much because of the expectation of hate and misunderstanding from them... but the Christian friends who are supposed to be in unity? It crushes!!!

    I have come to the same point as Jamie describes. I am in this life to serve God... if someone doesn't like what He calls me to, that's his choice, but in His name I will continue to pursue integrity and reality. If it turns one off, so be it. If a person can't return the authenticity, so be it. Does it hurt me? Absolutely... but what's really being rejected is life abundant in Christ. I have a bigger priority than being accepted. I'll be faithful to others' best no matter how they treat me.

    You go where God calls you and you pursue who God puts before you to pursue. I wouldn't dare suggest that God isn't moving you into a ministry among those you normally wouldn't feel comfy around, but that's not where God has me. He has me often loving in discomfort... and rarely feeling the camaraderie of people living with integrity, reality, and authenticity.

  6. Oh friend, I sing this song. I have but a few friends who know me. I love them and do not have to front... much. Even those closet with me, I still feel on guard. Should I? Why? What is the fear? Even though I am ok if people do not like me, I want people to like me.

    I will be honest with you. I will sit and listen to the ugly along with the beautiful. I will not judge, I will not condemn. I will not try to offer fluff Jesus and bible verses and say stupid stuff and pretend I know God's will. I have been on the low road and often find that I am much better suited for that than a beautiful church and pretty church clothes on Sunday.

    It's ok to be real. That is why my circle is small.