True Friends

1-_MG_2518Life is always more fun with amazing friends.

For most of my life I’ve had different groups of friends for different parts of my life. You know what I mean right? You have your school friends, your church friends, the friends you go to concerts with, gym friends or the friends you go to theme parks with, the list goes on and on. I liked keeping them all separate and for a while it made sense, I mean really can you have friends you like to do everything with?

Then I met the Grubbs! This couple has changed my life in so many ways. In one year they have become family. Sarah Lynn is my best friend and Matt is my big brother. We serve together side by side in several ministries at our church and also love time together outside church. We can be crazy, silly and real with each other. We can talk about our struggles and we can celebrate with each other. They are the people I go to for help and the first people I want to call to tell good news to. This is so new for me, I mean I have never trusted someone with knowing my weaknesses and strengths. It’s not a easy thing allow others to know the real you.

I think I kept friends in different little boxes because I was afraid to have friends who knew all of me, because what if they didn’t like ALL of me. That’s a scary thought, no one wants to be rejected, and if I could protect myself by only allowing people to know little parts of me then that was easier, right? It always seemed simpler to have segmented friends, these friends are my photography friends, these ones are my foodie friends and so on. But in the end I was cheating myself and my friends, everyone deserves friends who love them for who they are. We all deserve a family, a group of friends who have our back and support and encourage each other.

Over the past few years I have discovered letting people in isn’t scary, its freeing. For the first time in my life I have a group of friends who I trust and they are family to me. So much so we try to get together several times a month to have “family dinners” we pile into one of our houses, eat good food, play games and laugh so hard we cry. We all serve in leadership at church and know the hardships and struggles that come with ministry. We can be real with each other and our “family” is a safe place for each of us to be loved. That’s what friends should be like!

Why did it take me 29 years to figure this out?! I have been missing out on how God wants me to live. We are not meant to do life alone. Having community makes life easier. But taking the first step is hard. friends who become family don’t just happen. I distinctly remember the night Sarah Lynn and I became friends. She was leading worship at the high school group I served in and she had just moved her from Oregon. Her family was still there and she was here alone, her life had just been turned upside down and she needed a friend. And I didn’t know her at all, but I walk up to her that night gave her my number and said “Can I buy you coffee tonight?”, I was terrified. I was so scared she would think I was a crazy person, we had just met and she had no idea who I was. And to my surprise she said yes! We spent hours that night talking and praying and God in that moment gave me my best friend. But I had to take a risk. I had to put myself out there, and now I thank God everyday because of the gift that He gave me that night a year ago.

Why do we have such a hard time allowing people to know ALL of us? What can you do today to reach out to someone and become their family?