Chrissy Mayer, GFC Temple Terrace
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the day approaching.”
Ya’ll! Why are relationships so hard? The truth is, the older you get the harder it gets.
Working with teens and young adults for nearly two decades, I’ve observed that the “best of” friendships developed in high school. You know, the ones where we wrote KIT (keep in touch) and BFFL (best friends for life) in the back of one another’s yearbook. Well, they were so much easier to come by simply because we were in regular proximity to those people. But once we graduated … What happened?! Some of us went to college. Some of us went to work. We moved away from that block. We grew busier and more separated – more independent.
One day, in my mid 20’s, I looked around and started to wonder…
“Did I miss something? Am I boring?
Maybe I’m a bad friend?
Why did meeting someone new, now, sometimes feel like an awkward first date? Where you were both trying to figure out if you would take things to the next level – haha – “Does she want to be my friend?”
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my life, but, man, it was missing something! I had grown stagnant in my relationship with God and I was lonely – craving real authentic connection – a place to show up and be accepted. Fully me. But encouraged to become the best version of myself.
So what did I do? I prayed. It felt weird and kind of sad but I prayed, “God please bring godly women in to my life. Women that I can encourage but that will be an encouragement to me as well. Women that are in similar seasons and women who also have the desire to love you and live on mission.”
I recently learned that 80% of the verses found in the New Testament using the phrase “one another” refer to supporting and affirming people. The phrase “one another” is derived from the Greek word allelon which means “one another, each other; mutually, reciprocally.” It occurs 100 times in the New Testament alone and approximately 59 of those occurrences are specific commands teaching us how (and how not) to relate to one another. There is no doubt – God never intended for us to do this life alone. The command to love “one another” is found second only to the Great Commandment which is to love God with our whole selves!
Jesus, Paul, James, Luke, all note the importance and the responsibility of caring for the broken, burdened, rejected, discouraged, sick, and hopeless. From the beginning, since the establishment of the earliest churches, WE, the Church, have been equipped by God to care for “one another” by way of DISCIPLESHIP and ENCOURAGEMENT. The broken, burdened, rejected, discouraged, sick, and hopeless – that’s me, ya’ll – And, that’s you. God has gifted us with “one another” to bring hope and healing, grace and growth, rest and restoration.
So then why is it so hard?
I truly believe that the distractions and distance – the lack of interdependence and lean towards independence is such a spiritual battle for no other reason but to keep.us.isolated. Because the enemy knows in isolation and busyness the lies grow loud and we grow weary and more vulnerable to attack.
So back to my prayer…
It was not answered overnight. It wasn’t even a few months. But God was faithful and has brought women into my life who have become a safe place to unpack all the ugly and exhale deeply. But I also want to say – it – still – is – not – easy. We have to fight for intentionality and consistency everyday. We have to forgive. But we keep – showing – up!
Where the struggle is real – the cost is great!
Find your people. Pray for your people. Fight for your people.
Keep. Showing. Up! It’s worth it.
Do you need to admit “I don’t got this! I need people!”?
What kind of people do you need?
Who are the people in your life that need you?
Who do you need to start being more intentional with?
What does that look like practically?
Get in a group!