Brokenness: Friends Forever

(Image not mine)

In high school there was a group of us friends that studied and hung together a lot. This was also when the TV sitcom Friends was hugely popular and my best friend at the time thought our group of friends could be like that. Live in an apartment together. Be friends forever. I thought to myself that we’ll likely not be friends forever. We were headed to different universities…paths were diverging. And it’s true, some are still friends today, but most aren’t in much contact. Including me and my then best friend.

In university, there were two girls that were the closest of friends to me. We shared hopes and dreams with each other. I thought, “THESE girls will be my friends forever for sure!” I loved them as sisters.

But one time, a misunderstanding or a miscommunication brought about a gaping rift in this “cord of three“…what I thought would never happen, did. Looking back there was fault on all sides…it doesn’t matter what happened though. At the time, I only felt deep rejection. And I felt I was betrayed by the friendships I thought would/could never break. I mourned what I lost. I felt very very alone.

God was gracious in providing some unlikely sources of friendship through that time. They were women a few years younger than me….as well as women a couple years older than me. I felt lost but these women were like threads in a net that supported me…and looking back, I am very thankful to God for them. I remember one time, after fellowship, “my” group stood in a tight circle talking and laughing. There was no room for me. I looked from the outside with sadness and left. But then I got a phone call from Stump, “Come join us for some bubble tea!” And when I arrived, there too was a tight circle, but one chair was left empty for me. What a warm and soothing sight….like balm to my aching heart.

Then, at another fellowship gathering, Jella led this wonderful hymn:

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged;
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge,
take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you;
you will find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to
Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there
will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship
will be our sweet portion there.

Words: Joseph Scriven (1857)

Tears poured down my face as the words reached into my heart. What a friend I have in Jesus!
All this time I had misplaced my security and hope in earthly friends…they were the first people I turned to, not Jesus. In addition to “intelligence”, “friends” became another idol that God smashed. My friends failed me because they were never meant to support me in the way that only Jesus can. I truly was wrong to look to them when I should’ve been looking to Jesus. Only He could bear my burdens. Only He can save and provide security that my heart longed for.

These lyrics were taped to my school binder during the rest of my time at university. Every day I practiced taking all thoughts and burdens to the only Friend who will never fail me. What a Friend I have in Jesus. Friend Forever.

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6 responses

  1. Yes, I can relate to some of those feelings of disappointment and loneliness with regards to finding and sometimes even keeping friends. Things/people/we change all the time, but thankfully, Jesus is always there. Thanks for sharing!

      • Yes, I do remember. God worked through an unassuming 1-2 song worship set banged out on an old piano in a basement fellowship event ;o) I think that was the first time I ever led worship for our then church… it was a long while ago but I am encouraged that you were then, encouraged!

  2. Pingback: Brokenness: Still Broken | Life of HeArt

  3. Pingback: Brokenness Series | Life of HeArt

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