This morning, I went to MOPs for the second time. Now, I will say it was my favorite gathering so far, which doesn't mean a ton, other than I enjoyed it more than the first time.
And yet... it means a bit more. In my opinion anyway.
This morning spoke to me more personally than the first meeting. The guest speaker, Ginny, was fantastic. She spoke on friendships.
The way she presented the topic reminded me SO MUCH of a day from my childhood, where my best friend, Michelle, and I sat down in her garage, I believe, and were discussing the same topic. Friendships. Where we were in our relationship compared to other friends in town. In not so many words, we had a very similar idea that was presented this morning.
The most coincidental part was that we too diagramed friendship relationships, using circles. Where others were in relation to our closeness.
Just for fun.
I didn't even realize it while Ginny was speaking, but rather a short time ago, back at home, while reflecting.
It seems that we knew what we were talking about at the time.
This morning was a little different in that Ginny took it to a deeper level, binging God into it.
My summary: you are the center. You're the heart of your relationship circle. The ONLY perfect friend that you could have I the heart of your circle is God.
She kept saying that in order to develop deep and meaningful friendships, true, inner circle friends, you had to "power up on the power source."
Anyway, to combat your loneliness and fulfill your desire to be heard, valued, and loved, you need to power up. God comes first. He can do that. He is always there. And he will always love you.
And then, with his power-up, you can have these true and deep friendships. But be selective as to who you let in your inner circle. These people should build you up, not criticize or condemn. They should accept and encourage you. They should support you. They should be honest. Don't let "trash" into your heart (bring negativity).
Thoughts to null over.
I must say that I've had a fairly large (compared to some) group of best/inner-circle friends. Six that I can name immediately, and for that I am amazingly blessed. Of these six, some are closer now than others, in distance and relationship, but I think I could call on any of these six if I need. Two of them, I feel incredibly blessed by, as they share similar life circumstances with me and are very close in distance. I will be honest in saying that seeing them weekly (give or take) is definitely a saving grace.
Relationships, as I've known in the past, change and wane sometimes. It's true that these inner six and I have gone through changes, and maybe some have waned a bit.
I hope that my friends see me as a good friend, too. I try to be.
She also talked of marital relationships, and honestly, it was what I needed. Last night was rough. Things have been kind if stressful at home since the loss of Jake's former job, an antsy toddler with cabin fever, a teething baby (he's really not that bad as I probably portray in my frazzled texts to my husband as I listen to screaming boys...), and my out-of-wack-post-breastfeeding hormones throwing me for quite a loop.
The other night, Jake said he would do dishes. And he didn't.
And then yesterday was TOUGH. And last night, I had a meltdown.
Ginny used the illustration that when you ask your husband to do something, or he says he will, and doesn't, we often take that to as "he doesn't hear me, doesn't understand me, doesn't value me." (I think those were the three she said.) then, that leads to "he doesn't love me." Because love is shown by hearing, understanding, and valuing another (among other things). But that's not true.
I know it's not, but I tell you what, sometimes it really feels that way. Especially after you go through the situation time and time again for years on end.
People will fail you. People will disappoint. Not always, and hopefully not often, but it's inevitable. Because we aren't perfecto only Jesus is.
She challenged us to call on him and his perfect love for us in times of loneliness. Before calling a friend. Before your husband. Before Facebook.
I don't think it has to be a long call to God. I have always been of the "silent prayer/conversation with God" variety, not aloud, and I offer my thoughts often. Though its not always first.
So, I'll try. I don't think it will take away from my time for friendships at all. I think it will actually add to them.
We were created to love. We were created for community. The first was man and God. Then, with God, we love others.
I'm sorry for lack of cohesion in this post. It's another sort of "note to self" writing.