Keep Your Friends Close

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33

When I was going through divorce, I made a terrible mistake when I sheltered myself and pushed my friends away.  I was hurt and felt like my friends had perfect lives and mine was nothing but a huge mess at the time.  As I have grown and matured, I realized that we all go through stuff.  My stuff just looks a little differently and I went through it at a fairly young age (27). But now, 10 years later – they have gone through really hard stuff too.  They might not be able to completely relate to me as a single mom, but they do understand fear, hardship, and uncertainty.

Because I am a Christian, I felt ashamed that I was going through divorce, I was embarrassed and I felt like a complete failure – even though my divorce would be considered justified by all.  As Christians, we don’t talk about spousal abuse.  I guess it isn’t supposed to happen to Christians, but it does – more than we probably think.  Most statistics that I find say that about 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence during her lifetime and the truth is, some of those women are Christians and some are sitting next to you in church.

Jesus promises that in this world, we are going to have tribulation (great trouble and suffering).  For some, it’s having an abusive husband and becoming a single mom.  For others, perhaps it’s financial ruin, cancer, or maybe the tragic death of a loved one.  We will all go through some really hard stuff in our lives, however we aren’t left to struggle through our suffering alone, Jesus also promises that he will provide us with the peace that we need during these tribulations because he has “overcome the world”.

I did push my friends away, but I have realized that Jesus doesn’t want us to suffer alone.  He has placed people in our lives to help us and to encourage us, I should have embraced that and worried less about what others thought of me.  I am thankful that friendships are being rebuilt and that through the various trials we face, we have a loving God who is ready to surround us with HIS perfect peace.

If you have lost touch with a special friend because of your tribulations, I would encourage you to reach out to them.  Send a message to them and invite them out for coffee, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.