Monday, 10 February 2014

Friendships by Susan L.

  Did I mention I missed my friends while I was away? That's a good thing.
  Friends are something I've only acquired late in life. Oh, I had friends when I was younger but moving away or having them move away ended those relationships. I had a hard time trusting people, too, having been the butt end of many practical jokes. Bullies did their share in making it hard for me to be open with people. Being in an isolating and controlling marriage for so long taught me it was easier to stay home rather than face the wrath of my spouse on the rare occasions when I did go out to socialize.
  I still connect with a high school friend who made sure we stayed in touch through the years. She was a big help when my youngest son was little and would often pop over to keep me company. That gradually fizzled because of the fallout I had to face when she left. It was easier to say no to her visits.
  I heard a term yesterday, "compliant victimization". It is applied to child sexual abuse victims but I think it is much broader than that especially when there is chronic abuse in any form. Just something to think about.
  Anyways, a couple of years ago another childhood friend connected with me via Facebook. She had moved away in grade nine and had been a wonderful friend as I settled into life in Ontario after moving up from Nova Scotia three years earlier. That was a difficult transition for me. I went from playing with Barbie dolls to a situation where kids were already dating. I had searched for her myself off and on through the years and was delighted she found me. It's as though the years melt away whenever we talk. Some day I'd like to visit her in Texas.
  The Lord has blessed me with many new friends since I left my husband. Some have continued to be part of my life. Others have come and gone, their reason and season fulfilled.
  Being a friend to others has helped me master a whole new skill set. God's gifts of discernment, patience, grace, loyalty, acceptance, humour, and the biggies: love and trust are now a constant part of my life because of the people, the friends, He has brought my way. None of us were meant to go it alone.
  "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you." Jn 15:15

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