In my life, I’m trying to be intentional with going deeper in my relationships. To not be satisfied with surface level conversations. To be open to sharing my life and what God is doing in it, and listen to others share as well. I don’t think you have to be talking about your hurts and torments, your difficult pasts, or pain and guilt in order to be having deep conversations or to be considered as being “real” (although if you have those things or are struggling with them, then they ought to come up at some point.) Sometimes we really are in a “good place” and sharing what God is doing is just as deep as the ugly stuff.
But the truth is, we live in a broken world, and many times those are the places conversations go. I have several friends in my life right now who are struggling. Marriage. Depression. Past hurts. Strongholds. And many times I am left speechless. I have no idea what to say. I don’t want to offer trite condolences and there are no easy answers or clear solutions (and for this fix-it girl, that’s so difficult!) At times, I feel like it might be easier just to not talk about those issues, offer a distraction, or just avoid the relationships. And yet God calls me to pursue.
I just finished reading Quaker Summer by Lisa Samson for our women’s book club at church, and a point she makes is so relevant. To paraphrase, she says that it scares us to face some of the ugly issues in this world because we’re not sure our God – or our faith – will stand up to them. Of course, I know the Bible answer is that God is bigger than anything we face and he can stand up to them . . . but sometimes it’s so hard to find him in the midst of difficult situations.
So I press on, trying to be a good friend. Being diligent to listen. Being more diligent to pray. It’s hard work. I just hope where we are on the other side is a much sweeter, more beautiful place.