I can count 6 people from the last decade of my life that have been
what I would call a best friend at some point or another, but the
closest of those is almost 900 miles away.  I keep up with 3 of
them and visit every once in a while, but for different reasons, I have
little communication with the others.  Some of them understood
every little nuance of every little facial expression I made, and to
me, that is a delightful gift. 

Several times I had to make a major move, but fortunately I didn’t have
it as badly as some people I’ve met who have moved every couple of
years their whole life.  Still, there were plenty of painful
separations.  Rarely did I pay much attention to the temptation to
shield myself from more angst, for I crave intimacy, and the pleasure
of growing close to someone generally makes the hurt of losing them
worth the trouble. 

Often I heard people imply that I had lots of friends back in college,
but the truth is that I had tons of good acquaintances and wasn’t
genuinely close to many of them.  I craved intimacy then, too, and
experienced it in seasons that came and went.  However, I
sometimes made the mistake of straining friends by seeking things only
God had the ability to provide. 

In a recent conversation I caught myself trying to explain an opinion
about something that I myself have been struggling with, and it partly
concerns me seeking intimacy from God.  I get a real kick out of
people in general, and in fact, I enjoy them most when I’m thinking of
myself least (something I first began seeing play out in real life long
ago, but even lately have
been having a tough time with).  Jesus exhibited numerous
surprising qualities, and one of these was how he could appreciate
everyone without worrying about drawing attention to himself.  I
have watched myself doing the opposite a lot for a while now, and I
can’t stand it, but I don’t want to try to be selfless on my own
strength, because I’ll just feel empty and fake and it will drive me
even crazier than I already feel.  There have been plenty of good
times in recent months both at work and in play, but deep inside a
heart-wrenching dissatisfaction still gnaws at my heart, and my only
hope is to take the “advice” I gave in that conversation (feeling
hypocritical
as I did so) and beg the only one who can satisfy to make me fall in
love with him more than any other thing.  He knows every nuance of
every bit of me more than any of my best friends ever could, and if I
dance for him, he’s guaranteed to smile. 

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8 Responses to “”

  1. I think it is indeed lovely to value people so very much — I can probably count “best friends” from the past ten years on one hand, and what treasures those are (even the ones with whom I rarely talk). A few good relationships have always been, to me, worthy investments. Acquaintances can be a joy, but those who “know our nuances” are far better…

  2. I don’t know if I quite understand all of your last paragraph, but I can definitely relate to the part about feeling unsatisfied or empty and truly longing for Jesus to be the one to satisfy and fill me.  I know He can, but I’m still trying to discover how that actually works out in my daily life.

  3. How ya doin’ on that book?
    God answers that “make me fall in love with you” prayer …
    I must say, I didn’t know what to make of it when it first dawned on me that you seemed genuinely happy to run into me every time that happened. I felt undeserving of being that interesting! Hah. Now I get it and it is way cool (you get such a kick out of people). I hope we find an excuse to hang out some more, but in the meantime here’s what I’ve noticed. Your selflessness, which shows up as such an intense interest in others, throws people off (they are used to the rather selfish majority of the population) and your picking up on this probably makes you feel self concious.
    Probably your selflessness is a gift of some kind … think of if you were a concert pianist, people would stop and listen (and stare) every time you sat down to play. Your selflessness stands out like that. Make peace with it … people are going to notice your selfless focus on others. It’s OK.
    Does this resonate with you? If not I could be completely wrong of course.
    Tom

  4. In response to the last sentence of your 2nd paragraph – I don’t think it’s ever not worth it to pursue deep relationships, even if you feel like you will only be in that place for a short time.  I feel like I lost almost a year of my life after moving back to Houston by not seeking out places to invest my time and energy, since I didn’t think I’d be in Houston for as long as I have been.
    As for your last paragraph, I’m with Tom.  I think your love of people and ability to connect with lots of them comes from a place of selflessness and is a gift.  Our human nature – wanting to be the center, needing to be needed – can twist this gift into something selfish.  But be encouraged, I think that is a battle you are winning.  I can see your genuine desire to know people, and pray you find relationships where you are truly known.

  5. Oh, and you win 1st prize for “Best Dressed Health & Beauty Products Salesperson” in your new profile pic.

  6. I like what Missionary had to say… makes a lot of sense

  7. Anonymous Says:

    LOL.. I love the pic… and I second — third?  Fourth??? what Matt and Missionary wrote.  You have no need to fear — God has already won the battle, and called it a victory — we are just walking it out in the “Already/Not Yet.”

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