“A true friend knows your weakness, but reminds you of your strengths”
It took me years to realize this was a good sign of a healthy friendship.
In my younger years, I had a broken sense of friendship. I assumed when I shared a weakness, a difficulty or an embarrassing moment with a “friend,” it would be safe. Instead, it would be thrown back at me at the worst times.
I just accepted this as a normal, naive, part of friendships. But each time it happened, it was crushing to my heart. I had shared a part of me, it was not cherished or protected, and it was mocked. I tend to be a people pleaser, so I could not imagine intentionally doing that to someone…but I easily let others do it to me.
I realized this was an unhealthy issue as my life evolved. I would be excited about an accomplishment, only to be reminded of its unimportance. Or I would attempt to help with a situation, again to be reminded of my own failures in an area.
Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
— Romans 12:15
I actually had to go through a life and death issue before I understood what these relationships were doing to my heart. Friends who I believed would be right next to me during my husband’s heart failure were absent. My heart was hurt and wounded.
He opened my eyes to the genuine friends I did have, but was blind to notice because of my hurt. He showed me my true friendships (old & new), when I see them today, my heart is so grateful. They took my hand, listened to my pain, and taught me to trust friends again.
It is so easy to build a wall to isolate our self because of difficult friendships. To accept the idea, your friendship is not valuable. My sweet friend, Jennifer, reminds me that I like to keep things closed off at times. I appreciate her reminder so I don’t fall back behind the wall.
Perhaps, this is where you are finding yourself today. You have extended your heart, only to have it stepped on. Don’t let the enemy deceive you into believing that the wall is safe and you will be protected there. You have something to offer. You are a gift and have life to share.
Maybe you have someone around you that needs healing in the area of friendships. Don’t leave your friend behind the wall. Take some goggles, hammers and start working to help your friend tear down that wall. There is nothing like a Proverbs 27:17 friendship: Iron sharpening iron, friends who make you better, stronger, sow works of love and affirmation in your life.
Friendship does require vulnerability and at times, pushing through the awkwardness getting to know each other. But the beauty of healthy friendship outweighs any past pain. Someone needs your friendship today, GO!