Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I Will Not Live For Anyone Else

What I'm listening to: Sara Groves' Conversations (In particular, This Journey is My Own, which is such a great song)

So, I talked to an old friend tonight. Someone I haven't really seen or talked to in well over a year. We still live in the same town, he's just not my neighbor anymore. When he was, I saw him 3-4 times a week usually and as a result, we become (what I thought was) very close friends. And after almost 5 years of friendship, he disappeared from my life. When he moved, that was it. No more neighbor who came knocking at my door at 11:30 at night just to talk. No guy to walk to TCBY with on a warm summer night, no more...well, no more friend.

Which, obviously, hurt me. He mentioned many times in the last few months of our friendship about how close we were and how he didn't know what he'd do without me. If not for that, I simply would chock it up to a season of friendship that passed it's time. That's common in my life, because hurting people tend to seek me out and when the healing is done, they tend to move on. I assumed that's what would happen with him. But as he continually told me how important I was to him, the assumption that he would leave went away. I believed what he said.

Several years ago I decided being friends with men was just not a good idea. Not that it can't be done, but it just gets so incredibly complicated. And every past male friendship I'd had just wasn't worth those complications. So when he and I first met, I made a mindful decision to stay away. However, that didn't work. He continue to pursue my friendship, and with my spiritual gift of mercy, it was hard not to help this guy who was hurting, who was going through a tough time spiritually, was dealing with a death in the family, moving to a new place and trying hard to make friends.

So I let my guard down. I trusted him. I believed him when he said he was very loyal to his friends and stuck by them. I thought this might be the one male friendship that would prove me wrong...that it was worth it. Then when I went though the most difficult time of my life, (last summer/fall) suddenly he wasn't around. No more pop-ins, no more of him anywhere. The last time we spoke was the night I found out 2 pieces of really bad news and he knew I was hurting. He knew I need a friend. And then he was...simply...gone

So much for the "I don't know what I'd do without you" overtures, right?

My best friend Lindsey knows the whole story and several months ago said to me, "Don't let what he's done harden you, okay?" And I was so startled by this comment. She knows me well enough to see that in me, to know if it's coming. And she was right to warn me. If I let what he did (or actually, didn't do) get to me, it would change an important part of who I am. The part of me that can help those who are hurting heal. And that part of me, while it isn't easy, is something I don't want to loose. It's something God gave me for a reason and I trust that even though it can be a burden, there's a greater purpose for it. And having this in my life, means I must be so careful who I live for. Who I let have my heart. Who I trust. Who I let hurt me.

When I sat down to write this tonight, I had no idea what I was going to end up writing about. I usually don't. But it's extra appropriate I'm listening to the song I am.

When I stand before the Lord, I'll be standing alone
This journey is my own
Still I want man's advice, and I need man's approval
This journey is my own

Why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
What does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life

So much of what I do is to make a good impression
This journey is my own
And so much of what I say is to make myself look better
But this journey is my own

And why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
And what does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life

And I have never felt relief like I feel it right now
This journey is my own
Cuz trying to please the world, it was breaking me down
It was breaking me down

And now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Now I live and I breathe for an audience of one
Cuz I know this journey is my own

And why would I want to live for man, and pay the highest price
And what does it mean to gain a whole world, only to lose my life
And you can live for someone else, and it will only bring you pain
I can't even judge myself, only the Lord can say, ˜Well done.'

Oh, this journey is my own


But I think James said it best: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

So talking to him tonight was awful and uncomfortable. What did I learn from knowing this guy? I may never know, but I know that my heart is worth more than how he treated it. God has shown me that.

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