Its been hard for me, knowing that people will refuse to remain friends if I “backslide”. But I haven’t backslid. I have simply stopped going to a certain building a few times a week. If I had a friend that told me they wouldn’t talk to me unless I shopped in Walmart, I wouldn’t consider that person much of a friend. Same with these now- I’m still there for them if they want me, but its their choice whether to express friendship to me or not. I’m not responsible for their actions. My decision was simply to stop going to a certain place. I didn’t walk out on God or them, but just did what was best for me. Now its their choice what they do. Doesn’t make losing them easier, but it would have been harder to lose God, and that’s where I was headed.
Relationships in the church seemed so shallow. I always thought it was just me, that I couldn’t connect, maybe I was less spiritual or just shallow myself. More than likely those were not the reasons for shallow relationships though.
In the church, we were told that getting hurt in church was worse than most hurts in the world, because the church was our “family” and we were “so close”. I wasn’t close to them though. Not the way I was to family and friends growing up. To me being close means being able to laugh with people, to play games, to just be together without wondering if they would think I was “carnal”. Closeness to someone means being able to relax around them, to “let your hair down” and just be yourself.
Its nice to think I might meet some people that aren’t weighing every word I say, judging every move. I need friends. The kind of friends who are there at your roughest times to pick you back up, to love you. They are simply there. They seem to know when you need that encouraging word, that helping hand, that smile or hug. And they give it without hesitation, no matter what you’ve done or what others have said. I want friends like that, and I want to be a friend like that. Have I got some friends like that? I’m working on it. True friendships take time. But they’re worth it.