My husband and I joke a lot about my social skills. I have a master’s degree in social work, but outside of working, I’m not very social. I think a lot of people in high school thought I was stuck up, when really, I was too terrified to go talk to them. I’ve always been a bit of a dork, not quite cool enough to fit in, and I’ve let the fear of what people might think keep me silent way too often.
It didn’t get better after high school. In college, I went to classes, and I went home. I didn’t attempt to make any new friends, except going to the Bible Study on campus. I didn’t really hang on to any friends from high school. I was friends with a few on Facebook, but I don’t think that counts.
Despite my solitary attitude, I made some friends anyway, people in the same program as me, people I worked with, people at Bible Study. After graduation though, I lost touch with most of them. I’ve begun to let the same thing happen with friends from my last job. A friend of mine there (one I love more than she knows) even predicted what our friendship would look like down the road. She told me I would tell everyone I would stop by the office, I would text or call or email, just to be nice, but I really wouldn’t. She said she knew I would never keep up, and she asked me if I would at least still like her posts on Facebook and comment every once in a while. She thought that was the best I could do.
Now I understand friendships change and evolve and come and go as people travel through different places in their lives, and some of mine have just taken their natural course. What I feel like I need to apologize for, is not being true enough to my faith.
Anyone in high school can tell you that I talked a lot about church and faith and God, but I didn’t really live it. I had head knowledge but not enough heart knowledge of Christ so I was often judgmental and rude when I should have been compassionate and kind. In college, I began to figure that out, but I was so embarassed about the bad example I’d been, that I stayed pretty quiet for the most part. When I began talking about my faith again, it was by talking about my church, which wasn’t bad, but I never shared why my faith, not just my church, but my personal faith was such a big deal to me.
I’m sorry. I should have told you a long time ago how much I love Jesus. I should have told you that for too long I based my faith on a list of do’s and don’ts instead of on a personal relationship with God. I have had my own sins that used to haunt me with guilt and make me feel like I wasn’t worthy enough to have a relationship with God. And then one day, someone preached a sermon that made me realize that Jesus overcame all sin when he died on the cross, and I didn’t have to feel dirty anymore or try to be good enough. My faith matters to me, because it gives me hope. Hope that my family will be together in heaven for eternity. Hope that He has a plan for my life, no matter what struggle I’m facing. Hope that He forgives so my past mistakes don’t define who I am anymore. Hope that He can help me be a better Christian, a better spouse, a better parent, and even a better friend.
Proverbs 17:17a “A friend loves at all times”