I want to tell you a story about a girl.
A girl with fire in her hair, and big dreams in her heart.
Yes that girl is me.
So we can call her Carly! Carly had a difficult life in which every time she trusted someone, they would hurt and let her down. She began to retreat further and further inside of herself until she could would not let any other person into her life. Carly thought that being alone protected her, and since she wouldn’t allow anyone close enough to break down her walls of protection, that she would be safe and sound. Carly loved people, but she loved them at an arm’s length. She knew people go deep when they get close and that felt vulnerable. Many others have the same darkness inside of them as she did, and if she let them get too close, she might feel their pain, or they may feel hers.
Do you know that everything about the way I was living was unhealthy? I expected others to be perfect, but the truth is that we are all beautifully broken and need each other. By not allowing others to know me, I hurt myself. I was the person that I feared because I hurt myself every day by believing the lie that I was safe in solitude, in this lonely fog.
I love this quote “Love was first, and so was relationship.” by Pastor Krysta Cooks. It says it all; we were created to be in relationship with one another!
Genesis 2:7 says, “Then the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.” Pastor Theo Koulianos (of the Answer Church in Lake Mary Florida) asked this question to me and my classmates at Victory School of Ministry, “How close would God have to be to breathe into one’s nostrils?” I’ve thought about this over and over since then and I don’t think I’ll ever forget this image. How small are your nostrils? Someone would have to literally be in your face and extremely close to breathe into your nostrils. That is the intimacy that we first encountered with God.
We have a relational God who created us for love, and for relationship.
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.”
I was missing out on the greatest commandment for a very long time. Loving God, and loving people. If I do nothing else in this life but love Jesus, and love people, I will have done so much.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived.
My Bishop always says “You cannot give what you do not have.” I encourage you to have friends and be a friend. Jesus was called a friend of sinners, and He is called your friend.
I didn’t think I needed people, but I have realized there is no greater joy than being a friend and knowing and loving know people. I was completely alone until I completely surrendered this area of my life to the Lord. God gave me courage to befriend an incredible pastor friend which led to several new friendships. I am now surrounded by incredibly loving people who lift me up and encourage me.
The truth is that none of us are perfect, and we will hurt each other sometimes, but that’s why we need each other – to be there for one another. No matter what happens to you, and how people hurt you, God’s grace is sufficient for you, and He is the one true friend that will never leave or hurt you.
I encourage those of you who are hurting like I was. Take a chance and be vulnerable again. Make room in your heart for friendships again. Let God befriend you as well. He desires a real relationship with you!
Images were found on Pinterest.
This blog was written by Pure Design Teen Magazine’s blogger Carly Sage. Carly is 19 and lives in Youngstown, Ohio where she attends Victory School of Ministry. She hopes to be in full-time ministry as a pastor one day and loves to express herself through writing!