Nobody can get through life alone. There are some of us who try, but we all manage to accumulate relationships. We have friends we talk to every day, and others we only see each week. Some people we try to see every holiday, and the handful of individuals that we only talk with at the high school reunions.
All of these individuals make up our people. They are the people who like your Instagram pics or send a Christmas card. Some will call you on your birthday and others will send flowers when they see an obituary. They fill our lives for years, or only in passing, but still their presence shapes our experiences.
It isn’t hard to undervalue these people in your life. We can all say we don’t give enough credit to our parents, and we don’t appreciate our best friends enough. It is so terrifyingly easy to undervalue to individuals who see your posts on Facebook but never comment, who have known you forever but have never gotten that close. The distant friends and acquaintances who have a place for you in their lives, whether you know it or not.
After sharing my last post, a lot of these lost friends have come out of the woodwork for me. People from college I haven’t spoken to recently, Facebook friends that often just pass by on my news feed, strangers who read these posts and share in these stories with me. Sure there have been negative comments or angry reactions, but the love and support I’ve felt in the last 4 days has been overwhelming.
Doing life is difficult. Sharing your life with those around you is even harder, even if you’re only opening up with perfect pictures and exciting events. Deciding to be vulnerable and be willing to get hurt has been one of the most terrifying decisions I’ve ever made, and the outcome of it has been more rewarding that I could have ever imagined.
God gives us so much scripture about finding our people. We are even told that we need to be in fellowship with each other, and that having these relationships with others is a crucial part of living the life God designed for us. The one verse that has been on my mind throughout this past year has been this;
Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
I cannot encourage all of us enough to take the risk and share our lives with those around us. Talk about the hard stuff. Encourage the people around you even if you feel awkward or uncomfortable. Share your heart and trust that someday they will share it back to you. Acknowledge when the people in your life take that step of vulnerability with you, and handle it with care.
It takes a step of faith and it takes a whole lot of courage. Take the time, trust the people, share your story. Your life will be better for it.
I’ll leave you with this; be open, build relationships and find where you belong.