You can dance on my feet

This post has been long awaited. The reason why it took me so long to get here is because I had to come full circle with the realization that I am the source of the problems in many of my friendship. And I had to one by one express that to the people in whom my relationships with seemed to be falling through the cracks. I had to tell them. The other night I told the last one. I finally learned my lesson.

We all think we have a right to people we love the most. We don’t. We all think we have a right to be loved the way that we desire. We don’t. I know I have said this time and time again, but none of us has the right to anything in any relationship other than to love and serve the other party wholly and expect absolutely nothing in return.

God has brought me a long way in learning that. I am not perfect. I know I still have a tendency to look at a relationship through the scope of what I want or need or can receive, but I continually reflect upon the gospel to see that Christ’s love fulfills and I have to let go of me and learn to desire to serve and love my friends.

Before God taught me this, I was the extreme opposite. I was selfish and boldly legalistic in my expectations for my friendships. When I was in high school, new to learning the ways of the Lord, a leader at my church introduced me to DTR’s. Defining the relationship. Most people use this term when they are talking abut romance, but he clearly stated that we needed to sit down with our friends, not just ones of the opposite sex, but same sex relationships, and lay out for them our expectations as they relate to time, love, energy, resources, support, and title of the friendship. My little law-abiding heart ran with this theory on perfect relationship building. This lead to me putting extremely high expectations on my female relationships. Ones in which they could never fulfill. It was a graceless and loveless way to enter a relationship.

As I grew in faith God began working on my heart and teaching me to love like Jesus and how to be gracious to these women. I learned to love more and more selfishly. The problem then became what I created. You see I had now trained all my friends to hold ME up to a standard I could never live up to. I had trained them to rebuke my every action, since I had laid that before them and continually processed our every encounter for the purpose of evaluating our flaws. They were suddenly hurting me for doing the very thing I had earlier expressed was most loving to me. I had caused these women and myself to loose focus on the cross and to create a new purpose in relationships, other than what the Bible says. I had invited them onto the dance floor with me and expected them to waltz without stepping on my toes. And they knew that. No matter how my actions displayed love and grace, I had still built the foundations of our friendship on selfishness and rules. I put God, and them, in a box. No matter how much I may have left that line of thinking and behaving, that’s what I had told them. How could I expect them to not view our relationship in those terms?

In our relationships we have purpose. We are called to love others, then use that love to love God and love even more people. Our purpose should not be sanctification, it should not be to grow, it should not be to work together, it should not be to receive joy, and it should not be discipleship. It should always be to love and to bring God love and glory through that. All those other things are simply fruit that God allows to grow on His terms and in His timing. Not ours. Not duct taped on fruit. We are called to love fully. To love sacrificially. To love honestly. To encourage. To LOVE. There are no other boundaries or rules or parameters in that. Know the heart of God and be in communion with Him and allow that to overflow onto all your other relationships.

Even in saying that, I know its an extremely hard thing to do. It is so hard to look at someone who you desire love from and think “how can I love you like Christ and serve you today?” Even if they don’t return the favor.  It’s even harder when they hurt you. We can only do it by the grace of God.

I can name off a few girls in particular whom I have done this too, in order to protect the innocent I am not going to. But I will say this. I’m sorry. I don’t look at you the same way. I love you and I treasure you. I wish I could turn the clock back and un-do this. I wish I could have learned this when I was 4. But that’s not what happened. I can only blame me.

If there is one thing I can say walking away from this with my tethered white flag of defeat is this: I learned not to be like that. I am learning to hold my tongue. To speak in love. To love everyone not for what they can give me, but because Christ first loved me.


2 thoughts on “You can dance on my feet

  1. I like this blog. Though I personally feel that you swing from one extreme to the other. The “loving your friend extreme” is obviously a great thing. But. I think it’s alright to expect help from believers. Not 100% full accountability of every day or a dependence per se. All dependence should be on Jesus.

    Maybe I read this wrong so you can dismiss this if I did. But if I call one of my close friends and tell her where I am in my life, I expect some reaction that will either challenge me to grow or will be purposeful in another way. I have only a few people that I expect this from. But I expect it because I need it. If they are not in a good mood or maybe are not walking very well with God that week, I will easily call someone else. Before this, obviously I should be praying and seeking God for that need and those advice pieces. Of course. But I do desire that in particular friendships that have shown that in the past. Not all the time, but sometimes.

    But I really like the way you say to love on those relationships. To sacrifice and to encourage. Quickly I will “love” my friend by pointing out a flaw. Which, in its place, is loving BUT I neglect the ones that build them up in encouragement and love. I neglect to be sacrificing. I focus too much on myself – just read how many times I said “I” in this comment. Gag.

    Either way, I am now reading your blog apparently and I always have lots of opinions. I apologize for that. Just trying to piece things together in my own mind. I did enjoy reading this. Thank you for this blog! Convicting for my own life actually. Your flow while blogging is done well, by the way (that’s the most difficult part of blogging for me haha).

    Insanely long comment done.

  2. Yes. But ultimately we have to learn to graciously expect nothing from others and all from Christ and that encouragement you get from friends is a blessing. In addition to that, my close friends truly understand my journey in this and so this was mostly speaking to them about where I am at. Yes I posted it on facebook for the world to see, but the ones who have walked down this road with me, get where I am coming from. I appreciate your feedback, I do think you misunderstood me a little. And thats ok because it forces me to reflect on what I wrote and reaffirms where I stand. Thanks again Jaymie for the feedback!!

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