Some friends challenge you. Some friends wipe your tears. Real friends take you on a trip to Colorado for your 33rd birthday.
I’m totally kidding…kind of.
I have a difficult time accepting gifts. If you are wondering, yes, that means I struggle with pride. You may think it odd, but I actually don’t like celebrating my birthday. I usually don’t advertise its coming and I plan for a day of solitude as any normal introvert would.
But I can’t blame my annual hermit complex totally on reticence. The truth is I’ve built boundaries around that day in efforts to defend myself, mainly my emotions, against disappointment. I’ve told myself, “I don’t need anything or anyone” just in case I don’t receive anything or have anyone when that day comes.
So, every year, I build a barricade and I stay low.
But real friends don’t let friends continue in emotional adolescence.
Some friends are intrusive. Real friends kick down your rickety fence of a boundary (in your mind it’s the Great Wall of China), walk through the weeds of your heart, and pull you out of hiding (in which you’re most likely curled over in the fetal position). Real friends pull you out of fear. They storm in your life and force you to confront your issues. They make you take a look at yourself in the emotional mirror, and force you to see that you never grew beyond that last big hurt.
To say the least this trip was just that, a kick in the heart. It was spit in the dirt for my eyes. It was healing to my soul, and it caused me to grow up a little. I had to start asking myself “who am I to not accept a free gift, as if I don’t need it?” “Who am I to not accept healing, as if I don’t need it?”
I need it.
I need all of it. The first step in letting go of your pride is acknowledging your need. The second step is admitting that you don’t have the means to fulfill that need yourself. I had to let down my pride, even just a little, and admit that I need people and gifts. I need love. I need to be seen and I need to be known.
Once I let my pride down, I could pick healing up and enjoy the ride.
If you are anything like me, you sometimes use a God-given personality trait (introvert) as a lie to mask emotional immaturity and fear. I challenge you to open up to God, His people, His Church. People may have hurt you, but people can heal you too. In this case, it was the sweet salve of friendship that soothed my burning birthday heart.
Thank God, and thank you Kandis and Nicole.
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Question: What emotional hurts are causing you to hide? How have you overcome the fear of letting people in? Say something! clicking here.