This is a real life conversation between two friends, talking about another mutual friend:
“I like her for one thousand reasons!”
“Can you give like the top three or four?”
“She is broken and real. She believes in Jesus and all the stuff that Jesus does– you know the healing, the singing, the preaching, the friending, the bringing in other folks that don’t belong and all that. And she’s one of those people that if I’m ever in big trouble, she’s in the top five I call.”
What an incredible description! I can’t stop thinking about it. Those were the first three things that immediately came to her mind to describe her friend.
And it got me wondering, what would my friends say about me? What would your friends say about you?
She is broken and real (?)
I know we’re all into this whole “present over perfect” and “nothing to prove” conversation and we’re finally okay with admitting we’re all big fat messes, not flawless superheroes. I’ve written plenty of blog posts saying those very things. But is that the first thing a friend would jump to when describing me? She is broken and real?
How honest am I really about my own brokenness? Sure, I’ll admit to some frailties or areas in life that aren’t going so hot, but then I just kind of wave it off. “Whatever. It’s no big deal!” I always conclude. “I’m fine.” What I’m actually saying is, “Sure, I’m not perfect… but I’m STRONG. I can handle it!” Anyone else?
But to be completely transparent, vulnerable, and humble about my brokenness… wow. Not only am I not good at that with friends, I’m not even good at that with my husband, or worse… my God.
Yet, when I shove aside my brokenness, I miss out on so much. I miss out on being completely submerged in God’s love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy. I miss out on letting my husband love me to even greater depths in the face of my ugliness. I miss out on deeper friendships who show up to help when I’m hurting and who pick up the phone when they need the same.
She believes in Jesus and all the stuff that Jesus does… (?)
Wow. This woman isn’t just describing her friend as a Christian. What she’s really saying is, not only does her friend buy into who Jesus is but she is all about trying to do His will in her daily life. She is Kingdom focused and wants to be part of of the work Jesus is doing all around her.
Is that one of the first things a friend would say about me? I’m not sure.
Kari Jobe has a song lyric that goes,
The only thing I want in life
is to be known for loving Christ
to build His church
to love His bride
And make His name known far and wide.
It is not fame that I desire
Nor stature in my brother’s eye
I pray it’s said about my life
That I lived more to build Your name than mine.
I remember the first time I heard the song, I practically fell on the ground. My heart was simultaneously so lifted and torn. I desperately want those words to be true of my life, and yet I am so inwardly selfish and so very far from that reality.
But, again, I’ll ask is that would a friend would say about me? Would Jesus even enter the top three things she associates with me? And if not, what does that say about who and what I’m living for?
If I’m in big trouble, I’d call her (?)
When you’re in big trouble, the friend you call isn’t just the person who keeps calm and knows how to function in a crisis. While that is helpful, what we all really want is someone who possesses that skill and, more importantly, who will get in the mud with us. We call the friend who will show deep empathy and compassion; she doesn’t judge or play the blame game on how you got into the mess. She doesn’t preach or give “silver lining” pep talks. She gets deep down into the muddy mess right next to you, holds your hand, squeezes it and then with a smile says, “You ready to get out? Let’s do it. I’ve got your back.”
Do I portray that kind of empathy and grace? Do I love people well enough in their “put together” state that they know I’m a safe friend when they desperately need help?
I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of three higher compliments than those above. I’m not positive those are the three my friends would use to describe me, but it’s something worth contemplating. If I were to ask a few of your friends, what would be their top three reasons for liking you? What do you want to be said about you?
While we all want to be hilarious and quick-witted, successful and hardworking, charming and gracious… basically Beyonce + Emma Stone + Ellen Degeneres all wrapped into one, the only woman we can really be is the woman God created you to be. He uniquely designed you– no other human has your DNA or finger print–so it’s not far fetched to think that He uniquely designed you in countless other ways for a unique purpose in this lifetime.
Who did God design you to be and are you living that out in such a way that your friends could identify it as their top three reasons?
Let’s be those women. I know I’d like to be her friend.