What do you do when you need help immediately?
Who do you call?
Who are the people you reach out to?
Who do you allow to see you at your most vulnerable?
I was there a couple of weeks ago. In need of help. Vulnerable. Weak. Scared. Unsure of how things would turn out.
I had severe abdominal pain and needed to get to the emergency room fast.
My family would have come in a heartbeat, but they were 45 minutes away and I needed help right then.
Who would I let in?
Phillip and I are blessed to have so many incredible friends who are willing to step in at a moment’s notice. And that’s what happened. We called on two friends who immediately came to take care of our kids while Phillip took me to the emergency room.
Side note – I’m fine. All signs and tests pointed to appendicitis, but the severe abdominal pain stopped and hasn’t come back. I choose to believe that God wanted me in that emergency room to pray over someone who needed it and wasn’t getting it elsewhere.
So we left and our friends stepped in.
They cared for our kids by calming them as they wondered what happened to me. They fed them pizza and made a party out of it. They took my kids to their home and made them comfortable with a movie, popcorn and a safe, warm bed to sleep in.
I’m so thankful for people who are willing to step in.
Those deep friendships don’t just happen by chance. Friendships are not cultivated by a friendly wave across the street or a “Good to see you,” on a Sunday after church in passing. They aren’t cultivated by seeing each other in the pick up line at school and smiling. Those are places where friendships might start, but they aren’t cultivated there.
Deep, lasting friendships are cultivated with intentionality and vulnerability.
They are cultivated by being brave and not just waving at someone from across the street, but by asking them to take a walk or come over for a glass of wine.
They are cultivated by feeling a little awkward and asking for a number so that you can meet for coffee.
They are cultivated by not staying on the surface, but by being vulnerable and sharing what is actually going on with you. Even the messy parts.
Friendships like this move from being friends to being like family.
Growing up, my parents were very intentional about their friendships. They had a lot of friends, but there was a small group of four families that moved beyond friendship to being like family.
The main thing that brought them together was their unity in Christ.
Now, 51 of us are encompassed in that group.
Last week I was able to sit around with a few of those friends. We all have grown up and moved away, but a lasting friendship remains because it was cultivated through intentionality and vulnerability.
I’m so grateful for that.
So friend, who do you call when things get messy? Who are you willing to let see you at your worst?
We are not meant to live on an island of solitude.
We are meant to live in community.
Be brave. Be awkward. Be intentional. Be vulnerable.
“Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God…” Acts 2:46-47.
God, give us bravery and courage to cultivate friendship in a way that honors and pleases you.