Friendship: Walking in Fear or Freedom?
A few months ago, my family and I got rid of half of all our belongings, sold our home in California and moved to Texas. Yee haw! We left everything that was familiar and moved to start a new adventure.
Everything started over from scratch, including relationships.
Each day felt like the “first day of school as an adult” kind of odd. I was coming from a place where my calendar was color coded because of all the social engagements we led and hosted. To a place where I had to ask Siri how to get anywhere – and some days, she was the only “adult” I talked to.
The Lord has a sense of humor. We now live just past Egypt Road and that’s exactly what it feels like sometimes…the wilderness. Through this transition, I’ve seen my friendships also evolve – some have strengthened, some have faded. It’s part of life.
I’m learning a lot.
For example, when there’s a problem in our lives, whether it’s a question that needs to be answered or an obstacle to overcome, it’s amazing how it can take over your world. Solving problems (for me, finding friends) feels great. But the thing about problems when we’re in the middle of them is that, more often than not, we start to believe a lie about reality. Which opens the door to anxiety and fear in our lives.
Every area of fear in my life can be traced back to a lie I’m believing.
Worry, anxiety, and fear are so commonplace in our society that it’s hard for many of us to imagine life without it. Most of the time we simply call it “stress.”
But did you know that the roots of the words worry and anxious actually both mean “to strangle” or “choke”?
This reveals the true nature of fear, anxiety, and stress – the reality that these things create in our lives is destructive to our bodies, minds and emotions.
Wherever fear is present, I’ll recognize a spirit of control at work.
I’ve learned that we define ourselves, our calling, and our world positively when we focus on these three things:
1) Who we are
2) What’s going on around us
3) What is God doing in our lives
Conversely, we define our world negatively when we focus on:
1) Who we’re not
2) What’s not happening
3) What it seems God is not doing
Would you say that you are a person who primarily hangs out in the realm of negative thinking or the realm of positive thinking? How’s that working for you? What about your friendships?
In my experience, the friendships that are strengthening are the ones with a positive focus. The ones that meditate on:
“…whatever is lovely, whatever is true, whatever is of good report.” (Philippians 4:8)
What problem are you facing today? Do you see a lie at work as evidenced by fear or control?
For me it’s been the lie that my best “community days” are behind me.
The lie that says God is withholding His best from me has introduced an un-welcomed spirit of bitterness and jealousy. I’m so thankful HIS kindness allows me to repent (change the way I think, Romans 2:4). I can repent from a wrong focus on my circumstances that has led to an agreement with fear.
Friend: you can too!
Rebecca and Travis have enjoyed (mostly) marital bliss since 2003 and are blessed with three precious offspring: 12, 10, and a little surprise which arrived on April Fools Day 2014. Rebecca loves sushi, wine, chai lattes, naps and a whole lotta JESUS! A passion has birthed in her to see ALL women set free from the chains of fear, anxiety, depression, offense, and anything else that hinders us from experiencing the ABUNDANT life that Christ offers!