Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Can you help a little???

My heart is a little heavy this morning. Obviously I'm taking a break from Moses. =) I don't think my sleepy mind can grasp all that is involved with him this morning!!

Tomorrow night, is my (God's, nothing is mine anyway) last bible study for this book "The seven life principles". I'm very sad to see these lessons go because I have held them so close to my own heart. But, we are talking about friendships. As I've been preparing, many wounds have been opened up in my soul. Not new wounds, old, old, old wounds.........it also hasn't helped that I've been looking over the material for the next bible study, "Do you think I'm beautiful?"....SOOOO, between walking down friendship memory lane, and ugly memory lane...as you can imagine, my heart has been in a bit of a roller coaster the past few days. =)

Again, feelings of inadequate wouldn't even begin to describe how I feel about tomorrow night! Will I ever feel confident to stand before women and speak? Oh my word......who do I sound like this morning??? Moses???!!!!

But, I want to leave these ladies with an incredible lesson, and I've been working and working, but I just don't feel that it's coming together. And so here I am, this morning. "Lord, empty me. No matter how much it hurts to open up those wounds, empty me.....again."

So I need your help this morning. If you wouldn't mind helping a sister out.......I'd love some feedback with these questions:

Who do you consider a friend? (not names, just tell me what makes a friend to you)
What do you love about friendships?
What do you not like about friendships?
What would you change about one friendship past or current?
What's the hardest situation you've ever gone through with a friend?

For these comments, I've opened up the anonymous comments allowed. And don't worry, I'm not going to track you down! I don't have time for that!!! =) I just want to hear from as many of you as possible, feedback is so helpful as I tweak my lesson for tomorrow night. God can use you!

Thanks ya'll. I'll be sure to let you know how the study goes! Thank you all for helping me out! Your feedback is so helpful!!!


Jenny said...

That's a tall order! First let me say, you will do wonderful! :)

What I like most about friendships is women just get things that men don't. What I don't like is because we are women are emotions can make a mess of things.

I once had a friend that I would have considered my Best friend. We all did everything together for years. But at some point things changed and it fell apart, it was painful and semi-ugly. I can see the good that came from the dissolved friendship as we weren't great for each other. We talked once last summer and made a bridge, but one that won't get much use, but a bridge still the same.

The hardest thing I have ever gone through with a friend is when Deb's son died. He had cystic fiboris and died just a few days before his 13th birthday. That was hard, still is, he was such a sweetie!

Just general thoughts on friendships, it seems like to me anyway, that it is harder to find time for building real friends. I find I have lots of "friends" but few FRIENDS.

Great topic, thanks for inviting us to share!


Nicki said...

Hi Jenny!!! Thank you so much for your insight!! Really appreciate it!! That's so sad about your friend's son that died. I'm so sorry to hear that.

Great thoughts and thanks again!!!

Speaking Thru Me Ministries said...

the older and older i get and the deeper and deeper i get into minstry the more i long for a friend to allow me to be real. One that will still love me when I do not act becoming of a woman in ministry and one that will not be so dissappointed when all falls apart for me or better yet - in me!! i really am a friend girl, but it gets harder and harder the older i get! great stuff chickie, you will do fine!

Christie Todd said...

I would really appreciate your input on what your top 10 fears are. I am seeking info for a book I am writing on overcoming fear.
Thank you
Christie Todd

Sharon Brumfield said...

I don't think that everyone is built for the same type of friendships. Some like to have lots of acquaintances--not me. It has to be real. I want them to know who I am and if they don't share the same interests--then I would rather not spend the time and the energy going there. It takes a lot to build a good friendship. Time, energy, effort, love, patience, the ability to look beyond yourself.
I have probably only had two or three really good friends. Those are the ones who you share a history with. THose who go with you into the hard times and are still with you when you come out. Those who remind you of the truth when you can not see. Those who will give you a smack when you need one.
Years ago when a few couples in our Sunday school class turned on me because of the stand I was taking-I had a true friend who walked with me through that time. She knew me, she knew my heart for the Lord and she knew what they were speaking was full of lies. She reminded me who I was. She put her hand in my back and kept me standing.
Then when years later she went through a time of rebellion-4 years that almost riped my heart out-I stood for her. I fasted and prayed, spoke the truth and then with a heart that was dying walked away because God told me to. But God knew what she needed and as a friend I was willing to go there.
A year ago she came back to God.
She and I are closer than sisters.
We share history. She moved away from my area 4 years ago. When we talk on the phone--she is right next door.
During the time I have been going through I have received a few smacks from her.I have also been reminded of the truth.
Friends must be equally yoked.
I love lots of my girls--but although our hearts touch it does not mean that I can give myself totally to all of them. Friendship requires work and connection. If we spread ourselves to thin---I am afraid when the times get rough I am afraid that we will find that all we have had is fluff.
Fluff is kind of hard to stand on.
Long winded as usual.
Just a reminder--Jesus had lots of disciples who followed Him and then fell away. Then He had the 12 and even of those He had some that were invited to the top of the mountain.
Not all were invited there.

Nicki said...

Leigh, I can understand that...I imagine it does get harder and harder to find friends that you can be your own skin in!! Thanks girl.

Sharon, Thanks for your thoughtful insight. I enjoyed hearing about your friend that you were so close with. How incredible was it that you stuck by her through it all!! And the praying and fasting for her, wow, that's a friend!!!

freetofly said...

Nicki, The short time I have been visiting with you, I have clearly seen the hand of God holding you up. He did not bring you this far to drop you at the end of the class! (and I know you know that, but, it is good to be reminded) Let the Weak Say I AM Strong! (Like that word thing!?! I AM)

anywho, I actually have been ruminating about the whole friendship thing for about 3 months now. It's not ready to post about, but I am getting closer...it has to do with something I am walking out that is difficult...

I will try to tackle what I can with your questions, but, I am may not be up to all of it...

Who do you consider a friend? (not names, just tell me what makes a friend to you) -

AUTHENTIC people that I can contribute and they can contribute, as we point each other to Christ.

What do you love about friendships?

The shared experiences in faith - laughter, tears, hopes and dreams - we are made to bring out the best in each other - and when that happens - WHAT A JOY!

What do you not like about friendships? The only thing that comes to mind - is finding out they have gossiped about you. Its never the same after that.

What would you change about one friendship past or current? Not my thing...it is what it is.

What's the hardest situation you've ever gone through with a friend -

oohh, you name it, weddings, babies, miscarriages, wrongs, adultery, divorce, drug abusing children, death...

I hope this helps...it was very thought provoking...I see what you mean about bringing up yukky memories!

I will say that the closer you draw to Christ, the fewer close friends we will have...I would second Sharon's comments entirely...as a matter of fact, you will BE a good friend to more than are a good friend to you (at any one time) - Look at Jesus.


freetofly said...

P.S. Praying for you Nicki-girl!

Denise said...

I consider someone to be my friend if they are willing to stand on the mountain top with me, as well as go through the valley with me. I do not like it when emotions get in the way of friendships. The hardest thing that I have ever been through with in a friendship, is when my best friend passed away back in 1993.

Nicki said...

Maria, thanks girl!! I loved it all!!

Denise, that is so sad that you went through that, I'm so sorry and thank you for sharing!!

Sharon Brumfield said...

Oh, almost forgot--love the new look!
My brain is still not quite there.
Praying for you!
I would also encourage you not to shy away from the painful memories. God may have allowed them so that He can then use them in another's life. Who knows but that some woman in your class is dealing freshly with a similar experience.
Praying that you speak boldly with a tender heart.

Kim said...

Who do I consider a friend? I consider my husband my friend. Other than Jesus, he is the one that I am most emotionally connected with. I have many aquaintences but I think we overuse the word friend in this world. Friendship indicates that there is an intimacy there that is not shared with just anyone. Am I making sense here?

What do you love about friendships? True friends are there for you. True friends are those that you can go without talking to for a while but then when you do, you pick up exacly where you left off. True friends are a gift from God.

What do you not like about friendships? That they are subjected to the temptation of gossip. That they require much time to cultivate but only one or two incidents to destroy.

What would you change about friendship? The amount of time that you have to invest to maintain friendships - that is why we look around at 35 and 40 and realize that we don't seem to have time for friendships becasue we are too busy raising children and working.

Hardest situation ever with a friend? Two of my closest friends do not share the same level of commitment to Christ that I do and because of that, we have grown apart.

Love this that I found - C.S. Lewis on Friendship....

Companionship is, however, only the matrix of Friendship. It is often called Friendship, and many people when they speak of their 'friends' mean only their companions. But it is not Friendship in the sense I give to the word. By saying this I do not at all intend to disparage the merely Clubabble relation. We do not disparage silver by distinguishing it from gold.

Friendship arises out of mere Companionship when two or more of the companions discover that they have in common some insight or interest or even taste which the others do not share and which, till that moment, each believed to be his own unique treasure (or burden). The typical expression of opening Friendship would be something like, 'What? You too? I thought I was the only one'....

In our own time Friendship arises in the same way. For us of course the shared activity and therefore the companionship on which Friendship supervenes will not often be a bodily one like hunting or fighting. It may be a common religion, common studies, a common profession, even a common recreation. All who share it will be our companions, but one or two or three who share something more will be our Friends. In this kind of love, as Emerson said, Do you love me? means Do you see the same truth? - Or at least, 'Do you care about the same truth?' The man who agrees with us that some question, little regarded by others, is of great importance, can be our Friend. he need not agree with us about the answer.

Nicki said...

Hey Kim! Thank you so much for taking the time and putting some thoughtful insight into this. You are always very honest, and I always appreciate that. I really liked what you said, "That they require much time to cultivate but only one or two incidents to destroy."......that hit home with me. SO true.

See, I needed some "Kimsense". =) Thanks so much!!

Valarie said...

Girl, I know you're likely already prepared for tonight - SORRY - but let me just say this. The closer you are to Jesus, the fewer and fewer friends you need. What I mean by that is, He not only becomes everything to you, but He then is faithful to provide you with the "flesh and bones" friends you need. He brings people into your life - people you wouldn't likely choose on your own - that you bond with like no other because of HIM!! Does that make sense?

Anyway, the more I allow Him to choose my friends, the better friends I have and the better friend I become! Hope that makes sense!
Love ya.

Nicki said...

Hey Val,

YES!!! That's so awesome, that's exactly my message (In a round about way!) tonight! Thanks! =)