Flowers and Friendship
Several times in the last couple of months there have been flowers show up on my doorstep for no other reason than a friend who loves me wanted me to remember that the tough life things of this season are not my whole life. I'm usually the strong one in a friendship. I give epic advice. I'll totally hold you while you cry. I'll listen and even do so without input if that is what you need. I'll give you the truth even if it's hard to hear. I'll buy your coffee and not expect you to do the same for me. And I have the hardest time accepting those same things in return.
I once had a friend tell me that I was robbing the people in my life of the opportunity to bless me. I wasn't letting them treat me the same way I treated them. Ouch. I took a look into my life mirror often, always trying to be a better me, but I didn't see that coming. It took some years on the other side of that realization to understand that meant my desire to be present for, and good to, the people in my life was really more about how it made me feel great to give than it was about me making them feel valued in those moments. Sheesh. That is not the person or friend I want to be at all!
You know what else I don't want to do? I don't want have that kind of relationship with God. I don't want to gather the flowers of my life myself, arrange them in my favorite vase, display them for all to see, and not leave room for what He wants to bless me with in return. How can the glory be His if I do it all myself? It is in our weakness, after all, that He is strong!
Those words that confronted my attempts at kindness all those years ago stuck with me. I'm still a giver. I still don't expect anything provided to me in return, but I also pulled up a seat next to humility and grace and let those friendships hold me as much as I held them. I still struggle with a fair amount of guilt when I feel like I'm taking more than I'm giving (hello, fellow enneagram two's!), but lately I've had to lean in to the people in my life and allow them to hold me, to comfort me, and to show up on my porch with flowers to remind me of my worth in the middle of a difficult season.
So thank you, sweet friends for not letting me get away with being just a giver and not a receiver. Thank you for the texts checking in and the grace to listen when I lay it all at your feet. Thank you for the long drives at night and the evening walks through your neighborhoods. Thank you for the picnics on the front porch, the cups of coffee, and the countless ways you've been the hands and feet of Jesus to me when I needed it most.
Friendship and flowers are in full bloom around here and my bucket, though a little bit rusty, is full.