Misuse of the Word Friends
I have been chewing on the word “friend” for a while now. Honestly, I have no idea why. Yet, I feel we Misuse the Word Friends at an alarming rate. Maybe I have been thinking about this because this has just been a hard month. My Lady passed on the 1st, Donna passed on the 15th, and I miss them. Maybe the Lord is speaking to me on this subject.
Types of Friends
- Social Media
- For Now
- True Blue
That’s a lot of different types of friends you will have over your lifetime. I can say, “Oh, my friend Jane, from elementary school just did this and this” according to social media.
We all know that the goal in life is to get as many “friends” as humanly possible on any social media platform. Honestly, though, are they all friends?
Have their feet been under your table? Do they truly know you now? Have they walked through difficult times with you or you with them? Even though you may not talk to them daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly. Can you still count on them?
If you can, and there are several I can, count yourself blessed.
Here are some examples from this list.
I fondly remember meeting my first friend at Homemakers. My mom went, and Julie and I would sit on the floor and take our shoes off. We remained friends throughout all our school days. I went to her house and spent the night a lot. Honestly, I don’t remember her coming to my house, but she did come to my Smurf’s birthday party and for a sleepover one year.
Over time, we grew apart, as most people do. We know little to nothing about each other in our adult lives. Yet, I still hold her very dear to my heart. I know if I ran into her, we would quickly chat the night away and catch each other up on our lives.
Also, Terri Ann, we did not go to school together, but we did go to church together. She went to a “rival” school. We grew up together, and she was the first person I knew that had ever been adopted. She introduced me to the concept, which has stuck with me all these years. She even sang at my wedding. Again, our lives do not intertwine (she moved to another state), but if we did chat, we would not miss a beat.
Do I even talk to any of my school friends? Did I even have friends in school? I had Julie, but that was about it. My school days were not significant. I was bullied a lot, and because my dad was a police officer, I never got invited to anything. Sadly, I would mask and try to inject myself into the different clicks. That didn’t work very well. I was just made fun of more, behind my back and to my face.
Honestly, I find it comical when people from my schools try to “friend” me on a social media platform. When I first got there, I would accept it and then look through their photos and read about their lives, yet there was no interaction. Then, I got smart. What makes you think you will like me now if you don’t like me? You treated me like crap. Forgiveness and transformation can happen, but that doesn’t mean I have to let you in my life. Does that make sense?
I had and still have one college friend. We were so close in college; our lives took us in different directions. Once we stumbled back into each other’s lives, I counted her as a true friend. She has been one that I’ve reached out to for prayer and to share my heart, and I always get Christlike and honest responses from her. I adore her.
Aw, this one is tricky. You want to think everyone is a friend, the pastor and his wife. Then, you are slapped in the face with a frying pan. It’s all well and good if you stick to Sunday School and big church. Once you get involved, you see where the church is held together by duct tape and a q-tip.
The flaws, the lies, the theological differences, and the disregard of an entire group because of their age. Then there is the “looking over” the things that any age group should not do. From there, you get threatened by your pastor; your pastor’s wife says you should “get over rape and be available to your husband. Suck it up; it’s over.” I still cannot believe that woman said that to my face.
Pastor’s who say your family is too big and not to attend a program offered. Deacons forced my husband into “salvation.” They would not leave him alone and badgered the crap out of him until he decided to do what they wanted him to do.
“Friends” who told me that I was never going to be taken seriously because I was too loud, too outspoken, and my hair was pink. People threatened to turn me over to CPS because I didn’t let my daughter have dessert one night. They demanded to know their personal story. I refused. It is not my story to tell, and it is none of their business.
Luckily, I have still been able to maintain some respect and love for a few people from churches of the past. We don’t talk often, but I hope they feel they can call me if they need me. I would do the same for a very select few.
I am so glad to have stumbled on Christian Fellowship. Richie and Jenny are two of the most genuine people I have ever met…no matter where we are. The love of Jesus and the desire to make Him known oozes out of their pores. I have never felt such family, love, and support as I have felt going to this church.
Yep, again, I only had one. I called this friend my priest because he was going to school to become a deacon in his Catholic Church when we met. He did that. I was blessed to be invited, and I know he is one I can call. Other than that, there were none.
These “friends” come and go like the ebbs and flow of the ocean. They get mad and step out of your life for a minute. Then, they get happy and start slowly beginning to communicate. Next up, they are all up in your stuff. Lastly, they flit off again. Several several several “friends” in this section of my life. I’ve decided to clip their wings, so there is no more flitting into my life.`
I think we can all say we have had fake friends. Honestly, most of my fake friends came from churches over the years. Seeing how spiritual they are on social media makes it so funny to me now. Yet, when it comes down to slinging mud, getting dirty, and being the hands and feet of Jesus, they are entirely dismissive and judgemental.
I would LOVE to call these people out. Many people know these people and have horror stories of their behavior and actions towards others. It is embarrassing. Yet, I remember Exodus 14:14, saying, “The Lord will fight your battles. You need to be silent.”
There are days when I don’t want to be silent—just saying. My flesh gets all up in my feels, and I want to scream from every rooftop what a fake these people are and be aware.
Social Media Friends
In the world of social media, the more friends or followers, the more you look unique and vital. I’m here to say that is a crock of crap. I went a long time with all my social media deleted, but I had to open some of them back up because I do reviews.
When I do reviews/giveaways, I check to see if anyone entered to win whatever is being given away, but other than that, I am not active—on Twitter, Insta, FB, Pinterest, etc. I do have accounts, but they are linked through my blog, and I think most have my blog name. I do not follow or befriend anyone if you check (except FB and Insta). Now, I don’t necessarily do it on the platform. It may be through messaging or texts.
Over the years, outside of family, I have made three friends that I have been friends with for almost 20 years. We are all opposites; we don’t talk often, but we have mutual love and respect for each other. I am closer to one of those people than the other 2. I treasure every one of these ladies.
For Now Friends
These are in-the-moment friends. These people have been with me in so many situations, whether from adoption (for us), foster care adoption (again for us), special needs, etc. I can count on these people right now for this season. Sometimes these friends (or any friends) are for a season. They ebb and flow like the waves of the ocean. You know what, though? That is okay.
They were there for the season that you needed them. Glean what you can, apply it to your life, and then spread it to others who are in that situation.
When something arises, I know I can reach out to a few mamas raising kids from hard places. These are the ears I want because they are judgment-free and follow with prayer. I covet those friendships.
True Blue Friends
Well, this comes down to it. My college friend is a true blue friend. She is there, hopefully, for the long haul. Our paths may go in different directions, but her number is on my phone, and I do not hesitate to call. My Lady and Donna were my true blue friends. Now, they are with Jesus.
One of my social media friends can be counted in this group. We are so different and lead such different lifestyles, yet we respect each other and look past the differences to see the heart behind the human.
My For Now Friend is still hanging tight with me. I swear, we are the only two people who actually get what we are saying and don’t even think twice. She is such a friend that she stood in the gap when I had to take a break from parenting one of my more challenging children. There was never a hesitation. She just said, “you are doing this.” I was in such a state that all I did was cry and barely utter thank you. She has seven children from hard places, and she took my child for a little over a month to help my family regroup. Love her.
My pastor and his wife have my back at any time. Another couple from church we just think the world of would help us at any moment. By Steph. Forever. These are all people from church.
I could name more people, like Susan but know that my circle is small, and that is what I prefer. Slowly, I am finding more people who fall into this category that are new but hopefully long-lasting. You know, like an excellent battery.
I don’t have many (and I’m not even mentioning family), but the few I have are powerful warriors who would do anything to help our family if/when we need it. These people have seen us at our worst and still love, pray, and try to help. Lately, it’s been pretty bad!
Let me sum it up with this meme.
Let’s start calling a spade a spade. A true blue friend is your friend through thick and thin. Most of the rest are just acquaintances with some genuinely extraordinary exceptions. Guess what? That is OKAY!
Oh! Just in Case You Were Wondering
My mother (my Oak) is not my friend. She is my mom.
My daddy is not my friend. He is my dad.
My children and grandchildren are not my friends. I am their parent; they have enough friends. They need a parent to guide them and not always agree with them.
My husband is not my friend. He is my lover, rock, person, husband, father of my children, grandfather of my grandchildren, stabilizer, and leader.
Friends come and go in the night. Family stays forever.