I'm walking on the wire and you're holding me steady

I’ve moved around a lot.  I moved as a toddler, as a high school student, right after college, then a year later, then two years later, then a year later…  So you could say that this type of lifestyle doesn’t exactly breed deep, long lasting friendships.  I grew up in a small town where you know everyone in town and everyone knows you.  I moved early on in high school to a school that opened brand new and no one really knew each other.  So graduating high school was great, but wasn’t with people I had known my whole life.  Back then we didn’t even really have many ways to keep in touch with those people I grew up with.
I have one friend that I keep in touch with from high school.  And the irony of that is we didn’t even know each other in high school.  We met in a bible study in college.  I commuted all four years of college and didn’t make a ton of close friends in Boulder.  Although I had close friends that I made outside of school.  Then I graduated from college and moved away.  I lived in MI for 6 months, then moved home, then to Kansas City where I stayed a year and a half.  Then Colorado for a year, and now I’m starting my second year in Chicago.
I should also mention, I kind of suck at long distance friendships.  Twitter/phones/blogs/google+ etc makes it a little easier but altogether I’m pretty bad at it.  So I have that going against me.
Then add in that I’m probably the worst friend to my closest friends.  I know how backwards that sounds but I am flighty at times.  I am a text book social butterfly and constantly need to be moving.  I’m also a text book non-innitiater.  Add those things together it’s super easy for my closest friends to feel the most neglected.  So there’s another strike.
But the thing is, I long for those close relationships.  I long to have people just get me, understand why certain things enrage me, make me cry, make me laugh.  Those are the relationships that fuel me, that make me really feel loved.  And I dream of some day being able to say “Oh, we’ve been friends for 20/30/40 years”.  I want to have those relationships, but knowing that I’m not very good at them makes it difficult.
I becamse increasinly aware of this and thankful for grace last night.  I was sitting on the couch next to my best friend and after a night mix-ups and delays, we were celebrating their 5th anniversary with pizza and their dvr.  I remember their wedding like it was yesterday.  I remember them meeting a year before that and walking alongside of her while she realized this was the man she loved and wanted to spend her life with.  She’s the person who knows the most about me on this earth.  As we were sitting there, casually catching up on our weeks, I made some remark about an immature decision I made that week, and she called me on it without missing a beat.  With no more than 10 words she gave me about 15 reasons why I needed to walk away from this particular situation.  It was amazing.  A task only she could accomplish that efficiently.
See, relationships take a lot of work up front.  We all know that.  It takes dedication and vulnerability.  But the long term takes work too.  It takes phone calls, email, visits, intentionality.  All things I’m less than great at.  Which is why I am thankful for the grace of my close friends, you know who you are, who allow me to be forgetful, call me out on it and talk it out so we can move on.
Friendships.  When done right are a phenomenon.  They don’t make sense that people could possibly love you this much and you them.  It’s not logical that we can learn to depend on someone else in a way that we do our friends.  It’s not logical to let someone in that far, with the chance to break your heart.  And yet, we do it.  Sometimes it turns out well, sometimes it hurts like hell.  But one thing’s for sure.  It’s totally worth it.
Cause like I’ve said on here before, friends can’t actually change things in your life to make it suck less.  But they can sit around a table with you, on a roof in Chicago and make you laugh.  They can encourage you, speak to your soul, love you when you don’t love yourself and basically, be Jesus to you.
So go out, tell those you love the most that you appreciate them.  And try to be Jesus to them, learn to love them better.

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