What i now know about Friend Requests – Friend Rejects

January 2008.
Dear X,
Pause….sigh…pause…this is an email that I have been writing in my head longer than it has taken to write it…classic procrastination…but here goes…it is most genuine, from my heart as I look back on the year past …2007.

I’ve just been looking back at the past year…quite amazed at what God has done at what He can do….I’m in awe…sometimes I wonder if the awe is just mine…like yes, he is God….who loves us and cares for our every interest…who wants the best for us…who hears our prayers…who has promised to grant us our desires….yet still, in hindsight I’m still in awe. How much more trusting I could have been, how much more relaxed I would have been, how much less worried and anxious I could be…I should be…if this awe, this comprehension of God and me…God and us…would stay constant in my mind.

Anyway, I’m getting sidetracked… I was looking back and remembering, nay, recognizing God’s character…his faithfulness to his promises, his goodwill towards his children. Re-reading my journal, I found the notes we (x, y and myself) took of our prayers, it was January of 2006. Y wanted to marry a man after God’s own heart, in 2 years, although she did not want to date while still in Uni. Well you know that beautiful story just as well as I do…it all happened after her hearts desires…just as we had prayed.

You wanted to date a friend –friends first you said – and at the time you said you did not have many male friends…but you only needed one…who had the same Master-Mate-Mission as you did, and well you tell me…but as far as I can see, God has answered that prayer too. Further to that, watching you grow in discipline, in person…challenge yourself and succeed in every-way…has been quite an encouragement, in many ways. Your relationships, choices, behavior, thought process, actions….you have been a role model to me…you have challenged me to be better…to want better.

To say the least, your presence in my life has been central-vital-fundamental. You have been one of my innermost friends, given me of yourself. Your kindness and support and wise words (much needed wise questions) have been more than I deserved and I am truly grateful. Your friendship is a true endowment/gift from God….even further, you have opened up your house, your family to me…how can I even begin to say thanks…you have been truly God-sent.

Thank you for being my friend…you know what they say about birds of a feather flocking together…you have made me look good…I’m proud to call you friend…in Kikuyu you would be called murata wa mara – friend of the intestines. Ok, it is an odd analogy…what I am saying is that you are wonderful; thank you for being your wonderful self.

That said, I am also aware that God works in our lives in seasons…everything has a rhythm…a beginning…an end…an up moment and a down moment…and I am not God…neither is one of my gifts prophecy so am not trying that out…what I know… is that over the last year…it has become more and more difficult for us to communicate at this deeper level…perhaps a result of a change in lifestyle or moments…both of us having school and work…and you a discipleship class and a relationship…to say the least life is full…as it ought to be…may we both die…empty…having emptied all our potential.

I believe in quality friendships, I know you do too… even God’s word values being able to do things well. I have missed your friendship and severally tried to facilitate/organize our catching-up unsuccessfully. You have cancelled on me over three times in the last few months. I know it does not sound like much but it has hurt, I have felt rejected by you…so maybe it is me being overly sensitive…the point is I am aware that we may not view our friendship in the same way…in the same priority zone…so to say… which is okay…because God leads us to want different things in this life…and it is important that we listen and develop a sense of self-awareness within His context. So yes, my question is…is this the end of this season of our friendship…or is there something that ‘we’ can do…to keep it as a vibrant-healthy-fulfilling friendship? It shall hurt but I think it is more important that we are living in God’s will.

This has been written just as I think…in fact, just as I speak…so it is very raw…from my heart/mind just as it is…no sieve…so where the thoughts do not come out right…I take responsibility…do forgive me…hopefully it makes sense…everything here was said with love as its number one intention.

Okay, let me not stretch this. I know you are going to pray about this and then think some more and consult some…but I would like to hear your response sometime…if that is at all possible.

Barikiwa…I love you girl.
Me.

The Friend Reject
I wrote this email 3 years ago, at the start of 2008. I never got a response. Cold. I know. It hurt at the time, and for a long time after that. We are no longer friends.

When thinking about writing this post, I talked to another friend who admitted to going ‘silent’ on a friend or two in the past. I asked her why she should would do that, and this is what she said. “Honestly, I think possibly because we don’t have anything in common anymore. Maybe we have grown apart and don’t know how to relate anymore. Secondly, it could be something they did to me. In this case, it was a series of accumulated things that I kept brushing aside and one day something huge happened and I brushed it away but it didn’t go away. It stayed on and I had to answer some hard questions.”

So maybe that’s what happened in my case, I don’t really know. I think it was the end of that season of our friendship, I am still sad that it went-down that way. But life doesn’t always turn out as we want it. Look at how Jonathan and David’s friendship ended, he died. Sometimes some friends, no matter how much we love them, are not supposed to be in our lives. It’s only a pity when they realise it before we do.

What Friendship is to me
The Bible mentions “friend” about ninety times. Friendships fascinate me. In my post-adolescent years i got into a lot of trouble because of friends. I had a curfew but preferred hanging out with my cool friends than getting home before dusk; I made up quite a few sleep-overs and church-retreats. At some point, I would have definitely chosen my friends over my parents. Thank God I am wiser now, on that issue at least.

My friends are important to me. They are not just friends, they are my friends. Just by association and reciprocated affection, I possess them, I belong. Many of my life’s treasured moments happened with or around them. A gazillion tidbits have been exchanged over the years as they affirmed me, reassured me, told me off, laughed and cried with me. We have grown together and shared life together. We have molded each other’s persons, in fact we have sometimes become a lot alike. I love talking with my friends; when they get me life seems brighter; even the sky is bluer when they see it too. As I said, they mean a lot to me.

What i now know about Friends
God has given me many friends since X. Many of these friendships have changed as marriages, babies, careers, varying interests have taken us in different directions. I am better at recognizing these turning points, although, I still don’t think I am great at accepting them. So here is what I think I have learned about friendships. I know I have a lot more to learn.

1. Life without friends can be empty. Imagine walking around alone, doing stuff alone, sitting alone, eating alone. Nobody wants to be alone. Believe me; life is so much more interesting when there are other people to share in it.
2. Diversify; it’s unfair to expect one person to meet all your friendship needs. Get a shopping friend, a party friend, a work friend, a pour-my-heart-out to you friend, a praying-together friend, even a whining-friend.
3. Friends come in all forms, shapes and colors. Take them as they are. Not everyone is going to be your bosom-buddy but they might make a great once-in-a-while let’s-have-coffee friend.
4. Instead of pondering what your friends are not doing, focus on being a great friend yourself.
5. Friendship has a lot to do with being present when times are tough, being trustworthy and dependable, saying what you mean even when it hurts.
6. Forgive and forget because you are human and shall also need to be forgiven.
7. Less is more, quality beats quantity, better a few true friends than hundreds that aren’t really being good to you.
8. Most friendships will not last forever. Some last a season, some several seasons, but very few go on for life. Focus on enjoying the season instead of figuring out how to make it last longer.
9. Rejection happens, take it in stride. Just because one person does not want your friendship, doesn’t mean you are not worth having as a friend.
10. Make time for your friends. You can be a great mother/father, sister/brother, husband/wife but you will still be missing out if you do not have friends.
11. No friend can replace/refill that God-shaped hole in us; God is a great friend. That’s one of the greatest lessons of my life in this far-away-land.
12. True friendship is one of God’s greatest gifts to us, that we might begin to experience his love.

THE END

Song of the week
Th’s week’s song has nothing to do with the topic of the week; it’s been quite center-ing to me this week.
Jesus be the Center of it All – By Israel Houghton & Micah Massey – Hillsong Conference.

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