October 25, 2007

Friend Funk

I'll apologise right now for the ranting I'm about to pour out...I've been in a bit of a friend funk lately and just need to share my thoughts. How is it possible that I'm in my late 20's and feel like I'm in the midst of a high school popularity contest. The oddity about it is that has to do with my church "friends". We've been attending our church for 6 years and were immediately pulled into a "Young and Married" group. We made some fun new friends-many who had known each other since junior high and high school. It was nice to come into a group who had such a great background of growing up in the church & youth group together. But now as we sit, 6 years invested, it seems as though there's an inner circle that just can't be penetrated. What I mean is that I don't feel our connections/frienships are as deep and intimate as I hoped they would be by now. They're all friends and it's hard to be in with that. It's a constant battle (mostly on my part) where I get wrapped up in wanting to be part of that group. How silly is that? It's a yucky feeling that leaves me sour and downright grumpy when I let myself feel so low about it. What is it that makes me think I'm not good enough for them or that I'll never "fit in" as it seems? Why do I stuggle to trust many of them as much as I'd like to? I've never felt this insecure about myself as a friend before.

One thing that has made me notice this lately is an incident that took place between a particular female friend and I. We had made a good connection when she and her husband joined our group a couple of years ago and we seemed to have many things in common. I really began to trust this person and value her as a friend. Not long ago I shared with her a stuggle I was experiencing- some personal issues with my family as well as my views on the church group "inner circle" debackle I was having. She agreed with many of my views. I even mentioned to her that I wasn't sure this church was right for us anymore and she shared her thoughts on the matter too. The interesting spin on this is that since that conversation, our friendship has been nothing but surfacy (is that a word?) and very distant as it seems we only talk in passing now. She has more obviously clung to those in the group I was referring to in that particular conversation and has drifted as my friend. What really hurts is that since sharing those thoughts she hasn't even followed up to see how things are or inquired about the status on any of these issues. Quite honestly I feel betrayed by a person who I placed my trust in. Now I am left questioning even more the future of our existance in that group/church.

Friendship just shouldn't be that much of an effort. Friendship should be comfortable, fun, encouraging, trusting, forgiving, and loving. So, to combat these frustrations, I have made the effort to nurture the "old" friendships that were formed long ago...making time & plans with the friends that know my heart and care about me and my family. Although this makes me feel better it doesn't take away the hurt, frustration and confusion I feel at church. I talked to my sisters about this and my older (and my I say wiser) sister said she could feel compassion for what I was feeling but certainly couldn't relate. She has not seen these issues at her church...and isn't that the way it should be? So what do I do? Is it even possible these feelings will go away- can the situation be fixed? I don't know. My brother in law also gave me some food for thought when he mentioned the age-long question, when are we going to stop trying to please others and start pleasing God? Am I truly seeking to enter into the frienships to glorify God or am I wrapped up in the immature popularity contest to just fit in? Everybody wants friends...but at what cost?
...if you made it this far, thanks for reading! The ranting is now over (until next time...)

1 comment:

Angie said...

Amy... you deserve better. Just be real with them. If they're showing you their real selves, you don't need them. Friendships require work, but should come naturally, without pretense or trying to prove yourselves constantly. I think you need to ask yourself WHY you want to be friends with them - is it because they seem cool, or because they're pretty, or dress nice... or because they encourage you, challenge you and treat others and yourself kindly?

I've been praying for you!

And I'm not wiser. At all.