March 7, 2014

Accepting Friendship

Hi there! Welcome to my blog! I’m so glad you’ve stopped by today. You may be a regular or maybe you popped over after reading my devotion today from Proverbs 31 Ministries, Three Ways To Be The Best Friend Ever. Either way, I imagine you struggle when it comes to friendship. Can I be honest? Everyone does from time to time. Even me. I wish we could sit down and talk over coffee about how my self-image and shyness kept me from being and having the friends I desired.

I’ve since grown from that girl. Today, I’m very out going and relational. I have many friends and I’m thankful. This I know. If I can do it you can too! Sometimes, it’s our own perspective about ourselves that holds us back. Take the relationship between Shrek and Donkey for example. If you don’t know these animated pair, allow me to introduce you.

Shrek is a boorish ogre, who finds a friend in a talking donkey (Played by Eddie Murphy) and unexpectedly falls in love with a princess (Played by Cameron Diaz), whom he rescues from a castle guarded by a fire-breathing dragon. This fairytale spoof emphasizes how humans place too much importance on outward appearances, and a lesson about friendship.

After freeing the princess from the castle, Shrek and Donkey escort her back to the village in keeping with the prince’s orders. Because the journey is long, they decide to camp out. Around the campfire, Donkey talks to Shrek about what life will be like once they return to Shrek’s home, a humble swamp.

Looking up at the sky, Donkey asks, “Hey Shrek, what are we going to do when we get back to our swamp, anyway?”
“Our swamp?” Shrek challenges. “There’s no our. There’s just me and my swamp, and the first thing I’m going to do is build a ten-foot wall around my land.”

Donkey is surprised. He thought they had developed a friendship that would result in sharing their lives and possessions once the quest was over.
“You cut me deep, Shrek!” Donkey confesses. “You cut me real deep just now. You know what I think? This whole wall thing is just a way to keep somebody out.”

The two argue and exchange verbal jabs. At last Donkey asks, “Who are you trying to keep out? Just tell me that, okay?”
“Everyone! Okay?” Shrek exclaims.
“Hey, what’s your problem, Shrek? What you got against the whole world, anyway?”

The huge ogre seems almost childlike as he candidly explains, “I’m not the one with the problem. It’s the whole world that seems to have a problem with me. People take one look at me and go ’Ahhh! Help! Run! It’s a big, stupid, ugly ogre!’ They judge me before they even know me. That’s why I’m better off alone.”

Donkey joins Shrek and says, “You know what? When we first met, I didn’t think you were just a big, stupid, ugly ogre.”
“Yeah, I know,” Shrek acknowledges with gratitude.

For the first time Shrek realizes someone has looked beyond his outward appearance and accepted him. There are many people today with the attitude of Shrek. They’ve isolated themselves from the rest of the world out of fear. Maybe you’re one of them. There’s good news is it can be different. You can have the kind of intimate friendship that David and Jonathan shared. You don’t have to be alone any longer.

To be a good friend you must see the value you bring to the table. (See post: Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes) Next, make a list of your qualities. I’m loyal and kind. I like to serve others. I can see when someone is hurting. I’m fun. I like to hike. I like movies. You get the idea. Once you have a list, you know what you bring to the table.

If you can identify a hurting person, comfort them.

If you like to cook, make someone a meal.

If you like movies, invite someone to go along. It’s really that easy. To have a friend is to be a friend.

Let me be your friend today. I’d love to pray with you or celebrate your joys with you! Just leave them in a comment.

Stop back by Monday. I’ll post about the Four Commitments of Marriage according to God’s plan.

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Comments

  1. I just popped in this morning from the Proverbs 31 Devotion. Thank you so much for sharing the devotion and this post about friendship with us! God has been speaking to me a lot about how my fears about inadequacy and fears of rejection have caused me not to keep up with old friendships and not to develop new ones over the past few years since I moved. I’ve been a Shrek, as you would say :) Thanks for your words, they are helping to encourage me in my journey.

  2. Lisa Bostic says:

    Good morning.. I am so glad I came across your blog today, I am going through the same issues. I long to have a friendship I had when I was younger, something I can laugh with cry with and just hang out with. I do believe friends and in your life for a reason and a season, but I long for good friends. The problem seems to be that women seem to be intimated by me, I dress nice and have nice things but I’m also giving and loving. I often pray that GOD would send me friends of his choosing. It seems as though I get along non Christians at work than those in the house hold of faith. I always had a good friendship with men but now I’m married so I also pray for friends for both me and my husband. Please pray for us. Thank you

    • Micca says:

      Funny how we judge a book by its cover. Hang in there. Don’t give up on a relationship. It takes time to know someones heart. Keep revealing yours! I’m praying for you and your husband today.

  3. Tiffany says:

    Interestingly enough, I have been praying to be a Jonathan to someone. Because of insecurities I have kept other women at arms length. Only revealing so much of myself. In recent years I have felt so lonely and just in need of a real female friend. You know, to share girly times. I love my husband dearly but there is something about the connection of friendship with godly women. There some things only women can understand about one another. Anywhoooo, please pray with me as I wait for the Jonathan and David type of friendship. It’s probably right under my nose.

  4. Savannah Parvu says:

    I’ve watched Shrek several times with my nieces and nephews and I remember the scene that you descibed, but I never really saw how much I used to be like Shrek, until now. I used to think the whole world was against me and judged me because of things that have happened to me, but I have since learned that I was not only judging them, but judging myself as well. God is teaching me to see and love myself and others the way He sees and loves us.

    • Micca says:

      He does love you greatly, Savannah! And he’s using you in the lives of others. I see a Jonathan in you!

  5. Delores says:

    This devotional was such a blessing and encouragement to me. I came in the office this morning trying to hold back tears from rolling down my face and with a hard lump in my throat. I felt really alone. I am close to my mother and father-in-law but just didn’t want to share my problems(frustations that come with living) with them this morning. I dont want my problems to become theirs.

    I am a student advisor at a local college and individuals come to me all the time requiring my time, my advise, my ear, and I lovingly give it to them. I am thankful to God that I have employment where I feel like I am able to be a light and make a difference.

    But this morning I really needed a friend. To give their ear to me. My husband works out of town and our conversation wasn’t the best last night. My sister cancelled on picking up my son this morning to attend some function.

    I felt let down with no one to go to. I began to journal and God gave me some release and then I read your post for Proverbs 31 and it made me think inwardly about opportunities I have had with individuals to build a true friendship with, that maybe I didn’t take time to develop. I have 3 kids and a busy life, but I realize that I need not only to be a Jonathan but I need a Jonathan in my life. And that will take effort on my part to become a better friend. So when I have these “Life Happened Days” I have some one I can go to.

    I just wanted to say thank!

    • Micca says:

      Delores,
      You’ve expressed a situation we have all faced. I could hear your hurt and desire in your post. Know that I’m praying for you today and that God designed us for relationships–first with HIm and then with others. I’m asking God to bring you the comfort you need today.

  6. angie says:

    I so needed this today. Thanks for the great words.

  7. Dana says:

    Micca,

    I really needed to read this today. My husband and I moved to the state we currently live in 10 years ago and my friendships have just not been the same with other women. I am no longer a stay at home mom as I work part time and that has totally changed my circles and outlook…not so easy to stay connected and have shared experiences! I could really use a close friend…I have recently reached out to a few other ladies but so far it has been more one sided…thankful that I have a fantastic husband but he travels weekly. Thank you for your words today.

  8. Beautiful Post. I read it this morning and have since spread it on Twitter and Facebook and email. It is so simple and so powerful.
    We are women. We all need a friend. And I like how you conclude that to have a friend we Have to Be One! :)
    Sometimes all it takes is a simple smile.

    Thank you for sharing your smile this morning! :)

  9. Ruth says:

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful devotional. It is so wonderful to have a godly woman as a friend—mine is struggling right now and has walked away. Please pray. I know it is satan’s attack because keeping friends apart makes people weaker. Together we are stronger and can endure more.

  10. Michele starcher says:

    Thank you so much for these thoughts. I have been struggling with loneliness and getting depressed. We moved to another state (1800) from where I grew up for my job. I am very thankful for my job but don’t have friends here. I too think I have been a shrek and put up walls. I need prayer that I will take that wall down and look for how I can be a friend to others.

  11. barb says:

    I think this was meant to be to “run into” your blog! I found a 2013 P31 magazine & I thought I am going to check out the web. Lo and behold, the story is on friendship and it’s something I have been battling and struggling along with loneliness for quite some time and I checked out your blog and here I am! I’m in my middle years and use to have closer friends, but a few years back my husband & I switched churches and the ones that I thought were my friends, basically have deserted me. I’m trying to make friends at the new church but it seems extremely hard, everybody has their own friends, why would they want new ones? I’ve tried calling people, taking food, sending cards, etc. and it seems like a one way street and it’s making depressed!!! Whenever I see a group of girls together having fun, etc. it leaves a very hurtful pit in my stomach since I wish I could have just one good friend to receive encouragement, etc. from and be a friend to them. Personally, I’m not not bad or ugly, I’m a giving, compassionate, helpful person so I’m not sure what is going on. Thanks for listening!

  12. Rachel says:

    Dear Micca,

    I’m so glad that I ran across you post today. I am being constantly reminded by God that I need to be a friend to have a friend. Growing up I had lots of friends & I felt very confident in who I was & how to be a friend. Then things changed. Friends got married, had kids, moved, made new friends that became closer to them. I got married, moved, had kids (3 & 1 1/2). It’s not that easy anymore. I haven’t come across someone who NEEDS a friend, who wants to go deep & be best friends. Either they have one already or just don’t have time. I recently have found myself pleading in my head, please be my friend! A new low!! Maybe it’s because we all have husbands now & they’ve become our best friends? I desire to be & have Jonathan-like friendships again. I pray that it will happen. Thank you for your encouragement!

    Rachel

  13. Donna B says:

    Love this …. one of my favorites! Thanks for being a Jonathan, Barnabus, Paul, and Ester all rolled into one to me! Love how God is the centerpiece of our friendship!

    Love ya!

  14. Vicki says:

    Thank you for this. I am struggling right now and God put your 31 devo in front of me. However, I feel donkey. I feel like i do all the work in so many “friendships”. And I guess I’m tired. I’m tired of being disappointed by friends who say their going to do things, but never follow through (I don’t say I’m going to unless I’m committed to). I reach out to people I haven’t talked to or seen in awhile (I don’t feel like anyone is reaching out to me. I can think of 1 person who has called me just to talk.) I see a need and I offer help (I am overwhelmed from taking in my 1yr old nephew. People keep telling me I’m a saint, but really I just want a break 1 or 2 days a week).

    Im normally so positive and don’t care that I’m not getting anything in return. I enjoy serving people, I think it’s one of my spiritual gifts. But I’m recognizing that the people who I considered friends, even if I don’t talk to them often, don’t consider me friends (Facebook unfortunately lays this out for all to see… The friends getting together, baby showers you aren’t invited to, etc)

    I’m trying to see God’s purpose in me feeling this way. I know it will be revealed, but right now it just hurts.

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