“When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zohar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him.” Job 2:11
When we moved two years ago, it nearly broke me. I had moved away from everyone and everything I held so dear, and I was having some intense withdrawals from the friends I had grown to love. Loneliness set in hard and cut deep. It took quite some time for me to quit sulking and get out of my pajamas, but I KNEW I needed to seek out that connection, now more than ever.
I knew all too well that I didn’t function adequately without my people. Those friends that can look into my eyes and see deep into my soul make me feel at home. They can sense when I’m hurting and when I’m beat-down. They know how to comfort me with a smile and a deep conversation. Unintended, hurtful words don’t end those relationships because they know your heart like they know their own.
Oh, how I missed that.
So the search began to find those connections in this new space. I craved REAL people who came unfiltered and unashamed of the personality God had given them. So, instead of slapping on a façade of who I wanted everyone to THINK I was, I was just ME.
Me, that is completely unfiltered after 8pm, or more like 8am. Me, that tells you exactly what I think, even if you don’t ask. Me, who loves my quirky puppy a little too much and has more cats outside than you would ever imagine. (I can’t help it – they are so sweet y’all!)
I didn’t try to hide my real, raw nature from those potential friends around me. I didn’t cover up who I was at the core. I didn’t seek to polish who I had become, through pain and hardships, because I had grown to LOVE the potential of messy and brokenness in us all.
Messy, unfiltered people are my favorite people and I tend to seek them out. They are my PEOPLE. They are real, and usually a little too loud. They feel deep, from the beaten paths they have had to endure. They are boldly honest, and don’t attempt to hold their emotions in. They are beautifully open with their hurts, thus inviting you to be open with yours.
I’m thankful the Lord nudged me to not be ashamed of the unfiltered beauty He has started in me, for in my abandon, came some really amazing friends. These are friends I can ask anything to (and I mean ANYTHING), even as my husband’s mouth stands agape at the question. Friends that listen and take time to hear my heart as I grow to love theirs. Friends that aren’t shy to discipline their kids in front of me, and aren’t afraid to correct mine in my absence. Being in a completely open, honest, and trustworthy friendship is just what my heart needed, and it’s what the Lord has intended for us all to be a part of.
Just like Job, we NEED people in our lives, ones that will come alongside us during the hardest times in our lives, and celebrate with us in the happiest. We need friends that pop in, and don’t give a second thought to the pile of laundry stacked on the couch. We need friends that correct us in our sin, share their God-given wisdom and point us back to the One who’s love is mightier than the storms we are walking in.
We NEED to find our people.
But, it starts with our own willingness to be open with OUR hearts.
If you want to find your people, take off your mask of fashioned perfection and show them YOUR messy. Be open with them. Throw off that perfect image you have spent so long creating and just be YOU. Share your heart, and if they blow you off or turn and run away, just keep seeking. There ARE people you can be REAL with, you just have to keep searching hearts to find ones that fit yours.
Don’t settle for less. God wants to work through the people you surround yourself with to encourage you and teach you the value of companionship, so choose wisely. He wants to give you a safe place to be who you were created to be. He wants to mold you into their encourager, prayer warrior, and listening ear, as He displays what REAL love is like in a community founded on HIM.
Find your people.
Love HARD. ❤️