As Iron Sharpens Iron

I remember being 21 years old, new husband, new house, new walk with Christ.  I remember sitting on my porch on beautiful summer nights and crying… feeling lonely… checking my phone every couple of minutes to see if maybe a friend would text me and want to hang or invite me to something.  Nothing.

I remember lying on the floor in our office at home and begging God to give me friends… good friends… REAL friends… the ones that I would hear about through other women.  I never experienced that kind of friendship before but I knew I wanted it so badly.

I’m 26 now and I have some of the MOST AMAZING friends.  God knew exactly what He was doing.  There was SO much change that had to happen in me before I would even know how to handle good friends. 

Expectations.  I remember when I met my friend, Amy – she was such a gift from God that was dropped right into my life through choir at church.  I remember her saying to me, in love,  “Expectation is your word for today… ask God what He wants you to see when it comes to expectations of others.”  Amy is so precious… and she was right!  I feel like that word, Expectation, stayed stamped to my forehead until God dealt with me (and even now I have to be reminded).  Who can really live up to my expectations and who am I to place them on anyone? Now expectations and standards for friendship are different – I do have standards but my expectations were EXPECTING the impossible.

Over time I have learned that setting such firm expectations were my defense mechanism of never allowing me to be hurt.  I would raise the bar and when a friend would begin to reach that bar, I would raise it higher so that they could never reach it. … or I would just be expecting the IMPOSSIBLE from people who never wanted to give ‘that’ much to begin with.  #Twisted

I’m 26 years old.  God has blessed me with the MOST AMAZING friends EVER!  For four months I walked through depression … but never alone.  My Heavenly Father walked me with the whole time and He gave me amazing friends who walked that journey with me.  Their patience, prayer, encouragement, and love leave me speechless. 

God knows the desires of our hearts.  Don’t give up hope.  He’s got something incredible in store for you.  Sometimes we have to turn our outward view inwards for Him to begin rewiring the pieces that are JACKED UP.  I am so grateful for His rewiring skills.  He has taught me how to identify great friends and hold on to them… He has also taught me that some people are no good for my life- and that I can trust Him to handle them as well.  I love them… but He loves them MORE and if they hurt me – I HAVE to get away.

I think I have spent so much time thinking that I am going to represent Christ incorrectly if I decide to depart from friends who do not edify me or build me up… but the reality is I should have been gone  A LONG TIME AGO!  God loves them just as much as He loves me and quite frankly, He doesn’t need my help.  #Relief

I love what Michelle Pillar said recently in a Women’s Bible Study – she said “God doesn’t need our help to maintain His good image.” – Yes, we need to represent Him in a way that is light and fruitful but even when we mess up He is still God and He is still good.

Quality is better than quantity and I love how God has shown me what true friendship looks like.  I was so deceived by my own set expectations and image of what I thought friendship looked like – I would have never been satisfied. BUT GOD… He knows the depths of my heart and has given me the gift of beautiful friendship.

I notice throughout a lot of my prayers with my girlfriends I find myself thanking God for “knitting our hearts together.”  That is something that only HE can do.

Thank you, precious women of God who are standing firm in my life.  I have cried, screamed, and begged for you … then after some years of fine tuning… God gave you to me – and me to you.

He is faithful. Always.

Love,

April Poynter

 

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