True Friends Against the Grain: Part III of III
Howdy- ho neighbors!
friend Jessie popping in to conclude the third part of my three part series today!
I've talked through my two passions in life, the Church, and Music. You can click on either of those words to catch up on my other stories before reading this! Or if you have no rules of sequence, feel free to read em' after.
But today, I really wanna tie in why I started Friends, with Jessie in the first place. And before I start my "True Friends" story, I would first like to do what I do best- go down a rabbit trail.
Chef's Table- A True Gem <3
Raise them hands if you've ever seen the AMAZING show, Chef's Table. Caution- I advise adults only as "kitchen talk" is not censored. It is bar-none, my fav show on earth. I feel like the heavens aligned perfectly with the production and direction of the filming process, and that they perfectly set the stage for each episode. Then enters the subjects- the chef's and their work. It is inspiring, it is real, and it shows me things about work ethic that I couldn't have seen before. But what I love soooo much about this show is that, not only does it catch the essence of each chef, it truly shows how they all went against the grain in order to become a success.
Sooooo, what is this "grain" I'm talking about. To me, it's that flow of inner dialect along with the culture of our surroundings that give us an outline of "how to be". How to live, how to act, what to think, etc.. And though guidelines can help us create core values and beliefs, and traditions, it also has this terrible way of making us all exactly like each other. The reality though- we are all different!
There are no two people alike in the whole world, and there are over 7 billion PEOPLE! ! !
Is that not amazing???? I may have a doppelgänger in Austria somewhere, but I can tell you, we are not the same person. There are a few things that come to mind for me personally when I think about "going against the grain", but one thing I've struggled with ALL MY LIFE, is this friend thing and who can be my friend.
Friends! I LOVE FRIENDS! They are this gem in life that I don't feel I'm able to fully receive. I can talk about anything with them, I can confess daily to them and we can lift each other up in a way no one else can. And if I didn't have my girlfriends beside me, my husband would probably go crazy! Okay okay, I would too.
While I was in elementary school, my family moved across town. This was a different neighborhood and a different school district. Though (from a distance on Social Media LOL) I still cheer on some really old friends from Kindergarten, my first Best Friend came from that move. Her dad, Mr. Manning, walked up to our freshly unpacked house, asked if out of five children living here, there was one in third grade, and that one happened to be me. I didn't ask for a friend that day, and I didn't make the rules that I had to be her age or her gender, but in this case of going with the grain, I found much fortune as to this day, Tess Manning is still one of my Best Friends.
At the end of Middle School, cliques and popularity was a real thing. I didn't feel as though I fit into any of them. Not that I didn't nessicarily want to, I just didn't identify completely as any of them. But around that time, I found some very unexpected friends.
These friends all wore blue-striped tunics and white slacks. They were also no younger than 65 years old. That's because when I was old enough, I became a junior volunteer with my Mur- Mur (Grandma) at Texoma Medical Center. That's right, I was a "candy striper" with a bunch of old people! LOL. And I loved it! I worked hard, laughed a lot, and became friends with every stranger that walked in the hospital. I bring up this moment in time because I remember getting made fun of as I truly enjoyed spending time with this older generation. That was the first time I questioned the limits I thought I had on who I could call "friend".
When I was 18, I joined the adult choir at church and furthered my friendships with people of all ages. They all just had their own stories and lives and I loved getting to know who they were and how they influenced me personally.
In college, when I joined the Baptist Collegiate Ministry, I really enjoyed having friends my own age as they could relate to the walk of life I was living. But as time went on, our friendships faded to likes on Facebook and hellos from afar.
When Jed and I got married, we started the twelve steps class in Celebrate Recovery. That class taught me so much about confession and allowing God to heal me and use me, but it also taught me a whole lot about friendship. But it was a specific kind of friendship. It was not bound by age, class, status, gender, color, or anything else for that matter. But it was bound by something- being a believer in Jesus Christ.
The two things CR (Celebrate Recovery) helped me shed light on was one, God loves who I am for myself, and I need Christian friends to help me in life.
Why is God loving me for who I am so important? Because I had to realize I myself don't fit into a mold. There is no grain to straighten me into. There is no clique at the High School table you could put me at. I am who He made me and I should own that.
The second thing has two parts. I found through Celebrate Recovery that I needed my friends to help me stay true to myself, but also to remember what I am going after. And these were not ordinary friends that I made because we were the same age. They were Christians. That was the only stipulation.
Christian- a follower of Christ. People who follow the One Creator. People that know each others importance in spiritual growth and comes together as one, the Church.
I as a Christian recognize the need for each other and the need to be ourselves. We are not clones of each other designed to meet once a week on Sunday and pretend all is copasetic. We are in fact are meant to come broken, embracing our differences, in order to become One complete Church- the Bride.
"So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."
What I love about this verse in Genesis is that it points out something VERY important. God created all of us individually! He made us for His good, and He made us different so that we could embraces those things. But He kept one thing the same. His likeness. The one thing that every Christian has in common is the best thing there ever was, is, and will be. Him.
And from CR on, I have learned that there are no bounds to friendship. There is no need for anything to be relatable in order to become friends, except maybe, the relation we all have with the Father. The One thing that laces us together in this fragile world.
The One Person who breathed life into us is the very One that left His likeness in us all. Now that is some common ground I could be friends on. <3
Rejoice brothers and sisters! For we are saved through Jesus' Christ, we are led by the Holy Spirit, we are loved by the Father, and we have each other in Him who loved us first.
So if you are asking what it takes to be a friend with Jessie, I hope the answer looks a little different than what you thought.
I hope it tears down any barriers you have from talking with someone at work, at church, or just in life. I hope it tears down those blinders you have up when you see someone who lives a different life style than you. I hope it tears down the physical separation you have with others in a different Sunday School class or a different service.
I hope you see God in all His creation, and know that is enough to connect.
Now, looking at my relationships I hold dearest, it's the ones where the commonality that brought us together, was God. The conversations I have are more intentional, more meaningful, and more valuable. This includes my marriage, my friends at church, my co-workers, how I talk with strangers, and even my Best Friend Bailey.
Lots of my friendships have changed in the past due to our common ground changing, but if God and His likeness is the common ground, I've found that my friendships last the test of time.
I hope yours does, too. And I'd be glad to be one of them.