A blog written by B2Y regarding attacks by the enemy caused me to remember back to when I was in 7th grade and a group of girls brutally attacked me on the way home from school. My four "friends" continued walking as if nothing was happening. I still remember hearing their voices continuing in conversation and seeing their feet pass by me as I was being held down and beaten. You can imagine how this was used to cause me to distrust friendships although God did keep a few wedges in the door I tried to slam shut.
I also remember how I became more and more disatisfied with my state over the years. This culminated about a year and a half ago. I cried out to God because it was not only hindering my impacting my world for God; it was also destroying me. It's been a wild ride but today I can say that God has truly broken the chains which were used by my "nemesis" to bind me. Almost daily attempts are made to slip those chains back on me but God has revealed this to me.
However, deliverance has come with a price. In order to develop true friendships, I have to be willing to trust and in doing so I must be willing to be vulnerable. This goes against our instincts. The world says to take care of #1 first. If you don't look out for yourself, who will? God on the other hand tells us to trust in him. [bible]Jeremiah 17:7[/bible]This is one reason I have to be so candid with friends and strangers alike in regards to vulnerable things in my life like cancer. I've had to dare to be vulnerable...and trust God to take care of me regardless of what happens.[bible]Psalms 56:11[/bible] God is calling us to dare to trust him...with all of our being in every part of our lives.
Interestingly enough, I did not have this issue at all with my husband. God knew what he was doing I guess. We've been together for nearly 27 years and have only been married to each other. For me it was female to female friendships and as women, we really, truly do need those.
I had female to female problems as well. I had a very difficult teenage experience we'll call it! But God has been so faithful to me and what it took for me was to accept myself for who I am, so I can take off the mask and let people see me for who I really am, not a pretty picture it is! But God accepted me, warts and all with my sordid past and loved me anyway. I have had my fair share who'd rather not go there but He has also brought some very special women into my life who taught me how to trust and have a relationship. Some friends are for a season, others are for a life time and our roles change as the time goes on. I thank God for Christian fellowship, for iron sharpening iron, for Christian encouragement, edification and yes, even for the accountability that comes. It is what helps us to grow and blossom so we can be ready to give the reason for the hope that is within us and be used by God for His glory. Blessings! Andrea
If there is one thing I have proven to myself over and over again it is that despite the risks associated with sharing my heart and soul, the potential benefits are far greater than those risks. We honestly cannot help anyone or receive help ourselves unless we decide there are things bigger and more important in this life than our own fears, hurts and other stumbling blocks. Transparency is far better than the facades we usually put up.
I feel those"friends" that allowed you to be attacked, do not deserve the term "Friend". Conflict in my school days was "Man to man" affairs, one on one, and usually the "contestants" became friends!
I do believe you cannot expect every one to be the "good" type, one has to make an evaluation, based on what they say and their past history. "Hey that judging them!" you would say. Judgment is followed by punishment, and if you choose not to be friends, you are not punishing them, you still can be polite and kind, but you will prefer to hang out with some one else!
I went to 6 different schools, got to know a lot of people, and basically there arnt many that can be classified as "undesirables". You get used to the odd one out, accept their funny ways, and hopefully influence them in christian ways.
K, I know you had written this quite a while ago but I just have to comment.. This is the second blog on trust I have read in two days,and both of them from women. Now as I was reading I physically pulled back from the computer screen as I do have an issue with trust and especially being vulnerable. But its only in being vulnerable that we find true friendships.
I have found it particularly difficult to be vulnerable in respect to my God.. which is silly as he knows everything about me.
I obviously need to go and ask myself what God is trying to teach me here. ,,hhhmmmm
But K.. if you were together almost 27 years when you wrote this ... and that was wayyyy over a year ago... wow you are getting o... nope Im gonna be nice ,
Wow, this is old! I don't know if it will make any difference to someone who reads it but just to put a little perspective on this, I wrote this three days before my third infusion of Adriamycin/Cytoxan. Adriamycin is an evil drug, red in color and "affectionately (?)" known as "red devil". It is infused by (or should be) by hand rather than by a drip IV because it is so toxic and if it is not going in properly, it can damage the surrounding tissue. I noted that people put on gloves when handling the bag and it was handled very carefully. It is so toxic that it has a very strong psychological effect on the individual. It looks like red Kool-Aid and I know people who looked at it who become ill at the sight of anything that color even years later.
They stood behind me while infusing it and my husband and the nurse kept up constant conversation to distract me. While I normally watch all procedures with great interest, I avoided watching this particular infusion and in fact was discouraged from watching it. Even so, returning to the "scene of the crime" makes me extremely hyper.
At this particular time, my immune system was desperately trying to recover. These were the two drugs which cause hair to fall out and I had shaved my head 10 days before right as it started to fall out. I didn't wanted to watch it happen. I still did to a certain degree but watching stubble fall out probably as traumatic as shedding my long brown hair like a dog. My scalp was becoming extremely sensitive and painful at this point though. Losing hair like this is very different than when someone is normally balding.
I didn't know it at the time but despite getting a shot to stimulate rapid production of white blood cells, my "counts" were getting dangerously low in regards to my red blood cells and I was becoming extremely anemic. Once I would get logged into CB, I think I would stay here for a long time simply because I was too exhausted to leave! How people everywhere prayed that I would be able to stay out of the hospital and I did.
I guess I'm just trying to help people who weren't here to understand a bit as to exactly how physically vulnerable I was at the time of this writing. More than a year later, I can look back and say God truly did bring me through the storm and He was with me even when I was vulnerable. Tears are filling me eyes as I think about the blessings which came when I dared to trust God with all of me...
Joyce Bethy Ferguson (@Bethy)
I was a young thing when I got married (20 years). Yes, it will be 28 years in August. Now, if you consider our first date was 30 years ago and we met nearly 31 years ago, well...yes I'm not afraid to say it. I am getting old! Although it is over a year away, I don't know a person on the planet who will be so happy to reach 50 as I will be. You see, a few days after I turn 49 it will be two years since my diagnosis. If there is no recurrence after two years, I will have reached a big milestone as my particular type of tumor is most likely to recur within two years rather than the five year norm. If it doesn't...well there is a very, very good chance it never will. Yes, I relish getting older!