Each time I make new friends, a terrible thought has wormed its way into my head and my heart: they’re only my friend because they feel obligated to be.
I have had this thought more often making new friends this time around. I met them through church. I see them often. They know my storm. They ask how I am. And each time, a sinister voice whispers, They only hang out with you out of pity. They only ask to talk about you later. They think you’re such a fool.
I may not be able to read minds, but I know those are lies.
People befriend others because they want to, not because they are forced to. We spend time with others because we want to. If we didn’t want to, we would always make excuses. The voice telling me I am worthless, telling me I cannot possibly be a good friend, that I annoy people, and any other negative thing is the enemy. God would never tell us we are not good enough; He says we are loved and He is enough.
In studying In The Middle of the Mess, I have had a lot of moments where I think “me too.” This was one of them–that I am a burden to others, that they are only around me because they feel they have to be. I believed this long before this storm, and I know it affected my relationships and my mental health. I don’t know when this lie formed, only that it did and I allowed it to take root deep within me. I know it took stronger roots when I began to remove myself from others because I had begun to believe it. It became a cycle. But no more.
We are all told lies at some point in our lives, whether they are from the spiritual enemy or a worldly nemesis. If we remove ourselves from community, from those who can speak truth into us, then the lies will take hold, even when we don’t mean them to. The truth then becomes hidden because we are so focused on the lie. Words, good or bad, mean so much more when they come from someone else.
I’ve realized I need community. Even though being around others for long periods can drain me, I still need community. I need friends I can share my secrets–my truest pain and struggles–with. We all do. That is what brings healing.
. . . . . .
What lies have you been believing? What truths do you need? What relationships do you need to recommit to?