Hello beautiful people!!
Here I am, on the other side of 30! As soon as the clock struck midnight, I immediately felt the wisdom of three decades on the earth settle like a mink stole around my shoulders. It was then that I knew my calling. *dramatic music*
Clearly, I am joking.
I am three days into my 30’s. I still enjoy a good cereal and cartoon combination (when I am not watching nerdy documentaries, of course). My car is not as clean as I’d like it to be, and I look at other similarly-aged people and wonder when I will feel “grown-up”.
One thing that has continued to evolve, though, is my policy on friendships.
If you know me as more than a passing acquaintance, you know how deeply I value my friendships. I will give you my last dollars and eat tuna for the next two weeks. I will get up out of my bed and bring you chocolate milk if you are having pregnancy cravings (true story.) I may even help you move if I love you enough, and we all know that no one truly enjoys the moving process, not even the ones doing the moving. This is just the way that I was wired and I have come back to it after years of being hurt; Godly grace attached to my own imperfect heart.
(image found at CheriSHEd Ministries. I don’t know if this is original and want to give credit)
Because I do have an imperfect heart though, I have been known to quickly cut the ties when I feel like I am doing most of the work in a friendship and to cling tightly to first impressions. I am aware of that and know that this is where I need grace the most in the area of friendship. I know people who are regretful about making their own less than stellar first impressions out in the world, and I wonder often what kind of connections I’ve missed out on by being so resolute in my assessment of some people.
The recurring message this week seems to be to give another chance.
I’ve had two occasions recently where I had to be intentional about extending the olive branch: the first was at church with someone that I perceived to be snooty and looking down their nose at me for a while. Somehow, suddenly, we started chatting and this person is actually really witty and funny. We talked and laughed for awhile and I walked away from the encounter with a smile on my face but also wondering what I could have missed out on from this person. I know that it has broken my heart in the past when people have told me that they assumed I was standoffish simply because it was hard for me to “make the first move”. The second was someone in a professional setting that I’d completely assumed wasn’t “down for the cause” or worried about the urgency of getting these kids on equal footing. After a pleasant interaction with them, I had to deduce that I really don’t know where her heart is. I had to open myself up to these people and let God cover our interactions with something supernatural.
Right around this time, my phone started acting reallllly stupid. The middle of the screen stopped working, and as soon as I figured out how to work around that inconvenience, it began “ghost typing”. Random strings of letters would start typing on messages, under people’s statuses, or in my Notes App. Pages would zoom in and out uncontrollably. Pandora opened itself and Kendrick Lamar started playing. I’m not even joking!
When I looked up what to do about this, several recommended doing what is known as a “soft reset”. A soft reset doesn’t completely restore the device to factory settings–whatever programs you are operating in will be closed and unsaved material will be lost, but the data on the hard drive and apps will remain unchanged. It ended up only working for a short period of time.
Here’s the thing though: You gotta give yourself and your heart permission to give the people in your life a soft reset. Guard your “heart drive” of course, but sometimes closing current programs and starting over is a win all around, especially for your peace of mind. Hey, if it doesn’t work, you have enough random access memory to know that this is officially a toxic situation and must be dealt with, right? But you will never know if you don’t try.