We all walk through different seasons in our lives.
Some are beautiful and sweet, while others are long and painful.
But in the end, they all work together to produce the most beautiful story about you and the one who pursues you each and every moment.
There was one season in particular that really stands out to me in my life. Right before this season began, I lost an important friendship that I had once held so dear to my heart. To this day, I still cherish the memories from those sweet times, but God had other plans as that friendships was brought to a bittersweet end. I’m able to say such kind words about this now, but make no mistake, it HURT when this was my day-to-day life.
I’m typically one of those gals that make friends for life. Once we’re friends, you’re stuck with me. So prepare yourself.
But in this particular situation, it didn’t go as planned.
After this “friendship breakup”, I felt so incredibly lonely. It wasn’t that I didn’t have other friends in my life, because I definitely did! But all of those friends were older than me, younger than me, married, engaged, pregnant, etc. There wasn’t one person in my life that was sharing the same season as me. I was so desperate to find a best friend to fill the empty void that was there. It was the first time in my life that I was without a best friend to call on. I had never experienced this and I definitely didn’t like it.
(And for the record, friendship breakups can be harder than boyfriend breakups sometimes.)
I remember being so discouraged and feeling so alone even though I was surrounded by an amazing family and a beautiful crowd of friends who were going through beautiful seasons. And it was tough.
I suddenly realized that I couldn’t really call up so-and-so to go on a quick road trip like I had before. I realized that although we had exchanged thousands of text messages through the years, I couldn’t just text her and ask her what she thought of my shoes with my outfit. I felt stuck and alone.
Side note: I am REALLY good at throwing pity parties. If you’re ever looking to have a bomb pity party, hit your girl up because I am a fantastic host! Tissue banners, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and enough comfort food to make you sick. I really know how to put one on.
I was throwing one of my famous pity parties when God came in and crashed the party. Don’t you hate when He does that?!
I was complaining about how there’s no one there to listen to me, no one there to go on adventures with me, and no one to call my best friend. That’s when He came in and asked me (I PROMISE these were the exact words He spoke to me… He was really speaking my language), “What am I? Chopped liver?”
“What?! God no! It’s just different! I want like a human, in the flesh best friend!”
Well that was not the excuse of the year, let me tell you, because the moment it came out of my mouth, I felt the weight of what I had just said. I just rejected a friendship with the creator of the universe. I said no to his companionship because I can’t “see” Him. I can’t always see the person on the other end of the phone, but that doesn’t keep me from talking to them.
I felt so ashamed of my answer and tried again. God took me in and overlooked my stupid comment. He became the best friend that I didn’t deserve.
I know this might sound super strange, but I started imagining God like He was right beside me. I cleared my junk chair in my room (you know which one I’m talking about. The chair that catches all the clothes you don’t want to hang up but also don’t want to put on the floor) and I designated that as God’s seat. I spoke to Him as if He were sitting in that chair right at that moment.
I also worked on calling Him by His true name, Yahweh. I read a book (God Has a Name by John Mark Comer) that talked about the importance of calling God by His real name, and I implemented that into my life. It made Him become personable to me. No longer was I calling Him by His career, but I was calling Him by His name.
Sometimes, when I was having a really hard time imagining Yahweh was with me, I would buckle my passenger seat when I was in the car. I know I sound like an absolute lunatic, but it really helped me to acknowledge His presence and talk to Him as a real human being.
I no longer had a best friend to call to tell them all about my day, but this became easier as I told God all about my day. I would talk to Him in the morning, consult Him throughout the day, and give a rundown of my day to Him at night.
At first, it was just a monologue. I was the one doing the talking and asking Him to listen. As the perfect gentleman that He is, He didn’t interrupt me. He waited until I was ready to ask Him to join in the conversation. And when He did, our friendship grew even deeper.
I learned to recognize His voice and waited for Him to tell me what He thought of what I was telling Him. It was the most beautiful friendship I had ever had.
The more and more time I spend with Yahweh, the less and less I felt that deep pain of loneliness. I felt full. I felt like I DID have someone I could talk with. And I had never felt closer to my Savior than in this season.
What made this experience different than having an imaginary friend was that Yahweh was with me in every moment whether or not I acknowledged Him. He is here in this moment as you read these very words. He comes in the form of His sweet Spirit, Holy Spirit. It isn’t creepy or weird, but it’s beautiful that He comes to hang out with us in our mundane lives.
He doesn’t want us to have to live this life out without Him. He doesn’t want us to feel lonely because we never have the option to be alone if we have a relationship with Him.
He wants us to talk to Him when we wake up. He wants us to ask Him what we should wear (He cares about the small stuff). He wants us to talk our heads off to Him on the way to school/work. He wants us to talk to Him about the stresses of lives when we can’t sleep at night. He craves our friendship more than we crave the friendship of others.
Eventually, He did bring me a new and beautiful human friendship, but I would have NEVER experienced the beautiful friendship of Yahweh so deeply without that season. It may have looked lonely on the outside, but I have never felt so loved.
Quit begging others to be your friend and hang out with Yahweh today. Tell Him about your day. Clear your junk chair, buckle your passenger seat belt, do whatever it takes to pursue the friendship that has been pursuing you since day one.