Monday, December 8, 2008


Sometimes I wonder if I could ever have any more friends than I have right now. I have been blessed in my life to always have a support system -- people to look out for me, care about me, listen to me... some have come and gone, but most have come into my life and stuck.

I'm once again at a turning point in my life. My support system has been scattered - put to the test. It's happened so many times in my life and in so many different ways - when I moved across the country, when I went off to college by myself, and again now since I have graduated, gotten married, and begun what they call "the real world". And though it happens to everyone, and I'm sure it happens in much more dramatic ways (I suppose I am blessed to even have a support system to scatter!), I always feel uneasy through the transition. I won't get into all of my feelings about change. That's a book in itself. But when it comes to changes in friendships, I become extremely sensitive.

My life is defined by relationships. I am a one-on-one, intimate, sharer of life. I am friends with many, but true companions with a handful. And right now I feel like I could never make new friends. I used to feel this way because I was shy, scared, or insecure. Now that I've matured, I've realized that that's only part of it. What I'm really stuck on is feeling like I don't have room to add more people. Or maybe I don't want to make room. I am afraid that if I begin a new relationship, I'll have to sacrifice an aspect of another one. In other words, I have a friends capacity. I want things to stay the way they are. I want to be close to the people I am close to. And of course, looking back at my life, I can see that some of these truly incredible friends would not have come into my life had I not allowed them room. But did I have to sacrifice other relationships to let them in? Does my friend-capacity have the ability to increase? Or is it inevitable that to make a friend I must slowly let go of another?

On the flip side, this theory (or at least the fact that I have this specific mentality) explains my insecurity with letting other friends move on. I'm not as afraid of moving on without my friends as I am of my friends moving on without me. Most of my closest friends are no longer an hour away, let alone a dorm room away. We are all living a new path in our lives, and I'm scared to think that their paths won't include me anymore... or at least won't include me in the same way anymore. If my friends are making new friends, which I expect and hope that they are, then does that mean they are making room for their new friends by suppressing our relationship? And I don't mean all of a sudden not talking to me... just little by little disconnecting. Is it selfish to try to hold on? If I hold on, am I keeping them from forming new relationships? Can things stay the same and change at the same time?

I think that the easiest answer to this, at least in my ever-justifying mind, is that we grow and some of our friends grow with us, some away from us. We can't expect friendships to stay exactly the same if everything around us is changing. And of course, throughout our life, I believe our friend-capacity does grow. When I was 5, my relationships looked a lot different than they do now at 23. And I'm sure they will have become even more transformed 20 years from now.

Overall, the biggest blessing of my life is my husband, Brad. I have someone to share my entire life with... and he's stuck with me!!! He'll never move away (without me, of course). Our relationship will change. It won't stay the same. I pray that we will grow together in sync :) I know that God can increase our capacity to love. My relationship with Brad is proof of that. I'm still wondering whether I'm moving away from something or someone in order to move toward him. Is everything give and take?
Lord, thank You for blessing me by surrounding my life with beautiful, wonderful friendships. You work purposefully through every person I encounter. Thank You for teaching me about Yourself through all of the supportive people in my life. I pray that You would help me find peace with the fact that life and the people in it are always changing, always moving, always growing. God, keep me from selfishness and from holding on too tightly when I need to loosen my grip. Help me allow new people to come into my life. Thank You for being ever-present. Though people may come and go throughout my life, You are always by my side. You are sovereign, Lord, and I thank You for all of my wonderful friends -- those of the past, those present, and those I have yet to meet. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. lesley: please expand your friend capacity to allow me to be and/or remain one of them. i could possibly gift you with some of my "friend capacity" since i have so few friends that i am not close to using my alloted capacity. you write well for a math geek.