I have become a firm believer that everyone needs a wise, British friend. I have been blessed with one of the wisest of all women to call my friend. Not because her accent is the most calming to listen. Not because she knows how to make tea. Real tea, not Americanized tea. Not because she has the best words for things, such as faffing. These all pale in comparison to her wisdom and ability to speak truth in a way that I, as a young mom, can learn, grow, and gleam from.
A few weeks ago we were sitting around her kitchen table, which is long and able to hold beautiful dinner parties full of laughter or a simple talk with a young mom over a cup of tea. We were discussing the topic of trust. How 30 was such a defining year of growth for me and as I approach 32, I can see how my view of many things has shifted. I am more secure in who I am in Christ. I am not one to jump on a band wagon just because “it is the thing to do”. I have come to a place where I make decisions based on security in Christ and honestly, don’t care if anyone agrees. That sounds harsh, yes I realize. But coming from a place of ebb and flow, of seeking popularity and acceptance over truly knowing who I was as a person, this is a victory. The freedom of doing things because you WANT to do them. Seeking enjoyment in things that are life giving. This past year, that life-giving element has been nature. I was not raised in a camping, nature loving family. Today, if given the opportunity to hike or travel to the mountains, I’m there. God is there. In His beauty and creation, I find my peace. This shift took YEARS of healing and maturing. Through this “coming to myself”, I have also realized how small my circle of friends had gotten. I was not complaining to my friend, just simply stating that the social butterfly I used to be was, well, gone. I enjoyed just being with my family. I enjoyed being alone and having space for God to speak. I sought rest and peace not chaos and busy. In her British wisdom she asked, “Why is that a bad thing?” Why did I think it was? I had moved from one season to another. I had left some things behind only to find what was real and rich in the next.
As we continued talking, she presented me with this idea of circles. Our life is comprised of circles around us. Picture in your mind a ripple in a lake. When you drop a stone into water, those ripples expand from the smallest circle to largest. Those circles include different levels of relationships — which is GOOD! Those circles change with the seasons of life, even the people in those circles change with the seasons of life. What I love is this — What comprises the closest circle to your heart will either be life-giving or life-taking. That circle, the closest, most intimate circle can not be filled with relationships. That circle has room for 2 people. The ones who know your heart, know your dreams, know your failures. If we try to add more, it will become life-taking. Our hearts and innermost being are not meant to be shared with everyone in every relationship. It is what makes us a beautiful work of creation.
What comprises the closest circle to your heart will either be life-giving or life-taking.
I left her home that night, not feeling empty or worthless, but rejoicing in the strong friendships and relationships I did have. That the season of peace and calm that God was calling me into was going to be met with distractions of chaos. Those moments of chaos that could never bring life to my heart. Seasons change, circles change, people change. Standing firm in what God has called you into and saying no to the distractions that will come, is what will bring life and “life more abundantly.”
Picture Credit: ripplemakerstv.com