I am a prideful human being.
That’s right, you heard me. No generic “we,” no soft-shoeing qualifiers. I am a prideful individual. Check that one off the list of seven deadly sins.
Now, goofy grin and goofier hair aside, this pride manifests itself daily in many ways. Vanity and insecurity of body image, self-consciousness, needing to get the “last word,” etc. On a more destructive level, it also meant I didn’t want to admit when I was hurting.
Comforting others? Wiping away THEIR tears? Sure, I could do that, and goodness knows I would never think any the less of them for it. They were, after all, just human, and I loved them unconditionally.
But bowing my head enough to confess my pain? Trusting them with my insecurities, my failures and sins? Perish the thought.
God, though, recently put me in some very interesting circumstances that forced me to let go of this misplaced confidence.
I’m afraid I was going a little crazier each day, and my thoughts spun in a dizzying vortex. I was scared of what was going to come next, scared of doing the wrong thing and hurting people. In desperation, I reached out to my friends asking if, this time, they would pray for me.
To my eternal shock and gratitude, they were amazing. My friends were so loving and supportive. They affirmed me with words of prayer, calmed me down, listened patiently to my confusion. One of the most respected mentors in my life responded, “Let me know if you ever need to talk about it. I’m always here. In the meantime, hang in there and know you are loved.”
When grumbling about the perceived misbehavior of one who had “wronged” me, my ‘Omani friends’ grew so enraged on my behalf that I became the one restraining them! My ‘Maryland friend’ then joined the fray, asking, “Is there a demonstration? Because I would gladly fly halfway across the world to hold signs and banners for that! #gotmygirlsback.”
I was overwhelmed by all this positivity. I mean, yeah, I was prideful, but that didn’t mean I actually expected people to care about my miniscule troubles. When I expressed my bewilderment to my ‘North Dakota friend,’ she wrote, “Well, of course people care about you, Brett, since you care about everyone and everything.”
(For the record, that’s not true. I mess up A LOT.)
Moving beyond these snapshots from my personal life, though, I think there is an important lesson for all of us here.
God didn’t make us to go through life alone.
As Proverbs 27:17 notes, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another’s character.” There were TWELVE disciples; in Luke 10, when Jesus sends out his workers to “reap the harvest,” He sends them in pairs. Even in Ecclesiastes, where the metaphorical “Teacher” decries most of life as “meaningless,” he notes that “two are better than one” (Ecclesiastes 4:9). Elijah had Elisha; Naomi had Ruth.
The Bible is rife with examples of strong fellowship and companionship, of one human helping another along this rocky path called life.
Why, then, is this so hard to do?
There are a number of reasons: time, distance, superficial “friends” who know nothing of the real you. In my case, it was pride.
In my humble opinion though, now would be a good time to examine ourselves if we’re lacking that sort of real, enriching, “call me at 2 a.m. if you ever need anything” friendship.
Because while it is true that God is always our Final, Infallible Redeemer, our Refuge in times of trouble, He also designed us to live with each other.
About Brett Beeson
Brett Beeson, officially, is an ensign (officer) in the United States Navy, currently stationed out of San Diego, CA. She graduated in 2014 from the United States Naval Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Arabic and a minor in Spanish. Unofficially, she is the “evil twin” (one of Jory’s twin daughters), that annoying-friend-who-won’t-stop-calling, perpetual questioner, ice cream enthusiast, scribbler, roarer-of-laughter, and eternal student of God’s amazing mysteries. After extensive travel in Morocco and Oman, she has become passionate about furthering her/our understanding of the Middle East and Islam. To enjoy more of Brett’s writing, please visit Randomness with Brett.