Kindred Spirit Friends

We all have an inherent need to be known. We're created for community. Camaraderie. Kinship. Kindred spirits. Whatever you call it and whatever personality type or Enneagram number you may be; none of us were created to be perpetual loners.

I am an introvert (INFP) by design and find it difficult to put myself out there, because extended periods of time with people, especially people I don't know very well wear me out. 

I am your classic "drained by others" kind of gal. I can make small talk. I have lots of experience with it. But if I am forced to chat inanely for hours or for multiple events night after night, I come home emotionally, mentally, and physically blitzed--desiring my pajamas (sounds like llamas), a cup of tea, a blanket, and sometimes a dimly lit room.

On the other hand, I do find myself lonely at times and longing to be known by someone, anyone, (maybe not just anyone) but you know what I mean. I seek to find that person who will take the time to invest in me, figure out what makes me tick, and be a student of the craziness that makes me  . . . well . . . ME!

As a direct result of the many moves I have made over the years, I have gotten to know a number of different people and they me. 

However, due to living places for less than 10 years at a time (sometimes as few as 15 consecutive months), I have sown broadly in the category of friendship without doing much sowing deeply. On the plant continuum I've been more of an annual rather than a perennial. 

Some short bursts of color for a short period of time, and my boxes have been packed and ready to go before time for next year's planting.

Acquaintances are great. They are the equivalent of a short burst of seasonal color. But being recognized and known, with repeated seasons shared and roots going deeper is far preferable to drifting around a community as a virtual vapor. I'm often left feeling like I've donned my Harry Potter invisibility cloak every single day.

I guess that's kind of where I find myself these days.

Finding myself in this place makes me appreciate those friends I have gained along the way who have taken the time to delve deeper and foster roots that sustain over the years and the distance.

I ran across a book a while back that reminded me of one of those friends:

This friend knew I loved drawing and thought of me when she saw this book. I love it. I love that she knew me well enough to pick something she knew would touch my heart and leave a lasting impression I won't soon forget.

My thoughts linger on those relationships that have lasted a lifetime -- albeit a far smaller but far deeper group overall.

I can't possibly discuss the beauty in being known without mentioning my dearest bosom friend of all time. We have known each other for well more than half our lives.

So much comfort comes from having someone know everything about you and like you anyway. There is an ease with which we interact whether it's been years since we've been in the same room or not. She is my favorite comedienne, my lifelong cheerleader, my sense of reason, my accountability partner, my sounding board, my shoulder to cry on, my closest thing to a sister, my forever friend.

She has been and ALWAYS will be the one who keeps me grounded while encouraging me to fly. She knows by the sound of my voice what mood I am in, and she can usually tug me out of a bad one in a way no one else can.

She is my solid rock and my anchor, while I am her free spirit and tie dye-wearing hippie who chases rainbows and dances in the rain in one of my many pairs of colorful Chucks. She accepts me warts and all, and I do the same for her. We have witnessed and often prompted change in one another, but the beauty of being known is revealed in the assurance that change is not required or demanded in order for the relationship to be sustained. 

What happens to me when my dearest bosom friend isn't available, when those closest to me physically can't assuage my level of loneliness, when having the people at Sam's Club greet me, or driving out of my way for the crossing guards to wave at me just isn't enough in the "knowing me" department?

Hear me loud and clear here! I am NOT saying I turn to the Lord last. I am not saying He is a final result and He alone doesn't walk with me through all the relational twists and turns in my life. He is the first One I turn to in all circumstances. 

I guess what I am saying is God assures me over and over again in His Word of His power to know me beyond the level of any of my earthly friends -- no matter the longevity or depth they may achieve.

Rest in that today. You are known. You are not forgotten. You are not invisible. You are His precious child, and He sees you regardless of where you are in any of your earthly relationships--near or far.

We can confidently pray like Hagar:
"Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees*; for she said, 'Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”'Therefore the well was called Beer Lahai Roi;observe, it is between Kadesh and Bered."  Genesis 16:13-14 (NKJV)

*Hebrew = El Roi

Leaving a trail of beauty~


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