~these are the days of trying to be a Tuesday friend~
This post isn’t the easiest one to write. In fact, I’ve struggled to get the words right and just can’t seem to. I’m pretty sure I’m going to hit the publish button and not be able to sleep. How’s that for an intro?
Sometimes the small things in life are the big things too. Sometimes when you think about your smallness, you find things you don’t like. And writing about the smallness of life isn’t just about the good stuff and the easy stuff. Sometimes it means rolling out the dirty carpet and tucking the red one in the closet.
Have you discovered Periscope yet? It’s a social media outlet of sorts that broadcasts a live video feed. So you can watch someone in “real-time” rather than a video posted. It’s actually a pretty neat platform, although I don’t think I have anything “scope worthy” to share quite yet. (You can find me under Allison Whing if you want to follow me and see if I scope something one day).
Anyway, I was watching a video from Emily Freeman where she was sharing about finding your Tuesday people, something she sort of addresses in Simply Tuesday, but not completely. She said something that really made me think over the last few days. Unfortunately the broadcasts on Periscope are only available for 24 hours so I couldn’t go back and listen again and had to rely on the one phrase I jotted down while she was talking.
It was something to the effect of…to be a Tuesday person means you provide a safe place for your friends to be insecure. That Christ in me stirs Christ in you.
I’ve been repeating that to myself over the last few days, letting it rattle in my brain a bit. Christ in me stirs Christ in you.
And I’ve been asking myself that question. Does the Christ in me stir the Christ in my friends? Am I that kind of friend?
Or do I let competition stand in the way?
In one of the chapters of Simply Tuesday, Emily addresses the idea of competition in relationships. That competition is the enemy of connection. Competition can be subtle. It can sneak up in ways you don’t really expect. But if we’re competing, then we’re not connecting.
I don’t know about you, but despite having what I consider to be close friendships, I often feel disconnected. One of my friends and I often talk about this deeper desire for community. Neither of us can quite define exactly what it looks like, but it looks like more than we have now. And sometimes I wonder if this community is harder to find because there’s this underlying level of competing.
When I think back over my life, I can see how I let competition stand in the way of many relationships. Even in good ones. Whether it was competition for grades, in education projects, in wanting to be right, for attention, for knowing more than someone, maybe even for having something someone else doesn’t have. It’s not pretty. God’s been revealing some of it to me in the last few days and it’s hard to swallow.
And while I don’t think I purposely ever competed with my friends, when I think about it, it was often there. That edge to be better. Or perhaps wanting something they had. Or perhaps feeling truly happy for them because of something wonderful in their life, but then looking at my circumstances and allowing my feelings of doubt or inadequacy or unhappiness or whatever, to trump my happiness for them in the moment.
I still see it come up sometimes. Maybe someone is in a season I wish I was in, maybe it’s a picture of a lovely home that flashes up in my IG feed, maybe it’s the way someone educates their child, words someone writes that I think I could have written myself and didn’t, someone is successful in an area I want to be successful in, or an idea someone had that I should have thought of myself. Sometimes it’s something so small that it’s not even that significant and it gets inside me somewhere.
I can be so happy for someone when I see things working out in their life. I can celebrate with them. I can pray for good things for their lives. But sometimes my flesh. Oh. My. Flesh.
Sometimes this ugly flesh of mine rears up. I think a good bit of the time, I can push it back down. But I don’t always. Sometimes it stays with me, it gets in my heart, and it allows the enemy to shovel in more lies. I just have to give him an “in” and he’ll steal and destroy. If I’m not careful, I can let him do that to my relationships.
Jason and I have always felt incredibly blessed to have had wonderful friendships over the years with different circles of friends no matter where we were living and what season we were in. We feel honored to have friends that despite physical distance remain close. And yes, we have friends that have been closer to us in different seasons, but we also have friends we might not see for years at a time and can connect instantly when we do see each other. Jason could do without any forms of social media, but for me, it has been a great way of making new connections and staying connected with old friends.
But I ask myself this question. Does the Christ in me stir the Christ in them? Am I that friend?
And the sad answer to that is that if I’m competing on any kind of level with a friend, than I’m not. I’m not your Tuesday person. And I want to be.
And so I confess, to any of you who consider me a friend and are reading this, that I haven’t always been that for you. I know I haven’t. Maybe at times, but not all the time. And maybe you felt that competition and didn’t know how to define it. And maybe that competition remained hidden, and was some sort of hidden barrier to a deeper community. And maybe it was just something I was bearing alone. So whether it was obviously present or not, I simply say, “I”m sorry. I’m sorry if I wasn’t the friend you could be insecure with.”
It’s not the friend I want to be. I want the Christ in me to stir the Christ in you. And I want the Christ in you to stir the Christ in me.
So while this confession of sorts might be a little strange, it’s necessary. Because God placed it on my heart for a reason. I’m letting that little phrase roll around more in my head and heart so I can be that friend.
If you can relate at all to what I’ve written, it sure is good to know I’m not alone. And if you think I’m crazy, that’s okay. I’m secure enough to take it.
Let’s not let competition stand in the way of connecting. Listen to your friends. Be their Tuesday person. Be the one they can be insecure with. And may the Christ in you stir the Christ in them.
What do “these days” look like for you. Simply comment with one…these are the days of…
**If you want to check out the rest of my #write31days series, you can find the link here.
And don’t forget to check out this link! I’m giving away two copies of Simply Tuesday!