So, I know that it seems like I’m obsessed with the book “Cold Tangerines” by Shauna Niequist and there is a good reason for that…I am. I am because she speaks so many profound truths that you would think would be common sense but because of our busy minds and lives, they become obsolete.
As I was reading the chapter, “Shalom”, I discovered something new about myself that I would like to confess to: I put people in boxes. I view each person in my life as “What place do they have in my life?” Or “What purpose does their friendship hold in my life.” Now, some of you might be thinking that sounds very selfish, but if you really look at how you view your friends and family members, most of the time you look at them the same way I do. As Shauna said, “I have been more surprised to find that I am given more life, more hope, more moments of buoyancy and redemption, the more I give up. The more I let go, do without, reduce, the more I feel rich. The more I let people be who they are instead of cramming them into what I need from them, the more surprised I am by their beauty and depth.” This quote has made me really sit down and evaluate the people in my life and how I have been viewing them. Because let’s face it, most of the time we end up defining a person by what they are in our life. For instance, I will use one of my very best friends, Kristin. When I think about Kristin, I think about how she makes me laugh by her wit and sarcasm and how I can relate so well with the way her mind processes things. I see her as the organizer of our events and how I feel like I am being educated just from being around her, how she is always so compassionate to whatever myself or our close friends are going through. How we are going through the same Weight Loss struggle and she is my dear accountability partner. NOW, that I am taking her out of the box, the box of “what does her friendship do for me?” and I am letting her roam free for me to admire the whole person that she is. Not just my friend, but what her character, her passion and her heart is doing for the world. I see that she is a humanitarian who is out to not just be there for me and our friends, but for anyone in the world that is hurting. I see that she wants to improve the lives of people by giving them a real Christian experience…someone who will not judge them but who will love them despite their race, income bracket, sexual orientation, religion, so that they will see the true Christ. She is a wonderful wife who is very dedicated to her husband, she has amazing work ethic at her job and goes far and beyond her normal duties, she is super loyal to her family, she wants to give of anytime that she has to be of service to those who need it, she has a passion for cooking and nourishing people…the list could go on and on.
My main point is, I now see beyond what I boxed her in with, (which was all good), but I have let her run free and watched all of the characteristics that maybe I was missing. I have seen the things that I could learn so much from her and I am starting to. We were created in God’s image which means there is so much more to us than meets the eye. We are beautiful, deep, complex, passionate, talented individuals. And we all are truly waiting to be discovered. So I am discovering my friends and finding that I am learning so much more of whom they really are and appreciating them more than I already did.
To my friends, thank you for being beautiful people and examples. Much love.