This blog is part 2 of a 2 part series, Diary of a Wimpy Chick. If you haven’t read part 1, you can do so here. DISCLAIMER: To protect the identity of those in my life during this time, I have created aliases for all participants of the diary.
Being a middle school pastor with my husband I come across a lot of questions from girls. The top two categories are of course, boys and friends. Recently, I sat down with a group of roudy soon-to-be middle schoolers and they fired their questions at me like a hungry kid throwing Tapatio on a taco. And before I could answer their questions, I pulled out my diary to give them an insider’s look at life as a middle schooler…
…Only two more days till Friday which means my bday party with Kim and Laura. I can’t wait!
…Today I found out that Laura got her “you know what” last YEAR spring break! She didn’t even tell me. I’m mad at her. That’s just another thing she beat me at. (Believe me Emily, you’ll be glad later on in life you didn’t get your “you know what” any sooner. Can I get an amen from all the women out there?)
… I am mad at Chris. Kim asked him out today and specifically asked him not to tell any of his guy friends. (Do you see where this is going?) Well, he DID tell all the girls and guys about it. I’m afraid to tell Kim because I know it will break her heart. I just don’t know what to do.
I found out that Laura likes Chris too. I am worried since I like him… Another thing is, Kim seems really pushed away. And I think I really need to be more of a “best friend” than a “friend”. I really want to tell Kim that I like Chris too because I don’t want to hold it in anymore. (3 friends ALL liking the same boy at the same time? This is never good.)
…Kim told me to shut up. Laura started ditching me. I didn’t have a good day.
…I can’t wait to see Laura, It’s been a week of spring break and I hope she likes the brush I got her when I was in Florida. (Whoa, whoa, hold the phone! I have no idea what happened in that short span of time, but apparently we became besties again.)
Well, life as a middle schooler can be tough with friends, it can feel like we have schizophrenic friendships (always going back and forth, one minute we are mad at each other the next we are fine.) But let’s be honest here. Life as an adult can be just as tough and probably tougher with friends sometimes. However, I’m learning that the same rules apply, and this is how I answered all those crazy girls' questions that I mentioned before.
1. FRIENDSHIP IS A TWO WAY STREET
Proverbs 27:17- "As iron sharpens iron, so another person sharpens another." I sure can be exhausting to constantly be pouring into a relationship, and have no reciprocation whatsoever. If you’re in a relationship that is constantly exhausting, perhaps some boundaries should be put up somewhere.
2. COMPARISON IS A SLIPPERY SLOPE
Hebrews 12:15- "See to it… that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many." Whether you’re in middle school comparing the timing of the arrival of Aunt Flow. Or you’re an adult comparing the timing of the promotion, marriage, kids or better house. Comparison can destroy friendship, even if you love that person dearly.
3. KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT
Proverbs 21:23- Watch your tongue and keep your mouth shut, and you will stay out of trouble. The number one way, I always tell girls, to stop drama is to just KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. Stop using the excuse, “We should really pray for Sara because she’s back with that really nasty guy.” That’s not a prayer request… Or how about the one, “I heard a great podcast about modesty, I think Rachel should really listen to it, what’s her number again?” Uh huh.. You really don’t have her number?
4. SHAKE IT OFF
Ecclesiastes 7:21- Do not take to heart all the things that people say... People are always going to talk, even when you don't. So don't take things to heart. As much as it pains me to say T. Swift is right- SHAKE IT OFF!
Here’s some final thoughts: Remember why you are friends in the first place whenever you’re dealing with doubt in a friendship. What holds your friendship together? Be confident that God has placed them in your life for a reason. The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, but Jesus came to give us abundant life. And I believe friendship is a major part of that God-given abundant life. We don’t have to go through our days with schizophrenic friendships. Be open to change and different seasons of life saying goodbye to some friends, but also saying hello to new ones and place Christ at the center of every relationship and I think we’ll be ok and get through this crazy thing called life.