One of my most treasured memories is with my friend, Ana. We’re in an outdoor pool in rural South India, drifting through the water like lily pads.
Then, one of us—I can’t remember which one—asks the other:
“Who were your closest friends in high school?”
For the remainder of our time in the pool, we take turns describing the inner circle of people who shaped our adolescence and made us into the person we are now.
We both go into detail. I listen closely to her and she listens closely to me. This isn’t to prep each other to someday meet these high school friends. But it feels special to share my stories with Ana. Conversely, in learning about her past, I feel like I’m getting to know her on a deeper level.
I believe this is the beating heart of friendship: getting to know each other.
Not just your friend’s opinion on political issues. Or their Enneagram type. But the in-between backstories of their life. You take a step closer to a full-color, 3D picture of their character.
I love when people ask about my life. (Who doesn’t love to talk about themselves?) But also because I take it as a sign that someone desires a genuine friendship with me.
Call me hyper-Christian, but it’s through these lens that I understand the necessity to know God’s character.
I used to—okaaaay, I still do—roll my eyes when I hear encouragement to ‘go deeper in your relationship with God.’ I feel like that language is everywhere. Especially on spiritual growth books.
Get Closer to God…
Reach a New Level in Your Relationship with God…
Go Deeper in Your Intimacy with God…
I don’t know about you. But when I see those words, I read it as: have an emotional moment.
But when it comes to learning about God—about what He’s done and what is in His character to do—I realize that’s the sort of ‘drawing close’ that I can get on board with. I want to understand His character.
Similarly, understanding where my friends come from is how I’ve grown closer to them.
What is your family like?
What do you miss most about home?
What is the scariest thing you have ever done?
When I ‘draw close to God,’ I read the Bible and ask questions.
Does God desire us to be happy?
What pleases God?
How does God discipline His children?
Why does God hide certain things from us?
As I strive to know God, I’m reminded that some things will remain a mystery until I’m with Him in heaven.
But—and I’ve found this to be true of my friendships—where knowledge lacks, trust reigns. When God allows something to happen in my life that I don’t understand, I need to trust Him. Instead of angsting it out with Cardi B and a bottle of Bud, I need to close my eyes and pray.
C.S. Lewis says:
“To love involves trusting the beloved beyond the evidence.”
So, my dear co-blogger, Savvy. Continue to ask questions. Get to know God and the people He’s blessed you with on a deeper level. And, when there’s a gap in your understanding, I pray that, out of love, you will trust.