on getting sunburned

A little less than a year ago, when I was newly on the launch team for For the Love, this crazy things started happening. Women began pouring out their lives and their stories and their struggles and hard things in our group and it was so freeing and beautiful. I shared some of my own story and talked about how my friend Megan met with me outside of a Coffee Bean for three hours, so long that I got sunburnt, as we talked about the same kinds of things. That kind of friendship and openness was a bridge to me feeling like the church could be a safe place again.

Jen Hatmaker, who wrote For the Love, commented and said, “You know what my dream is? That we become that friend getting sunburned outside the coffee shop. We get to be her! It isn’t even hard! We get to love and listen with zero judgment, and just like that God heals. We do not have to be God. We can just be a good friend who loves God.” This was so profound to me. I’d never thought it that way, that we get to be the ones and it’s so ridiculously easy to do it.

Flash forward a few months. I’ve met lots of new people (hello, For the Love launch party! I’m looking at you) and made new friends and was enjoying life. And then their weirdest thing happened. I met this new lady at church who I guessed to be around my age and I really, really wanted to be friends with her but I was afraid to ask. This is a problem I’ve encountered zero times before. But for whatever reason, I had myself convinced she was way too cool for me.

Now, this makes literally zero sense. This woman didn’t act too cool. She wasn’t mean. She wasn’t unfriendly or unkind. I just had myself completely convinced that she wouldn’t want to be my friend because I wasn’t cool enough.

A few weeks ago she came up to me at our evening church service and asked me if I wanted to get together for coffee sometime. I seriously felt like I wouldn’t be able to contain my joy when I said “Yes!” to her.

A couple of days after she asked me to get coffee, in the way that God always does, He brought things full-circle for me.

My new friend and I met at Coffee Bean. And I got sunburned.

I got to be that person and it was so thrilling to me.

I just want to encourage you all — be that person for someone else. Get burned. Sit out in the rain. Do life together. And even if you think that other person is too cool for you, ask anyway because you just might be pleasantly surprised! I sure was and now I have a new friend for life.

 

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