October 3, 2013

day 3 :: free friendship

Tonight we sit on her couch, face to face for hours.  A friendship of nearly 10 years can easily be picked up where we last left off, even though it has been months since we've connected.

This is my favorite place to be.  Maybe add a cup of tea or a glass of wine to the mix, and this type of night is perfection to me.

There is no need for small talk, and we get right to the point.  Catching up on the events of the summer, we realize that we find ourselves in the same place, once again.  We're tempted by a try-hard life.  We're suffocating.

It would be easier for me to decide to move overseas and be a known and respected missionary at this point in my life, I say.  Or adopt.  Or do something big and drastic.  I might feel like I earned it then.

But simply accepting grace and serving my husband and my family in love.  Seeking Christ-likeness in the depths of my heart.  Abiding and loving well.  Right now, in the mundane of a stay-at-home-mom, that is my hard work.  It never feels like enough.

So, we sit and we work through our dirty hearts.  It's all on the table.  And it's beautiful.  I'm not exactly sure why, but there is hope found here.  We're not simply airing our dirty laundry for each other.  We're not complaining or comparing.  We want better.  We want more Jesus and we know that true friendship involves intercession.

Then in so many words, she says, freedom was never ever about rules.  Never about being good enough.  In Eden, the only rule was to not eat of the tree.  Yet somehow, today, we feel like grace isn't enough.

I sing the words, your grace is enough.  But my heart is too often not caught up in His love.  It's caught up in my works.

Why is it so hard for me to live in grace?  Why is it so hard for me to live based on what God has done for me, as opposed to what I can do for him?  There is a stark difference between the two.  One road leads to captivity, and the other to freedom.

But tonight, this friendship feels like freedom.  Because the love of Christ is all over it, and that is where freedom is found.

A free friend does not compare.  Does not criticize.  Does not condemn.  A free friend loves.  Hopes.  Prays.  A free friend will direct you back to Christ in the most kind way, because she knows that it is the Lord's kindness leads to repentance.  A free friend does not enable captivity.  They are a breath of fresh air.

Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we know, when two or more are gathered in the name of Christ, he is there.  Friendships built upon Christ should lead to freedom.

Am I a life-giving friend?  Or do I enable my friend's captivity?  I sure hope and pray that along with the love of Christ, my friends find such freedom with me.

This is day 3 of a 31 day series "Finding Freedom".  Check here for more posts in this series.

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