Inviting people to a party (especially from the comfort of my computer) wasn’t hard. Baking cupcakes and making centerpieces that don’t look like something my 4-year-old made at preschool was a bit harder, but still not that difficult.
What’s hard is getting past the “hi, how are you,” taking off our shoes and our masks, and really getting to know one another. That part? It’s HARD. It’s hard because intentionally gathering women into community (and joining them there) is choosing to reach out, to connect, to love even though you might get hurt.
It’s possible – no, probable – that one of your friends is going to let you down. She’ll ignore too many phone calls, she’ll ditch your weekly happy hour for dinner with her new boyfriend, she’ll believe a lie she hears about you, she’ll roll her eyes at your story, she’ll invite all the other girls but you, she’ll hurt you. She may not mean to – or maybe she will – but your friend will probably hurt you at some point.
So what is the point? Why should we let people in, when they’re just going to hurt us like those other people did? And, to be fair, why should they let us in, when we might end up hurting them?
We’ve all been disappointed or hurt by friends. Friends who weren’t there, who needed too much, who held back, who didn’t care. So who’s to say our new friends won’t do the same?
Nothing. We have no guarantees that the people we interact with, connect with, live with won’t hurt us. If anything, we can pretty much assume that those we let in, those we are closest to, those we love most are going to hurt us.
And they don’t have a guarantee about us, either. Nobody wants to be the first to admit it, but who hasn’t disappointed a friend? Who hasn’t said something they wish they could take back or forgotten a birthday or shared a rumor or simply not had the energy to call, to listen, to care? When it comes down to it, we’re all guilty of hurting others.
I heard a song on the radio last week. It’s a pop song that I’ve heard (and, I won’t lie, danced to) dozens of times, but I had never really thought about the words. The singer is telling a girl he’s just met, “I’m only going to break your heart.”
Well, technically he says, “I’m only gonna break, break your, break, break your heart” – and he says it over and over. But you get the message. He’s warning this person that even if he seems great and their brand-new relationship is all glitter and roses and happy dances, heartbreak is inevitable. Whether it happens tomorrow or years down the road, he’s going to break her heart.
What if we all walked around saying that? “Hi, my name is Mary. It’s nice to meet you, but you should know: I’m definitely going to break your heart.”
Can you imagine? Can you imagine if we went into every new relationship knowing that we’re going to get hurt? Not in a fatalistic sort of way, but in an attitude of acceptance and determination. What if we went into each new friendship saying, “I know you might hurt me. And I might hurt you. In fact, we can probably just count on it. But I know it will be worth it. Because you’re going to love me, and I’m going to love you. It’s going to get messy and awkward and difficult, but if we just hold tight, it will be beautiful and healing and amazing, too.”
As I think about the women that I’ve started getting to know over the past few months, the women who’ve shared their hearts and dreams and struggles with me, I’m a little nervous. It’s one thing to talk about our kids or the book we’re reading or even the stories from our past that have shaped us, but to really let someone in? That’s hard.
So, deep breath. Here goes. Hi. My name is Mary. I want to be your friend, and I’m going to break your heart.
Tell us about a new friend you’ve made recently. Or a not-so-new friend you want to get to know better!Leave a Comment
I’m going to break your heart. — Giving Up on Perfect says
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Lisa H says
I have a new boyfriend. He is the first man I’ve dated since my divorce a few years ago. We’ve been dating a few months now. I’m nervous and scared but excited! What’s more is that he is an answer to my very specific prayers to God. We had both been hurt and burned and shamed and mistreated and disrespected and unloved for so very long in our marriages. We both understand and acknowledged that we both have our own issues and we will have issues together, but, the kicker is we know who to turn to in our lives! God! This is new to me, having a man in my life who loves God more than he loves me–well lets back up a minute. Besides that, having a man who confesses his love to me for me is new also! So I pray a lot that God would continue to guide us in this relationship and help us keep communication as open as it has been so that we can continue to learn about one another and see where God is working in our lives together!
As i watched you on the videos i just wanted to hug you close. My heart was aching and i could see you just got it. The fear of stepping out. I wondered if like me others believed you to be confident and strong when the reality was a different picture. Im desperate for people to look behind my shield and see the real me. The one grieving the one hurting.
Its hard to move past those hurts and fears but yes as you say giving up on perfect is a great start.
Ive recently moved to a new church, there are many women have admired from a far, casual chats but nothing more. This weekend has inspired me to reach out and maybe i will find those friendships i deeply desire.
Jen Armstrong says
Such a great reminder! Thank you for sharing and reminding me that even when we are hurt, all the good memories we share make it worth it. It’s hard to let go of friends but I’m learning that it’s more important to walk in my faith and not to compromise that faith or my beliefs simply because a friend does. I’ve had to walk away from several close friends this year. I know God’s plan is perfect and this was a part of His plan. Knowing that makes these moments easier to bear. Thank you again for your insight and reminder 🙂
It’s hard to step out and make friends when your heart has been broken–and you’ve broken someone else’s as well. What’s amazing, though, is when you find a friend who, after both your hearts get broken, will stand beside you, someone who will help you sort through all the pieces and figure out which shard belongs to which heart.
I have one of those friends, a crazy redhead who just had a birthday. I wrote a little about her here: http://lifefaithful.blogspot.com/2012/04/special-kind-of-day.html
Thank you so much for this, Mary. I needed to read it today.
I have a good friend who is truly a gift from God. She went out of her way to be my friend after my husband and I had moved to a new place and didn’t know anyone. It’s been a friendship that has blessed me, and I love and value the times we sit down to drink coffee, eat chocolate, laugh, cry, and just chat it up. She’s good for my heart. 🙂 She’s also busy, and I have had to learn that sometimes life is full, and if there’s not time to catch up, it doesn’t mean that it’s me. It’s just that it’s not all about me. Recently I’ve wished that there were more times we could just connect, and it hurts that there just doesn’t seem to be time for that. I have to just tell myself that, hopefully soon, there will be time for that coffee and long, heart-spilling chat. And that the friendship will still be there…and maybe even a little stronger. 🙂
This hit a nerve with me today… thank you for your words! Yes, the struggles are worth it. I will remember this as I move and start over with new friends and hold on to the dear ones whom I’ve already had the roller coaster ride with…and survived.
Liz G says
Joyce Meyer today reminded of , “Fear of being taken advantage of, of involvement and trust: meekness is not weakness but strength under control… afraid to trust anyone.. some will (hurt you)… can’t hide away… (trust) God will deal with it… you can’t love and never have pain but you will give pain too… God will give ‘it’ (advantage, stealing) back to you (His way) -turn it over to God.
Amen! God has turned the places of mistrust to places of trust, respect, love in the relationships where we stuck with it through difficulties and those relationships are so worth it! I pray God give me more of those relationships of love, perseverance, respectfulness in my life.
Dessie Coyle says
I had a good friend. We were friends for about two years. I had to back off this relationship due me being that I think with my heart. I would keep giving and giving and she would do nothing. What I mean is she would tell me about her problems and I would give her solutions. She did not want to seek help. So it would be like a roller coaster. So I decided to back off.
Thanks for the post. I really needed to hear these words today. There is a gal that I met at the gym that I would like to get to know better. I am praying that I have the courage to get past all of the self-doubt and be intentional about making our friendship grow.
Good Morning, Ladies!
After a pretty long season of isolation, I’m trying to reach out and make new friends. It’s hard, right? I’ve been plagued with nagging self doubt rolling around in my head and heart – “Oh that was dumb, why did I say THAT? – She didn’t return my last email, maybe she doesn’t want to be friends. – Why am I doing this to myself again when it always turns out so badly…?” Blah, blah, blah.
Know what? I’ve been (in)couraged by the un-conference! I think those stupid thoughts are just weed-seeds the enemy is trying to plant to crowd out the fruit bearing vines the Lord would have us all cultivate in our hearts through His Word and one another. I’m yanking those weeds out and tossing them on the burn pile! So there!
I’m going to follow Lisa-Jo and offer guilt free friendship (maybe by way of a card or two) and let my heart trust that the Lord will work out the friendships that are right for me.
I’m praying for all you beautiful ladies today that God will bless us with Jesus filled fruit-bearing friendships!
This really was needed today … thank you. I’ve recently moved into a new community and it’s obvious every day that we’re “the new family.” I miss my old friends and how familiar everything used to be. Deep down I know that someday my family and I will fit in, but for now it’s hard to start from scratch and put my introverted self out there to make new friends.
I love this post, Mary! If we were all this honest in our friendships, we might be hurt a lot less. We would recognize that it’s inevitable, and that we’ve hurt others ourself. Thanks, Mary!
I have a best friend that broke my heart. She was like a sister to me. We talked on the phone every day for hours at a time. And then I found out she was lying to me about something pretty huge. At first I only asked her to tell me the truth. Then she got angry and started to threaten my family, our safety, our financial security, my husband’s reputation, my children. I had to stop talking to her. I had to face the truth that the woman I knew did not exist. That she was someone else. It was like a death for me. I miss that person every day. She followed through on one of the threats and tried (unsuccessfully thank God!) to ruin my husband’s career. I forgive her though. She must be in a lot of pain to act the way she did. But still…she broke my heart and I mourn her loss every.single.day.
So sorry for your loss. I can relate. God will heal. You must grieve; it’s not something you can avoid. Grieve it and let yourself be in that season for a time. Keep crying out. Seek counsel if you need to. I have done that and it has been so worth it. Seriously. I will pray for you today. Jesus is your Healer.
Very well said Mary. I love how you just put it out there..”We have no guarantees that the people we interact with, connect with, live with won’t hurt us. If anything, we can pretty much assume that those we let in, those we are closest to, those we love most are going to hurt us.”
I’ve had too many conversations to count with women asking ‘how can we we form friendships without threat of hurt’…but you nailed it. We can’t. The only relationship that WILL NOT HURT US is the one between us and Jesus. And so I’ve picked myself up from being slandered and betrayed by a best friend of almost 20 years and now I ask my Best Friend Jesus each day “who do you want me to be friends with today and how can I touch them for you?’. In return, He sends me friends to touch me in ways He knows I need to be touched and when the sin of flesh creeps into one of those friendships, I again turn to Him, ask for comfort and healing and then move forward with forgiveness and ask again ‘Lord, how can I touch this friend for You today?’
Thanks Mary, for putting it out there like you did. Beautiful and honest <3
This was exactly what I needed to read today. So often I hold myself back from people because I know, I KNOW, that they are going to hurt me. And you know what? Most of the time, they do. But what I’ve learned is that the relationships in my life that hurt me the most, that take the most out of me, that require me to exhibit the most patience and love-those are the relationships that are the most rewarding. I hurt people, I break hearts all the time with careless words or un-returned phone calls, or various other vices that cause me to be broken and cause me to hurt others.
Relationships take work, but they are so WORTH IT.
This is good, good stuff, Mary. Ever since moving here, the past two years have seemed like endless possibilities for getting hurt. With each new friendship I made, I could feel my heart cowering a bit but we’ve pressed on toward community in spite of that. I’m still establishing my community here but I am so lucky to have the friends that I have here. And so I will continue to press forward because it’s worth it.
Very insightful and oh so true blog post. I have been on the giving and receiving side of the broken heart. But with my true friends…it’s worth it in the end. I think we all need to be more intentional with our friendships and don’t forget that it’s not all about “me”. Life gets busy and things come up but don’t forget about the person that knows you inside and out. I think I will call my friend and see how she’s doing. 🙂
Katie @ simply[his] says
For me, friendships have always been something I’ve worked really hard to have… perhaps too hard at times. I’ve wanted them to be perfect, but I’ve come to find that it’s just not possible, especially when I’m not letting God lead me into the relationships He’s prepared for me. Since I surrendered my own plans for relationships, He’s filled my life with the most precious and beautiful hearts I’ve ever known!!!
Charity Gonzalez says
This really hit home with me today. I am just now recovering and putting myself out there to truly make friends again. I have never been the person to be outgoing or to make the effort first to make friends. I am finally learning to put myself back out there after being hurt multiple times by female friends. I have one true friend that we have stood beside one another even when we were not speaking to each other. Thanks again for posting this and I hope and pray for the courage to be this honest with all of my new friends in saying that I will probably do something to break their heart. However I will always love and stand beside them.
Charity Gonzalez says
I linked myself wrong in the last post….now its fixed.
Worth It | A Fractured Prism says
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Dreams « A Day in the Life of Melly says
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