Where's the FUN in Friendship?
Our prayer for Friendship is that the healing of it would run wide and deep. Not meaning only the individual bruises that split us person to person, but the deep chasms of pain we tend to inflict upon the entity of FRIENDSHIP: believing that it’s for the taking and then the leaving, exchanging togetherness for the abandonment, permitting the joy to plunge into the sorrow.
Friendship was made for so much more!
By now, especially with the panic and isolation Covid-19 has brought the world, we are even more aware that rooted deep inside every person is the intrinsic need to belong, to connect, to enjoy the company of someone who wants to be by our side.
We long for connection that lights our hearts on fire and stirs our inmost beings with a magical stew of joy. Without it we become dry, lonely, unimaginative, and a bit hard and dishonest with the world and who we are in it.
In healthy friendship, however, we become something entirely, altogether other-beautiful, and when that happens, something extraordinary happens in the world. The realization that our “little” friendships can change “big” FRIENDSHIP makes our hearts beat really fast over here, a fact I discovered over a simple little letter.
Last week Tabatha and I were taking a look at our website, swapping phrases that reflect our new direction from Girlfriend Next Door to a Holy Spirit Empowered Sisterhood (you can read more about our change of direction here). This new Empowered way to put Friendship to work in our lives struck me when I asked her to make one slight change so that I could stare at it for a minute.
Sprawled across the top of the Home Page were the words, Transforming Friendship from Average to Extraordinary. For comparison’s sake, we put an “s” at the end of Friendship, which lasted just long enough for both of us to cock our heads, squint our eyes, and scream, “Delete!”
Big deal, it was just an “s,” you say! Not to us. When friendship runs this deeply, every letter says something, implies something bigger, and can frame the next year's worth of discussion and focus into either a direction we want to go in or a rabbit hole of dark that we don’t want to dig out of.
The “s” is important is what I’m trying to say, and it got me to thinking about why the distinction was so crucial to make.
What that moment solidified, in me at least, was the shift of seeing FRIENDSHIP as one big, gigantic whole. One singular entity. One powerful, unstoppable force of might that demonstrates what the world needs to see: love, staying power, connection, covenant, healing, and accomplishment when we go after things together.
Everyday friendships are wonderful because they give us giggles, moments of pleasure, a break from life, a shopping buddy, or a venting soundboard — and there is nothing wrong with these! These are necessary, in fact, because we need giggles, pleasure, breaks, shopping (hallelujah), and soundboards. Lord knows we enjoy all of these at the Flaws!
But we can't miss the reason for the everyday joys that are rooted in something (the fun) and leading us somewhere bigger (our purpose).
What I know to be true is that if we don’t build FRIENDSHIP on a foundation of FUN, we’ll never make it! The ability to have FUN participating in one of the greatest gifts we’ve ever been given — the joy of friendship that accomplishes purpose in our lives and the world — will keep us all coming back for it.
In the bigger story of Friendship, the ability to experience pleasure, joy, and anticipation in our friendships is a crucial element to healing the deep rifts of pain that the world seems incapable of not causing each other. If FRIENDSHIP becomes magical, the world will have a safe place to heal.
Overstatement? I don’t think so. How else can we show biblical love to the world except through a divinely inspired Spirit of Friendship, which extends a hand, bears a heart, and by all means laughs out loud?
We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t believe that God wasn’t highlighting FRIENDSHIP, in part, as a healing aid to the world, but the first layer is establishing the purposeful joy in it, so that no matter how much work we do together, how tired we may get, or how big the challenges we face, the ability to have fun will always re-energize and re-connect us. All work and no play produce partnerships, which aren’t bad, unless friendship is how you started and how you want it to end.
So that’s what we want to hit on in the very first podcast of 2021: the FUN aspect of FRIENDSHIP and how valuing it and creating it can fuel your mission together this year while healing the gigantic, all caps FRIENDSHIP in the world around us!
Here's to the Fun in Flaws!