A couple of years ago, the Lord spoke clearly to me that He wanted me to be more intentional in my relationships. He even went as far as giving me specific instructions: go through all of your current relationships and if there is one that isn’t giving you rest, then leave it. For the relationships that are giving you rest, keep them and nurture them better than ever. Wow! Talk about a wake-up call! That hit me like a ton of bricks because if you don’t know me, I’m the kind of person that is too afraid to end an unhealthy friendship just because I’m too afraid to hurt that person’s feelings. I would let them stay longer than they should. I would allow these friendships to fog my vision of who God wanted me to become and sometimes even change who God wants me to be. I also felt like I was doing pretty good at the whole nurturing relationships well part. Am I the only one that struggled with this? Well, if you’re struggling with this as well, let me give you some assurance that you’re not alone. Our heavenly Father loves us and the people in our lives (whether if we think they are good or bad for us). He is super intentional in every detail of our lives and how He places people in the seasons we go through but we have to allow Him the opportunity to do so.
When the Lord spoke this to my heart I was in a very new and very hard season. I was pregnant with my second baby and my husband was working tons of overtime while trying to get his nonprofit organization going. I also found myself knee deep in a few relationships with friends and family members that was giving me the complete opposite of rest. My heart was so burdened by the demands of these relationships that it started to put a strain on my marriage and spiritual well-being. As the days passed, I could see my heart and focus shifting from the Lord to my old ways of thinking and approach. I basically felt alone even though I wasn’t. I’m going to spare you all the details but I basically felt like I was unworthy of God’s love since I allowed myself to be influenced and changed by these relationships. What’s so amazing about God is that when He seems most absent in our lives is when He is the most present. He reminds us of this in Psalm 34:18. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Y’all my heart was broken and my spirit was crushed. This wasn’t super clear to me until that day when I heard those specific instructions from the Lord. I remember asking Him so many questions. How did I even get here? How can I leave these relationships when these people live in the same town and are friends with my friends too? How can I do this to family, because isn’t family a forever type of thing? Are they going to hate me and treat me differently? After days and weeks of going back and forth on this with the Lord, I just somehow one day felt so much peace about it. It was almost as if the Lord gave me a big hug and just said “trust me, I’ve got this.” I couldn’t put into words how liberating that felt and how much peace I had knowing that I could trust God to handle every bit of pain and confusion that may come my way once I walked away from these relationships.
Looking back, I can see and feel the Lord carry me through that tough season of filtering out and working on the relationships in my life. His master plan was replacing the wrong relationships with the right ones. He placed a group of amazing women in my life to help me and pray with me through that tough season. And, sometimes they did this effortlessly. Now, let me just say that they were already there, I was just not nurturing the relationships in that circle well. I can recall a very specific moment when I had a breakdown and messaged my group of mamas at four in the morning. One of my mama friends messaged me back right away and we ended up talking on the phone for what felt like forever, but in the best way possible. She listened to me, prayed with me, and reminded me of who God was. I’m smiling right now because I remember how she gave me so much peace that I told her I needed to sleep (from the overwhelming peace of God through our conversation). I woke up a few hours later to endless messages from that group and even had one of the mamas heading over to my house to check on me! Talk about a tight circle right?! Mine literally gave me rest(instead of steering me towards more pain and confusion) and continue to do so when my heart is burdened. Oh, and remember those worries I had about walking away from people that wasn’t giving me rest? Well, God took care of it. And if He hasn’t, then I can trust that He will. I am no longer burdened by the worries I used to fill my heart with but I had to completely surrender them to Him first.
Mamas, we can’t do it all. God has called us to be wives and mothers. That in itself is already a lot. We can’t go from season to season worried about other peoples’ problems or letting their ways affect and change who we are. If we allow this to happen, we will lose sight of who God is. He simply reminds us of this is in Proverbs 13:20. Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffer harm. If you’re struggling with this, I encourage you to lay it all down at the feet of Jesus and surrender everything to Him. I challenge you to be intentional about it and give God your worries about this. Pray for God fearing, God loving friends. Pray for God to help heal your heart and the hearts of those you know aren’t good for you. He loves you and He is for you. He is faithful and He will give you rest with the right circle.
Father, thank you for the gift of a God-fearing group of friends. I pray for every single person reading this. Lord, you know our hearts and you know the season we’re walking in right now. I pray that you give us comfort in knowing that we can trust you with the relationships in our lives. Help us surrender the bad relationships and nurture those you intend to be in our lives. If we don’t already have the right people, I pray that you will place the right people into our paths to help grow us in our walk with you. Thank you for your faithfulness and for always being there for us. We love you. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen!