Friendships are hard even if we're brave and awesome.

It's been a reaaally long time, friends. Hi again.

Life as a foster parent is much busier than I planned; even though we have only had one placement for seven months, there is just SO MUCH TO DO. I'm not complaining, but justifying why I've taken my self-care to the background. Writing is self-care to me and man, have I missed it. Time to pick it back up (praise the Lord, school is back in session!)

I experienced my FIRST first day of school and it was the actual best. The excitement and nerves (mostly mine, our 5th grader is pretty unsure about not getting to sleep in every day now) bubbled all over the house and we tackled day one! I encouraged him to make a new friend this year, to look for the lonely kid, the one who maybe got picked last for the team or who ate lunch by himself. Look for the kiddo who walks with his head down and go give him encouragement.

What I didn't realize until last night's bed time routine, that this sweet boy is the lonely kid.

Our kiddo is amazing with adults - anyone who knows him will agree that he is hilarious and encouraging and always has a compliment to give to someone. Doctor appointments are filled with "I like your shirt, you have pretty hair, your nails are really cool!" and you watch the faces of the recipient light up. He's actually been a great reminder to me to uplift, encourage, to give out compliments to strangers, sprinkling sunshine everywhere you go. But kids can be scary and intimidating (I get it), and he shuts down quite a bit around them.

You guys. He told me every single person at school has a bunch of friends and there is no lonely kid. That maybe he should wait for someone to come to him instead of him seeking someone else out. Isn't this a lie that the enemy whispers to us, too? The chatterbox in my head consistently tells me everyone has strong, amazing friendships and they don't need me - even my best friends who tell me I am in their inner circle and our friendship means so much to them!

Friendships, making friends - keeping them, they're hard no matter what age we are. I don't care if you're an introvert like me (hi, small talk kills me, so if you want to get to know me, don't scratch the surface), or an extrovert like my sweet boy, insecurity robs us of these opportunities. The lie that no one else is lonely in a world that is statistically incredibly lonely holds us back from putting ourselves out there. When we assume no one wants our friendship, we agree with the lie that we're not good enough or worthy of community, and none of that is true.

This morning in the drop off line while we waited, he asked for me to pray again for friendships. I asked God to give this boy the ability to make good, strong friendships that would be encouraging and kind and stable, or as stable as they can for elementary school. I reminded him he was brave and awesome and he will absolutely find a great friend, because God's word talks a lot about how important relationships and community are to us.

Isn't this what God does with us? God's word tells us who we are - BIG identity markers that we are God's beloved, a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, a friend of Jesus, an overcomer, brave, strong, courageous, I can keep going. Jesus died for us so that we could be in relationship with Him, and if that isn't the foundation of our identity then everything else will quickly crumble around it.

God tells us we are brave and we are awesome and we can go do these amazing things. And like my kiddo looks at me, we give God this "what are you talking about?" look, that turns into questioning, "is this true?", and finally when we begin to hear it enough through reading His word and being in His presence, we actually start to believe it. Without even an ounce of belief we will not act and stepping out into who God has said you are is what changes everything. It's an act of obedience - terrifying and sacred. Sure, we might fail a whole bunch, who doesn't, but it's all worked out for our good if we allow redemption to be a part of our story.

My kiddo ran across the parking lot with an extra pep in his step. His last words to me before running off was "I know I will make a friend today. I will let the Holy Spirit tell me who to go be friends with, and then I'm going to be brave and awesome like you say I am and do something about it. YEET."

Side note: whoever makes up these super annoying noises in video games needs to stop, lol.

Sometimes we just need someone to tell us who we are and then we need to trust that the Holy Spirit will come through like He always does. Being a foster parent has helped me see a whole new perspective: I recognize now when this kiddo says something to me, it's pretty similar to the things I say to God. Maybe one day I'll start to remember that the stuff I say to this kiddo is pretty similar to the stuff that God says to me, and I'll genuinely believe it in those moments when I want to crawl under the covers and submit to my failures. What does God say to you that you need to start believing?

If you haven't been told today, you are brave and awesome and you can do hard things. From the mouth of babes: let the Holy Spirit tell ya what to do, who to be friends with. This kiddo has amazing discernment and he doesn't even know what it means. Imagine the purpose we hold tightly within us, not even knowing what it means.

Go be awesome today, friends. Do the next right thing, and if you don't - give yourself grace and try again. And again. And again. Bravery is just doing something scared, and you can totally do that.

Popular Posts