I just sat there quietly staring at that little “Add Friend” icon.
I had just jumped over to a friend's page only to discovered I had recently been “Unfriended”. And I was sad.
Why was it asking me if I wanted to be her friend? I AM her friend. Well, I guess I was her friend. And now this stupid little icon is telling me I’m not. In fact, it’s screaming to all of our mutual friends that we are not. Upon seeing that belligerent little button on her wall, my emotional state went from “excited to pop over and say hi” to “I must be like the gum stuck to the bottom of one’s shoe. Still stuck on a person, but able to be stepped on, scraped off, and thrown away.” I had been downgraded. Demoted. Unfriended. And what’s worse? I didn’t even know why.
My mind raced over all of our past conversations as I wrestled to figure out if I had said anything offensive. Or could anything I have said even been interpreted as offensive. Cause you know women, we can interpret all sorts of wrong things. But shoot, that could be anything. I am a little Jesus-freaky. And I don’t always get it right. In fact, let’s just all agree and safely say I rarely get it right. And I never actually call anyone. Well, mostly never. And I’m not much on the going out to lunch thing. I just sorta like being around my family. And my Bible study girls. And anything ministry related that doesn’t involve calling anyone or meeting for lunch. Because, well you know, like I said - not exactly a fan of those things. (I CAN however text the letters right off a phone - just so ya know. I’m not totally incommunicable. Just saying.) But I was convinced it had to be my fault. After all, I couldn’t remember anything she had done to offend me. Blast it, I was aggravated with a side dose of hurt.
So here I was. Agonizing over what to do. I certainly couldn’t click on the “Add Friend” button. I mean she would figure out that I 'now knew' that she had Unfriended me and well, and that would just be all sorts of embarrassing. For both of us. Especially considering I had no idea what had happened to trigger such a demotion. Oh man - and then what if I did click on it and then she might message back something like "We need to talk." Oh THAT'S THE WORST! (Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.) And gosh, I didn’t want to embarrass her. Nor did I want to expose my own vast insecurities. So in a world where our self esteem is now wrapped up in “Likes and Shares”, I did what any 40 something woman would do. I just stared at it. And it stared back.
That darn little icon.
And then it hit me. Why in the world would I give that button so much control over my emotional well being? Why did I allow a person having “Unfriended” me control what I thought of myself or who I am becoming? In truth, I’m confident that lots of people would like to “Unfriend” me. Shoot - there are days I want to “Unfriend” my own darn self. Not everyone is going to agree with me. Not everyone is going to think like I think. I get it. And it’s ok. For real though. It's.OK.
But what I didn’t want to have happen was to have bitterness rise up in me. Because that’s what happens you know. Our sick and twisted little insecurities creep up and play mind games with us. They lie and bring about a hardening of our hearts that will ultimately affect all of our friendships. “You don’t like me? Really? Well, let me tell you sister, I never liked you...MORE!” Which of course, wouldn’t be true. But it’s a lie we would believe to make ourselves feel less vulnerable. And then of course it deteriorates from there. Because we’re women. No. Because we're human. And we’re great at lying to ourselves. Masters of it actually. And deep down....deep, deeeeeep down...we want to be liked. We were made for community and as such, a desire to be liked. So that whole “Unfriending” thing? Admittedly, it stings a little. For all of us.
As I slowly chose to click away from her page and praying over how best to handle my mangled emotions, I began to think of how grateful for a God who is known as a “Friend” to others. And not just to others. But to sinners specifically (Matt. 11:19). People like me. People who fail other people unintentionally all.day.long. A God who doesn’t allow for His popularity to be based on how many people “Like” Him. Or “Share” a meme with something really crazy wonderful that He said. I’m grateful He’s a God whose confidence is not found in man’s approval. A God who calls us to be like Him - even in matters like these. And friends, just like He began to remind me, even now I am reminding you - the moments when we find ourselves rejected by others, we can know that we are not rejected by Him. And He’s who matters the most. In all our imperfections, in all of our failures, in all of our shortcomings, we are accepted by Him. A friend to Him. Loved by Him. And yes, even LIKED by Him.
In the end friends, it is in Him we find our true acceptance. HIS acceptance nullifies the rejection by the world. He is my friend and I am His. Even now I can hear Him calling for you to be His friend too!
Liking each of you so so much today,
John 6:37 “But some will come to me—those the Father has given me—and I will never, never reject them.” (TLB)