Yep, I’m going there…
In the last month since announcing my exciting news, there has been a pretty huge shift in my friendships. Besides a handful, they have all but disappeared. Sometimes this upsets me, sometimes this angers me, and sometimes I feel like I don’t care (I do).
I’ve researched this topic, yes really, to try and find out what the World Wide Web has to say about all this, but all that comes up is the wonderful way in which friends can help you fundraise, or how important it is to use these connections to spread the word. Please hear me out – I do have amazing people in my life that have supported me and continue to support me in so many aspects of this journey and I am so incredibly grateful for each and everyone of them; but I still want to talk about how some of my friendships have changed since I started this journey, and how it happened with friends that I wasn’t expecting.
I know that money is a touchy subject. I know what it’s like to live in the real world and have to pay rent, electricity and car insurance, to name a few. I know that panicked feeling after all those bills have been paid and you are unsure if you will make it through the entire month with food in your fridge. I also know that some people might not believe me when I say this, but I never shared my support letter so that they would give me their money. Yes, of course, I do need to raise the money, but that is entirely in God’s hands and is really not something I have control over. No, when sending out my letter to my friends, it was simply to share my news and for them to pass it on if they felt to.
And yes, it means so very much to me that some friends have donated, because I know we’re all in a similar boat of not exactly rolling in the dough, if you know what I mean? I know that there are friends with new babies, and friends saving for weddings, and everyone’s just trying to live in an increasingly expensive world – so, it has meant a lot to me that they have given up their hard earned money, regardless of the amount, in support of what the Father is calling me to.
Money topic aside, I guess I did expect something in return when sending out emails and text messages and excited voice notes…I just expected a response, and besides the small handful previously mentioned, all I received back was silence; and to be honest, it hurt.
I am not speaking about Facebook friends that you haven’t seen or spoken to in years. I’m talking about proper friends. Friends that you shared big moments with: engagements, new jobs and new boyfriends; homesickness, loneliness and life’s struggles – good, old-school style friends. Friends who knew that this is something you’ve wanted to do for years; and when the day finally arrives and you get to share the big news, can you understand why it would hurt when all you hear are crickets?
Maybe, at the end of the day, it has nothing to do with the money, but after wracking my brain for weeks, I can’t seem to come up with any other explanation; and maybe one day they will tell me why. Why after years of friendship and sharing and closeness did you suddenly go so quiet?
Sometimes, I have moments of doubt and thoughts start to creep in, such as, ‘they don’t believe you can do it’ or ‘they think it’s a silly dream that’s never going to happen’. That’s when I realise what I was really looking for from them – encouragement. Someone to say I believe in you.
I know we can’t walk through life with a continuous stream of cheerleaders, but there’s also enough people telling you that you can’t or that you’re stupid for even trying. Believe me, I have had a good dose of that too recently, but at the end of the day, when you are met with silence, if feels like they might as well be saying those things, because all those little thoughts that creep in in the face of silence are actually my own doubts and fears. What happens if I can’t do it? What happens if I don’t have what it takes? What if I fail and let Yahweh, myself and everyone down?
What if? What if? What if?
I guess I needed them to respond more than I realised. I guess ultimately, however, it doesn’t change anything. It doesn’t change the fact that in a few short months, I will still be boarding a plane to Ethiopia.
I also know that this is a learning curve for me. It’s time I start looking to the Father and only to the Father to affirm and define me. It’s time I stop putting so much value on people’s words, because in those moments of doubt, it will be Him that I’ll really need to say,
“I believe in you. I knew you and formed you in your mother’s womb. So, arise, My darling, because you were born for such a time as this.”