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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Friends & Change

I've never really experienced any big changes in my life or around it. Recently, a long-time and close friend of mine moved out of state. I'd never have thought that my friend would ever leave. It was the furthest thing from my mind. We also had busy lives, so we didn't see each other too often, but I knew she'd always be there if I needed to see her. At least, I thought so. But those were all misconceptions that I had believed that I now regret believing. Now that she's gone and I won't be able to see her whenever I please, I'm left regretting the way I treated our friendship. I'm left full of sadness, like there's an empty part of my life I won't ever get back. And it can all be traced back to the way I thought about and treated my friendship.

So here are some practical ways to treat your friendship, so in the end you can react better to any situation that arises in the form of change:

1.) Don't take your friendship for granted- This was a big mistake I made. I assumed that my friend would always live 10 minutes away from me, no matter what. It seems silly. but when you've known someone for a long time and both lives seem settled in the same area, you don't think twice about it. Sometimes God has a different plan though and things can change very quickly. I assumed she'd always be around, so I didn't worry about whether I saw her often. Don't assume anything.

2.) Don't let your "busyness" get in the way of checking up on each other often- Because I assumed my friend would always be around, I didn't get together often with her. I thought it was also okay to work my friends around my busy schedule, not into it. In reality, in order to make a friendship work, you can't just say "Sorry, I'm busy. Come back when I'm not." You have to make the effort to fit in time with your closest friends even when you are busy, otherwise you're acting completely selfish, expecting your friend to work around your schedule. Because I didn't find out about my friend's move until just a couple of months ago, I realized the importance of making time to visit her every week until she left. And you know what? I don't think I'd ever had so much fun and made so many good memories with her and her family. The last time we got together before she left, I realized how sorry I was that I hadn't done this sooner. So go out and get together with that good friend of yours on a regular basis, beginning now! Make this a "no regrets" friendship.


Now of course, those feelings of sadness aren't going to disappear just because you make the best of your friendship. But you don't have to feel regretful about what you didn't do with your friend when you make the most of a friendship. And you'll always have plenty of fond memories to ponder when you're missing a friend.

I'm pretty sure it will be a while before emptiness closes, but I know that changes are ordained by God for the individual and that there are so many good things in store for them that we cannot see ourselves. I can at least have a peace of mind knowing that the best is yet to come for my friend, and as a friend, shouldn't I rejoice in that instead of selfishly wishing to keep a friend from God's best?

Friday, May 8, 2015

I Hate My Job, Now What? Part III

I'm introducing the last and final reason for quitting a job-

3.) The Lord calls you out of it- It's a simple reason, but not always the choice God gives to us. If you've prayed about your job to the Lord and felt led to leave then, you should leave (once again, remembering that it's very important to have a job lined up before quitting.) Unfortunately, many times, the Lord doesn't usually call us out of our job, and instead, He wants us to continue working at the job that we dislike in order to improve our character and mold us more into the likeness of Christ.

Because this is so generic, I'm going to give you some reasons why not to quit a job, so that way you can see why it's so difficult to listen to this last response:

1.) I don't like my co-workers- they're mean/rude/lazy/make fun of me . . .

2.) My boss isn't a good boss/ My boss belittles me/ My boss is mean/ My boss can't do anything right/ My boss doesn't have any direction or organization/ My boss is demanding/ My boss makes poor decisions . . .

3.) I hate this type of work/ dread going to work

Those are all difficult situations and I can fully sympathize, but the problem with this mentality of quitting because of your circumstances around you being incompatible with happiness is not a good reason to quit for several reasons- there will be always something you don't like at a job. Believe me, 99% of the time you'll have at least one co-worker that you don't get along with very well. No matter where you go, these problems are likely to follow. You can't be defeated by one person's attitude or character. Good bosses are hard to come by. There's always going to be something you don't care for in a boss, but you just have to deal with it. Think about all the worse things your boss could be and you'll probably realize that you have it better than you thought. You can't just give up every time you are hurt or annoyed. Life isn't meant to be a bed of roses. God sometimes wants us to deal with these issues in order to strengthen us, to make us rely on Him more, and to be in constant prayer. I can understand the feelings of frustration, the worry over if you will have to stay at this job forever, how long the dread will last, etc., but just remember that everything in this world is temporary and it has an end. Focus on the positive aspects in the meantime while you're waiting on God, show the love of Christ to others repeatedly no matter what, and continue doing your best for the Lord in your calling until He calls you out of it.