I’d like to take the blog on a related rabbit trail from The Song of Songs for a number of reasons. The heart of the Song of Songs is a love relationship with Jesus, but so often we worship other things, and Jesus is crowded out. For women, it is often a person. We cling too tightly to our husbands, our children, our friends. Though we say Jesus is first in our life, what matters most is that relationship with a person. There has also been a lot of interest in this subject from the women participating on this blog, and I want to be sensitive to that.
In my most recent edition of The Friendships of Women, my good friend Christy, who also helps me with the ministry, allowed me to tell her story of being set free from unhealthy friendships. The above is a snowy picture of Christy and me at my cabin in Wisconsin. Christy had a pattern of unhealthy friendships, something she was not able to see — but her wise friends could. Christy would meet a woman with whom she really clicked — and there is such a joy in finding someone like that — but then that friend would become her life. If that friend would get another friend, or a boyfriend — Christy would feel physically ill — thinking she was getting the flu. When she was friends with “Brooke,” Christy writes: “We communicated a lot through e-mail and she would e-mail me during her breaks at work. I knew her schedule well, so if I didn’t hear my computer say: ‘You’ve got mail!’ I’d become anxious. I began to worry I had done something wrong. And I’d start e-mailing her and not give up until I got a response.
I want to go through Christy’s story carefully — because I think it is so illuminating, and because she has been absolutely set free and that has changed her love relationship with Jesus. Perhaps it is a friend that you “worship” but someone or something else. I think we all can learn from Christy’s vulnerability and the wise help she received — for we all tend to look for love in all the wrong places, keeping us from experiencing true intimacy with Jesus.
Could we start by asking you for your thoughts and reactions to Christy’s story?