Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Beauty in Being Known: Take Two

We all have an inherent need to be known. Community. Camaraderie. Kinship. Kindred Spirits. Whatever you call it and whatever personality type you may be, none of us were created to be loners all the time.

I am an introvert by design and find it difficult to put myself out there, because extended periods of time with people, especially people I don't know very well wear me out. I am your classic "drained by others" kind of gal. I can make small talk. I have lots of experience with it. But if I am forced to chat inanely for hours or for multiple events night after night, I come home emotionally, mentally and physically blitzed -- desiring my pajamas (sounds like llamas), a cup of tea, a blanket and sometimes a dimly lit room.

On the other hand, I do find myself lonely at times and longing to be known by someone, anyone,(maybe not just anyone) but you know what I mean. I seek to find that person who will take the time to invest in me, figure out what makes me tick and be a student of the craziness that makes me  . . . well . . . ME!

As a direct result of the many moves I have made over the years, I have gotten to know a number of different people and they me. However, due to living places for less than 10 years a pop (sometimes as few as 15 consecutive months), I have sown broadly in the category of friendship without sowing deeply much at all. Acquaintances are great. But being recognized is far preferable to drifting around a community as a virtual vapor or feeling like you've donned your Harry Potter invisibility cloak every single day.

I guess that's kind of where I find myself these days . . .

Finding myself in this place again makes me appreciate those friends I have gained along the way who have taken the time to know me more than a little over a short period of time.

I ran across a book a while back that reminded me of one of those friends:

This friend knew I loved drawing and thought of me when she saw this book. I love it. I love that she knew me well enough to pick something she knew would touch my heart and leave a lasting impression I won't soon forget.

While I am ultimately glad for the paths that have been briefly crossed, my thoughts now linger on those relationships that have lasted a lifetime -- a far smaller and yet far deeper group overall.

I can't possibly discuss the beauty in being known without mentioning my dearest bosom friend of all time. ML and I have known each other for well more than half our lives. We went to see "Arthur" together, for goodness' sakes . . . in the theater.

We know everything there is to know about each other. We are the ones who originated this phrase below:

We do know too much (if that is truly possible in the presence of a lifelong bosom friend), and so much comfort comes from having someone know everything about you and like you anyway. ML is my favorite comedienne, my lifelong cheerleader, my sense of reason, my accountability partner, my sounding board, my shoulder to cry on, my closest thing to a sister, my friend.

She has been and forever will be the one who keeps me grounded while encouraging me to fly. She knows by the sound of my voice what mood I am in, and she can usually tug me out of a bad one in a way no one else can. She is my solid rock and my anchor, while I am her free spirit and tie dye-wearing hippie who chases rainbows and dances in the rain. She accepts me warts and all, and I do the same for her. We have witnessed and often prompted change in one another, but the beauty of being known is revealed in the assurance that change is not required or demanded in order for the relationship to be sustained. 

What happens to me when ML isn't available, when those closest to me physically can't assuage my level of loneliness, when having the people at Sam's Club greet me or driving out of my way for the crossing guards to wave at me just isn't enough in the "knowing me" department?

Hear me loud and clear here! I am NOT saying I turn to the Lord last. I am not saying He is a final result and that He doesn't walk with me through all the relational twists and turns in my life. He is the first One I turn to in all circumstances. I guess what I am saying is God assures me over and over again in His Word of His power to know me beyond the level of any of my earthly friends -- no matter the longevity or depth they may achieve.

Rest in that today. You are known. You are not forgotten. You are not invisible. You are His precious child, and He sees you regardless of where you are in any of your earthly relationships!

We can confidently pray like Hagar:
She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” 14 That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered. ~Genesis 16:13-14 (NIV)

Leaving a trail of beauty~


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