Who's your IRON friend?

To the teenage girl who just graduated from high school and has no idea what's next ... I see you. To the mama having a power struggle with her toddler in the store..I see you! To the dad working so much you no longer know what day it is..I see you! To the single lady in her 20's praying God would send her the right man..I see you! To the mom who has lost herself in motherhood and has no idea who she is anymore..I see you! To the young man with no one to love, support, and shape him in life..I see you. To the kids whose parents yell more than they talk and are gone more than they're home..I see you! To the stay-at-home mom who longs for purpose and connection..I see you! To the young married couple who has nothing more than hand-me-down furniture and a few pennies to rub together I see you. To the recently divorced parent trying to figure out finances, life after loss, and how to hold yourelf together..I see you. I see you everyday.

We smile and ask how each other are doing...we go to church together..we laugh and smile when we are together and never share anything more than the "highlight reel". The good stuff everyone wants to hear and tell. We tell how many fish we caught last weekend at the lake. We tell how we just got a promotion at work. We tell how our kids are FINALLY pottytrained! We tell how we snagged a good deal on a new pair of shoes. We tell EVERYONE how good God is...but we never dare talk about the valley we are in.

We keep an Instagram worthy persona. We feel like if we let people know we really are struggling (in any aspect of life/faith) then they will consider us a failure. We are scared that if we peel back the layers and BE REAL they may see the loneliness we battle. We might have to confront the bitterness in our heart. We may even accidentally show them we have so many insecurities. We may reveal we actually have alot of unforgiveness in our heart and struggle with not being good enough for others. But what I have recently learned is if you have a chance to be authentic, be it. If you have an opportunity to share where you're at spiritually and what God is dealing with you about, share. I don't mean walk around telling everyone you see on a daily basis that you are in the toughest battle life has ever thrown at you...but those people in your life who love Christ and that you have a mutual love and respect for..those friends in your Sunday school or Bible study or your neighbors that come over every so often..they need you..and you need them. See when you begin to share CHANCES ARE they have been there or have some way to relate to what's going on. You can be great friends with someone, but until you open up your heart and share your struggles and victories your friendship is not the type of "Iron" it could be.

Recently a GOD-SENT friend of mine and I really opened up and said HERE'S WHERE I'M AT. IT'S RAW. IT'S REAL, BUT IT'S WHERE I'M AT. This friend and I have "prayed" for each other and offered encouragement many times before. I say "prayed" because even though we may have prayed we weren't burdened for each other. We didn't truly feel invested in the situation we were praying for. Whatever the outcome was we were ok with. Now that we have peeled back the layers we are carrying each others burdens just as Jesus asks us to. We pray and BELIEVE and CLAIM victory for each other just as if we were praying for our own selves. 

Galatians 6:2
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

 We are the IRON that the Bible speaks of that sharpens each other.

Proverbs 27:17As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

It sounds harder than it is, but you need nothing more than a heart for Christ and a heart for each other. Iron sounds a little intimidating. Like how in the world am I supposed to CARRY burdens when I am sinking in my own ocean of fear and doubt?? But that is the beauty..When I am bogged down in my situation and feeling like I am drowning she has an entirely different perspective and encourages me with truth and prayer. My spirit is TRULY encouraged because I know she knows the depth of the situation and is right there with me. And the same goes for her. On a daily basis we rejoice in victories and push through the losses. We have found there is SO MUCH connection in the loss and the valley moments. I can honestly say there is no friend like an IRON friend.

If you are struggling I encourage you to truly reach out to a friend who's rooted in Christ and has His fruit in their life. Someone who truly serves the Lord and is in active pursuit of Christ. Opening up may be scary and uncomfortable, but I believe you won't regret it. There's no better thing to build a relationship around than the truth and power of Jesus Christ. You will find a huge blessing in being and having an IRON friend. Let's be authentic in our relationships, bear each others burdens and fully pursue Christ together!
                               - Jamie Lee


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