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And then you find out who your friends are.

I’ve been slammed into a position in the last month that has torn me to shreds, has tortured me with the unknown, laughed in my face, made me cry, made me laugh, made me want to hit a few people with a bat, and squeeze a few people with my whole heart.

I’ve been searching for the words on how I feel, and the song “Find Out Who Your Friends Are” came to mind. This song is about someone who gets stuck out in the middle of nowhere and calls up all his buddies to see if they will help him. And he’s waiting and wondering who will show, and if anyone will. And the entire time he is waiting and worrying, his friends are making plans to help him out. I think that’s amazing. But that’s not always the case.

It’s the hardest thing for me to ask others for help. It’s even harder for me to ask others for help when it involves a third party. Asking on someone’s behalf is painful. But I’d do it a hundred times if I knew it would make any difference. I’ve found out recently that there are people in our lives that will want to:

“Slap your back
Wants to shake your hand
When you’re up on top of that mountain
But let one of those rocks give way
Then you slide back down
Look up and see who’s around then”

Like the song says, people will want to support you, claim some kind of part in all of your success, and slap your back when you are on top of that mountain. When you are on top of the world. When everything is going the way you planned it…and then, like life does…shit hits the fan…and then you find out who your friends are.

It would be a wonderful thing if all of our expectations about people came true.

There are two ways to say no.

#1. HELL NO. There is no way I can help you. I don’t want to help you. I don’t think you deserve it. You’re wrong. Go away…

#2. HELL YES. But no. I’m truly sorry. I cannot help you at this time. I want to with all my heart. I know right now is harder than hell, and I’ve been there…but you are strong and bright. You can handle this and I know you will get the help you need.

And the greatest and worst part of those no’s…is that nobody usually says it that way out loud. But you can usually tell by the actions of those people what kind of NO they’re are using. And sometimes, people just straight up say how they feel. They tell you HELL NO, or HELL YES, but no. And then you find out who your friends are.

I think the worst part about finding out who your friends are…is when all their words of encouragement and support goes down the drain when you are no longer on top of the mountain…and you’re at the bottom in the mud. And you are surprised by those you ask…”Will you please come pick me up, I’m stranded.” And some people respond with, “What’s in it for me,” or “It’s way too far.” And then there are those people who “just show up with their big ol’ hearts”
And then you find out who your friends are.

I know this song isn’t just talking about somebody being physically stranded out in the middle of nowhere and can’t get their car to start. It’s also about when you are fighting this battle in life and you have no idea what is going to happen…and you have people who either add to your battle…or people who come to fight along side you.

I’ve always wanted to be the kind of person who said the #2 NO if I ever needed to, but I’d like to say YES as much as I can. I’d like to be the support at someone’s graduation cheering them along to grab their diploma. And also be the kind of the person that would stop everything and comfort that same person when they failed their first college class, or didn’t have enough money for rent one month, or got arrested for a DUI, etc.

I think people forget that even the worst criminal on earth is still a child of God.

And that life isn’t black and white, and neither should our love for somebody.

“No matter what, I’ll be there for you.”
“My love for you is unconditional.”
“There is nothing you could say or do that would ever make me stop loving you.”
“If you need anything, let me know.”

If you are going to say these kinds of things, please, mean them. Or don’t say them at all. And in the hardest parts of our lives is when we need them to mean something the most. And remember, actions do speak louder than words.

Thanks for hearing me out.

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