by: Staci Stallings
One of the things I’ve learned in having deep Holy Spirit friends is that there is always more to the story. People have learned to give you smidges of themselves either in fear of what you might do with it or afraid of what your reaction might be if they gave you more. So most of our friendships are really more acquaintances.
There was a song years ago about a guy who knew the little things about his wife (who has just left him), but he never bothered to learn more than her eyes were blue and what year she was born. That is tragic but not uncommon.
When you’ve scoped out some Holy Spirit friends, one of the most challenging things is learning to go deep. Why? Because we’re not taught to go deep. We’re taught to stay shallow at any price.
A recurring theme in many of my romance books is one or the other main character being afraid to let someone else in. The reasons for this vary from character to character. One has been hurt by a love in the past, so her solution is to close her heart and herself to anyone else. One had parents who never accepted who she was, and so she came to the conclusion that who she really is is not worth getting to know. Several are nursing deep wounds that they don’t want anyone else to know about.
Yes, the reasons are varied, but I’m convinced this doesn’t just happen with characters in some novel.
We all have these things that we would just prefer to keep hidden.
That’s why in being a Holy Spirit friend, you have to learn to be a safe place for your friend. You’re going to have to learn to leave judgment at the door and decide that no matter what it is, you will react with compassion and concern–not exclusion and scorn.
If you’re not there, then this whole Holy Spirit friend thing is not for you.
Over the years I’ve been told so many shocking things, it takes a lot to shock me now. In fact, most of the time, my mind starts coming up with the most shocking thing it can think of about what a friend is about to tell me just to prepare me for whatever comes out.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you this is easy. It’s not. But it is often the only way people can heal. Until they get it out, I say it’s on a loop in their brain and in their spirit.
When things get “on loop” in you, trying to unravel them by telling someone is often very, very hard.
A couple of times with these types of friends, we’ve gotten to the end of the discussion and they felt worse at first. Why? Because they were sure the next time we were together, I would treat them differently because now I “knew.”
Going deep is not for the faint of heart. To do so, you’d better bring every spiritual weapon with you. Prayer, forgiveness, love, compassion, peace, faith, and all the others will surely be needed.
However, it is worth learning to go deep even if it’s only with one person you really trust because that’s where the most “fish” are! Jesus told His disciples to put out into the deep even though they had not caught anything all night. The minute they did, their nets were so full, they could hardly haul in the catch.
Same with Holy Spirit friends. You will be blessed immeasurably, more than your boat can even carry, if you take a breath, trust in God, and learn to go deep with your friends.