Monday, November 2, 2015

The Frustrating Beauty of Relationships

If, like me, you've ever experienced what it's like to truly click with someone, you understand what I mean when I say it is both a beautiful and frustrating experience. To those who have never experienced this, what I just described makes absolutely no sense. So, for any who are not completely sure what I mean, allow me to explain.

There are these wonderfully rare moments in life where you meet someone with whom you can just connect. The connection is strong and seemingly illogical. Or at least, it looks that way in light of a society that tells us people must earn our trust and prove they are worth having in our life before we keep them around. But these sorts of friendships are different. They blossom out of seeming nothingness. They reach a level of mutual trust and depth that would normally take months or even years, depending on the person, to develop. Instead they form in only a fraction of the time. I'm talking a matter of days or weeks.
I find these sorts of friendships to be the purest sorts of friendships, for they form out of trust and understanding when, logically, there is no reason to offer either. But since when was love logical?

Isn't that, though, what makes friendship one of the most beautiful and mysterious things about human existence? For life is a journey, and when we form any sort of relationship with someone, we allow our life paths to coincide for a season, if not longer.
But just as you can't rush through any other part of your life journey--the ups and downs, the joys and struggles, the love and loss--you can't rush through a relationship. When we forget this simple truth is when the frustration I spoke of sets in.
There is actually a word for it, according to the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Its adronitis, which they describe as the "frustration with how long it takes to get to know someone."

I had been feeling this very frustration for several weeks before I discovered this definition in one of the many times I was wasting time on Facebook rather than doing something productive. And it got me thinking. Why does this frustration even exist?
Before I even had time to think in depth on the question, a thought popped in my head, "It's because you're so close."

And really, that's exactly it. Like I said, most friendships take a while to form depth, only very rarely do you meet someone you can have such a strong connection with instantly. We usually have to wait months to reach a point where we feel comfortable like that with someone, in that time we've lived life together and grown in the slow deliberate way that life paths frequently like to take. But when one of these rare friendships comes about, we forget that we've only known the other person for a short period of time, despite how comfortable we feel with them. We forget that just because we trust the other on this level that would normally take longer to reach, doesn't mean we have walked through the life with them we normally would have to walk through to reach that level of trust.
If you've ever heard someone say something along the lines of, "I feel like we've known each other forever, but also like it hasn't been that long at all," then they are probably talking about one of these beautifully frustrating friendships.

In my time thinking about these friendships, and just friendships in general, I began marveling at their beauty more than ever. For the very fact that each and every one of us longs for companionship shows our Maker's mark more than anything else I can think of. This desire to not only be loved, but to love others in return is one of the many beautiful ways our relational Creator made us in His image. After all, He made someone else for Adam, not because He wasn't enough for Adam, but because Adam needed a place to pour out all the love the Father was pouring into him.
And it is in these rare, unquestioning, deep friendships that pop up out of seemingly nowhere that I see God the most. For just like with those friends we're close to, but don't quite yet know fully, when we first delve into a relationship with He who made us, this trust  and understanding comes quickly, but full knowledge of His nature and character takes a life time to grasp.

Maybe we should learn a thing or two from this picture. Maybe this deep trust and slow learning was the way He intended it. Maybe we should learn to be more forgiving and nonjudgmental in our relationships, then patiently walk through life together.

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