[Guest post by Alicia Gill: I’m usually one to be pretty direct and honest; I have trouble holding in sour emotions. In this post, Alicia’s Sunday school student gives a great example of being transparent, letting it out, and “getting naked.”]
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?” Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 (NIV)
A few years ago, I taught a very sweet high school Sunday school class. The girls in there had such a love for the Lord, it was beautiful. Halfway through the year, we had a new girl join the class. To say that this new girl did not want to be there would be an understatement.
It’s not that she didn’t have a heart for the Lord, she did; it was about the fact that her family had just moved churches and she was not happy with that. She did not want to leave her previous church. She did not want to be in our class. She wanted to be back with the friends she loved and was comfortable with at her old church.
One Sunday morning, we had an opportunity to share with one another our feelings, worries, happiness; anything that was going on in our lives. The sweet new girl who never really talked much in class, really gave us an earful that morning. She let us know how unhappy she was, how she was sad about leaving her church, how she felt the girls in our church were just one big click that she was never going to fit in with, and if she could, she would go right back to where she came from.
She let it all out, or, as her sweet momma would call it, she “got naked.”
I felt terrible for how the new girl was feeling, it hurt my heart to know that she didn’t think she would fit in and that she didn’t want to give the other girls a chance at friendship. I was also worried about how hurt the other girls would be to be called a clique. Before class let out, I let the new girl know just how glad we were she was with us; That we loved her being a part of the class and that I hoped she would give us a chance to show her just how much we could love on her.
Being so transparent was risky. The new girl showed us her insecurities and vulnerabilities by opening up in such a raw way. But, you know what? Beautiful relationships were formed from it. The other girls had thought the new girl didn’t want to be friends; that she just didn’t want to have anything to do with them. Opening up like that let them know that they were all feeling the same way. It gave them an opportunity to love on her and show her that they did want to have meaningful relationships with her. It gave her an opportunity to take a chance on new friendships. To this day, they are all very close.
“Getting naked” about who we are is a risk.
But, it is that risk that can help us to establish real, intimate friendships. Friendship is a beautiful thing. The Lord gave us the gift of being able to develop friendships because He knew we would need each other to get through this life. But the only way to really develop those lasting, intimate friendships is to get naked and open ourselves up to taking a risk at forming lifelong bonds. It gives us the freedom to be who we are without having to explain ourselves or hide away any part we are afraid to let others see.
Take the risk: Get naked. Being transparent can be an open door to creating intimate friendships that last a lifetime.
John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (NIV)
Alicia Gill. Type A wife, mom and home manager. I’m learning to see life through God’s eyes as I strive to know Him better and share what I learn with the others. When I’m not blogging, I enjoy running, cake decorating (the reason I run), photography, endurance challenges with my husband & 3 boys, all the while depending on His unending grace, love & forgiveness.