I want relationships with substance, depth, honesty. In days long past I found no difficulty in forming relationships with people that had these things. Here, now, at this stage of life I find it a constant struggle. My personality is one which yearns for, and almost feels incomplete without, deep, personal relationships. Yes, I have friends and they are wonderful BUT beyond the basic surface level conversational pieces I feel like I know nothing about them. I couldn't tell you what's really going on in their lives and what's begun to bother me more is that I have no idea how to encourage or pray for them. How am I, as your friend and sister in Christ supposed to lift you up if I don't really know you?
At Bethel forming close relationships happened quickly. We were all new to the college scene and we bonded immediately through this shared season of life we were all entering into. I'm pretty sure it wasn't more than a week before we had all begun pouring our hearts out to one another. I realize that college life is much different than "real world" life. In college we were all together, all the time. Even when we all had jobs they were on campus and we saw each other throughout the day, at dinner, or during late-night walks around the ponds.
Now I am in this new season of life. Everyone has separate jobs. We all live away from each other. There are limited options of places to go or things to do. Personal conversations don't happen in group settings. That's ok. I've adjusted to that fact. Still, I wish there were opportunities for me to talk to and get to know people better.
The problem I'm running into is that I have no idea how to make this happen. Part of the difficulty is that several people that I've come to care about and wish to know better are males and although I wouldn't mind more personal conversation I fear that they would. Also, many of my friends are in the Navy and will be deployed or finishing up their time even within the next month or so. This puts a major time crunch on the whole thing and I don't know if any of them care to go deeper when they know they're leaving. I just know I wouldn't mind it. There are some ladies here I would also like to get to know better. I admit I feel like it would be simpler to know the ladies, it's just a matter of all of us making the time and getting together.
So, are relationships with substance a possibility or just wishful thinking on my part? Can I ask you to join me for coffee or a relaxing walk with the understanding that the conversation may go beyond surface level? (and I feel I should clarify, I don't want to sit down with people and have this awkward "Tell me your deepest secrets" conversation. I just want to be able to go deeper naturally without feeling like we're all stopping it from getting too personal.)
So that's what's been on my heart and mind lately. I want to know you. I want to be able to encourage and lift you up. I want you to know that you can be honest with me and that I care enough about you to listen to what's going on in your life. To me, friendship, any relationship really, needs to be more than surface level, but if that's all you are able to give me, then I'll take it and I'll love you for what you are able to share.