I have men in my life who are like brothers and they are special to me. Between us there’s this honest — almost brutal sometimes — conversation, question, assessment, and understanding. There’s honesty, and there is honor. For my married brothers, I have had sincere talks with their wives who know that I am safe (and depending on the situation, tell ME that I need to TALK to HIM).
I also have an occasional issue with expectations. I expect people to keep their word to me, especially after I reveal a fear or vulnerability. I can feed my expectations with my need for validation. When I need people to do more than listen or give feedback, I expect them to be there for me. Available, like I am for them. In and of itself, this sounds utopian….but before you judge, read on.
When you put those two together — my brothers and my expectations — the results are inconsistent at best. Here’s what my journey to conquer the imbalance (and confront my utopian view) has been teaching me via a few of my closest brothers.
- I need to accept that who they are may not equal the good counsel they give me. At some point, they reveal they are just men, just like the others in a general sense.
- If I’m not careful (and vocal), they will try to treat me like the women they occasionally want to avoid because I hold them accountable — like some wives, mothers, and sisters.
- I am not as important to them as they claim. Also, I’m not as important to them as I think. There are times when they treat me like everyone else…or worse than.
- Co-dependency or dependency is possible on either side, and there are times when filters are good.
The most important lesson, revealed recently, was understanding from the Lord…provoked by a situation that involved one of my brothers. I created this situation and in the process of making it right, my brother who was there for moral support left — no goodbye, no warning, no “I’ve gotta go”. Just gone. There were other men present initially, but they were gone…leaving my brother. I expected communication.
Later, when I asked about it — why he didn’t speak, his response was laughter. I felt it lacked concern and compassion. Really, a stranger would have been more kind. I told him that I hoped his daughters would never get to feel what I felt in that moment…
Only in reflection did I see the point of the situation + all my brothers + my issue with expectations. What’s the point?
I am making room for my next phase of life, and I have to let my brothers go.
One day, I’ll have someone truly responsible to look out for me. That made me smile.
But the understanding, which sparked inspiration for this entry, was and is priceless. These men, added to my life for important seasons, are also making room — for wives and future wives, children, ministry pulls, professional challenges, general manhood stuff and more. And I need to let them do that. For a long time, the Lord’s favored me with brothers in Him who did well by me overall and taught me many valuable lessons.
Quiet time exposed this as the real truth of transition toward answered prayer and the manifested promise of God. And this is why I share how I got here with you.
We have to make room.
Whatever our various stages of and places in life, we have to make room for “what God said”. Lately, I’ve noticed how quickly I am changing and how certain things in my life are coming to sudden resolution. It was this situation, that led to the quiet time, that brought out this understanding. It reminded me of an article I read once in which the author warned against giving 100% of oneself to everything. If we do that, there will be none of us left — the suggestion was that we need to reserve parts of ourselves for the people and places that really need them. Selah.
Some ladies are still on their way to this revelation…but I’ve got it now. Just like we meditate on the Word of God to renew our minds to rid ourselves of error and lies we believed, we also make room for God’s will in our lives. That looks differently for us all, but the common thread is relationship transitions.
So, I decided to agree with God, do the “work” of the shift, and make room for my future (aka my next present) now. It is bittersweet, but I sense the freedom as God is not letting me feel all of the void. My future will get the best of me, and will have room in my life to rest with me. Here’s to the wise conservation of energy necessary for the wise building and maintenance of the next phase of life!
Selah, and love to all.