I take flack from time to time about my specific definition of the word friend. The “problem” is I often say things like “I have no friends”. Obviously this is offensive to people who are indeed friendly to me. I do not know what I expect from a friend so it is difficult to hold on to the idea even while in the best frame of mind.
I recall things like guys hanging out to watch football, MMA, or some other sport. I recall guys hanging out at the bar or a man cave. And I have seen these events happen in real life. So part of my expectation of friendship includes a false sense of belonging to a group that joins up to experience things of this nature. I attempted to enjoy MMA a few years ago and was invited to several events but they stopped inviting me after 4 or 5 visits. I gave up my beloved Dallas Cowboys and football so this reduces my worldly factor significantly in Texas. But is this what it means to be a friend? I do not feel specifically designed for this type of interaction yet it is part of my idea of friendship.
So what else do I perceive friendship being? I often think my idea is so warped that I will never be able to grasp it. It is difficult to even put into words.
During the times when I fight loneliness and depression, I am only able to recall negative and perceived slights against me. I know in my mind this is not truth but all the memories of love disappear in those moments. Only the memories of pain exist and they flood in. Sometimes the fights are short, minutes or hours, while others are longer. And the longer the fight the darker it becomes (typically). As this time continues on, love sent becomes harder to receive (and it is already very difficult for me to receive). To be clear the memories are only bad – nothing good exists during those time. I cannot grasp the truth. It is not a lack of desire.
Romans 7:15 – For I don’t understand what I am doing. For I do not do what I want—instead, I do what I hate.
If you read Romans 7:13-26 you may see a bit of this. I do not understand what I am doing. I do not understand why my thought patterns have shifted. I do not understand why I cannot change the patterns back to the way they were. I just do not understand much of anything. I have the desire to do what is good but I cannot carry it out (verse 18 – NIV) or I cannot do it (NET). I want to change but I cannot. Before you ask, I do plead with God to take it away. He desires for me to learn something from this. He desires for me to lean not on my own understanding. He desires for me to rely on Him, desperately. And so I do the best I can to glorify God in whatever circumstance I find myself in. I do my best to glorify God regardless of my emotional state.
I fail more often than not but hopefully like you, I keep trying.