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Faith Imagined: Got Make-believe friends?

Faith Imagined

Alisa Hope Wagner: Christian Writer

June 15, 2009

Got Make-believe friends?

I think about my friends a lot. I think about their lives and families. I think about any struggles they're going through or about any wonderful blessings they've been given. I pray for them through out the day whenever they come to my mind.

When my friends are on vacation, I pray that they are enjoying themselves and that God is refreshing their souls. When they come back home, I'm so anxious to hear about what they did and how they relaxed.

When a friend is experiencing a cloudy season, I want to hear about how they are feeling and what God is showing them. I want to see them build strength under the weight of their struggle and grasp onto an outpour of provision that only comes from God.

My friends (and family!) occupy my mind while I work-out, wash the dishes, drive my car and do anything else that allows my mind to wander. The interesting thing is, though, I don't remember being like this. Thinking and praying for my friends continuously each day is a new habit I have formed.

As I was walking at the gym, I wondered what had changed in my life. Why did my mind and heart seem to have more compassion for those friends that God has placed in my life? I know for sure that God is constantly changing my heart to be more compassionate. But, why does my mind seem to always go to them? I'm just a normal friend like anyone else. Compassion and mercy are actually very low on my spiritual gift list.

Then I remembered a few months ago when my daughter was born. I started watching a little TV whenever I had to pump milk or breast feed. There was one particular show that I would watch, and I noticed that my mind was occupied with it. Even when I wasn't watching it, I was thinking about the show and characters and what was happening. I stopped watching the show because I noticed that I was getting too wrapped up into the storyline.

It took a few weeks, but my mind stop thinking about the show so much. Then I found myself once again thinking and praying for my friends.

It is well known that our minds dwell on those things we pour into it, but I don't know if we fully understand the implications. Now I'm not one to bash TV or music, I just think we need to be cognizant about how much we pour into our minds. Is there room left for our friends, our family our God? Are we watching so much TV that we don't even think about our friends or pray for them? Do some of us not even bother with having friends?

TV friends are easier, I must admit. They do their thing, making you laugh, cry or feel a dozen other emotions. Then, after thirty minutes, they go away. No mess. No hassle. No hurt feelings. No compromise. No insecurity. No arguments. Easy as pie.

But we are forgetting something. Jesus made loving others just as important as loving God Himself. Now that is pretty amazing. Sometimes Christians are so concerned with squeezing in their daily quiet time with God, but we forget to have our daily time with our friends.

How can we possibly make time for friends? We are busy. We have kids, jobs, spouses, ministries, churches, groceries, dishes, school, and a thousand of other things to keep us busy. But none of that matters if we don't have love. What is this life for if we don't have love? What are we doing here running in our own hamster wheels if we are not concerned about love?

I know that I'm not one to talk. Loving is just as hard for me as it is for anyone. I am naturally extremely introverted. It wasn't until I started being obedient to the Holy Spirit that I've been able to focus on others and not on my own insecurities. However, I find that not watching TV forces me to be more extroverted. I'm a lover of stories, especially the ones that God weaves together, and my mind craves the beauty of friendship. So instead of imaginary TV friends, I surround myself with flesh-and-blood friends who are just as lovely and messy as I am!
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for
everyone else, just as ours does for you. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (NIV)

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Blogger crissy #1 mommy said...

This is such a true and honest post! Thank you for sharing this!!!

3:06 PM  
Blogger 3 Blessings said...

What a great reminder. Thank you for posting this. It is definitely something I am trying to work harder on. Have a blessed day!

4:11 PM  
Blogger OceanDreams said...

I agree with your comment that what we watch or do is often what we think about! Your friends are surely blessed to have someone who not only thinks of them, but prays for them as well. I feel like often times I am selfish in my thinking and I think what can I do for me? I often try to retrain my mind with what can I do for others? How can I love and reach out to others more? Thanks so much for your encouragement and sweet reminders!

4:56 PM  
Blogger Marsha said...

There was a time I always had to have a radio on or a CD when I was in the car. More and more I find myself craving quiet so I can mediate on a scripture I'm memorizing or pray for various prayer concerns that come to mind as I'm driving. We've lost the beauty of the simple, quiet life.

I say all that, and I must confess, I too enjoy my playlist on my blog! When I'm home it's often on :)

Thank you for stopping by today and your kind comments.

Have a blessed week.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Greetings from Guatemala said...

I enjoyed reading this post. Thanks for sharing your heart. It was definitely a challenge for all of us!

10:56 AM  
Blogger SunJane said...

I love you girl. Your friendship is the gold that makes up this island for me. I hope I can be that in return for you.

11:39 PM  
Blogger OceanDreams said...

It's me again! I passed on an award to you, it's on my blog and it is about friendship ironically. ;)

12:27 AM  
Blogger Tea With Tiffany said...

I relate to your heart. Loved this honest post. :) Know you are not alone. You have bloggy friends who understand. I'm not much of a TV girl but I definitely find ways to be alone. That's no place to love.

11:47 AM  
Blogger AB HOME INTERIORS said...

Great Post! Intense, and makes me think. Stopping by from SITS!

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally understand--it's like an obsession kind of thinking, whether it's video games, t.v. shows--whatever you spend your time doing, you spend your time think about! Your friends are so blessed!

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Blessed2Serve said...

Wow. Thanks for that inspiring post. Have been thinking a lot about friendship lately...

Blessings and more blessings!

5:18 PM  
Blogger Grand Pooba said...

What a beautifully written post! It reminds me how important friendship is.

6:31 PM  
Blogger carma said...

Stopping by from SITS to say "hi" and welcome. I know that you will enjoy being a part of this vibrant community of bloggers!
carma :-)

12:14 PM  
Blogger California Isoms said...

Very inspiring and thought provoking. A good reminder to remember what/who to focus on. It also helps to know that others feel the same way!

3:19 PM  
Blogger 3 Blessings said...

Thanks for adding my new button and stopping by. I am glad to have you as my new blog friend. Your writing are such an inspiration. I also added your new button and I am loving your new blog colors! Have a blessed weekend.

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a religious person but what you say sure rings true. You're friends are very lucky to have you as a friend. If you get a chance, stop by my blog and enter my one year anniversary contest. (I'm stopping by from SITS)

9:14 AM  
Blogger Mrs.Zeus said...

This is such a great post!!!
I love you're point of view, a fellow SITSta dropping by to show some love.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Ah, so true! Some time ago, God spoke to me about the amount of time I spent immersed in books (specifically novels) and since then I have been very selective in my reading. I would imagine that TV would be even more entrapping, because of the "ease of access". [We don't have TV here, so that's one less temptation in my life, praise God!] It is much easier to interact with my "virtual friends", too, but at least I know that you're actually real and can be encouraging to me as I can be to you (at least I hope I can be encouraging!!!).

Thanks for sharing. It means a lot to know that others struggle with interpersonal relationships -- I guess I'm not that strange afterall! ;^)

1:47 PM  

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