Armoured Up

Archive for the tag “Friends”

Better the Devil You Know…my Frienemy

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Urban Dictionary: Frienemy

“A ‘toxic’ person who poses as a friend but subconsciously or consciously wishes you harm.”

Word Spy – Frienemy

 “A friend who acts like an enemy; a fair-weather or untrustworthy friend.”

I had a strange, almost familiar dream last night.  It involved a former co-worker and she was in hot pursuit of me.  She wanted to find out why I had been avoiding her.  She finally caught up with me at a metro station and I succeeded once again in avoiding her, only this time, I noticed she was hurting and  was needing me to comfort her.  She almost reached me….and then I woke up.  I thought about the dream as I was getting ready this morning and I remembered how the Lord has used dreams to get messages to me…some dreams pretty clear and specific, like the time He assured me that the child I was carrying was the one I had been praying for; other dreams have not  been as obvious, but have been symbolic in nature and most often the purpose or message has been revealed or played out.  While I haven’t been actively avoiding this girl, she’s someone I probably wouldn’t pull over to catch her up on the latest.  Knowing what I know, and having experienced her “specialness,” I will  not be surprised to hear when her season of reaping begins or heats up.

“Better the devil you know, than the one you don’t know.”  A little ditty one of my spiritual moms said, I’m sure.  This little ditty reveals my feelings about this girl.  I rather enjoyed her company in the beginning, but my eyes were wide open and my ears were on alert whenever I was around her.  I was familiar with her game. I had been observing her from a distance.  She was the type of person who would attempt to solicit all of your information and offer nothing in return….and everything you said could be and most often was used against you.  She was something else to behold in action:  sneaky and sly, hanging out in doorways and hiding in shadows to listen and watch.   I especially liked the part where she thought I was unaware of her shenanigans….I can play the dumb role really well.   I guess she would fall into the category of a “friend/enemy – a frienemy”).

She was super funny, quick and kinda helpful if you made her feel you really needed her or if by helping you, it made her look good or appear useful, but if you crossed her or slipped in any way, you were toast.  She was the boss’s sidekick and her job was to keep the boss happy…keep the boss laughing which worked for the rest of us (for the most part) because that kept the boss busy and us off of the radar (for the most part:)  She also kept the boss informed.  Her nose got a bit out of joint once she realized that the boss had taken a liking to me and then she turned up the heat against me big time, but I was ever watchful and super vigilant.  I purposed to stay in my lane, happily playing dumb, never taking the boss up on offers to hang out.  I knew that was her spot and I was so not interested in becoming the boss’s lap dog (sorry to be so blunt).  I was exhausted…you can hold your breath for so long, ya know.

That job ended abruptly without a farewell from her (or the boss for that matter).  At the end of the day, I discovered that these two (boss and sidekick) almost acted like a two headed monster, feeding off of one another, plotting and planning and cackling away at all of their conquests; portraying themselves as honorable but being anything but.  You really would have to see this show to believe it and I wonder….

I wonder how many people these two have hurt, run off, brought down, lied to and about; I wonder if there’s any remorse for bad behavior; I wonder if they know how dysfunctional their union is; I wonder if they realize that their nonsense is not a secret.  I especially wonder if they even care.  How can they not care?  I’ve run into the boss and her sidekick together once since my departure at a gathering, and they made a show about greeting me and I went along with it…hated to make them feel as ridiculous as they looked as they chased me down.   I hadn’t given her much thought until she had a starring role in my dream last night.  I asked the Lord to remove any lingering ought I had against her, if any, and then I prayed for her.  As I write this I think that was the purpose of the dream…for me to pray for her since I’ve been on the inside and know the real deal.  Those on the periphery haven’t a clue and I doubt that the ones on the inside currently are praying for anyone, besides themselves…as they duck and dodge the boss and her sidekick.  Every dog has its day and if my dream is as prophetic as the ones in the past, her day is coming soon and for that I am truly sorry.

Let me encourage anyone who is reading this who has sustained any type of emotional injury at the hands of a “frienemy.”  I’m praying that you rise up and move forward, healed and whole and obedient when called to pray for and do good to those whom the enemy has used to hurt you.  Anticipate an opportunity to be a blessing to that one so that the same weapon formed against you which prospered can be turned around and returned to sender…the real enemy in the deal.

“But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:27-28

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A Chance Encounter…A Truth Revealed

UnknownI was excited as I entered the bakery prepared to order the cake for my goddaughter’s baby shower.  It had been a busy day as I checked off my to do list so I welcomed a break to chat up the cake decorator whose daughter attends school with mine.  During our conversation, she asked whether my daughter would be returning to FB for 8th grade in light of all that was going on with the 7th graders.  Huh?  I had no idea what she was talking about as my stomach did a roller coaster drop.  “Oh yeah,” she continued – “there are girls who have been cutting themselves and some who are no longer eating who have to be supervised during lunch hour so they can eat.”  My look of surprise caused her voice to drop and she drew back slightly which caused me to lean in and press the issue.  “Names…give me names,” I said.  And sadly she gave me two names I instantly recognized as close friends of my daughter.  My mind wandered to the times recently that my daughter has skipped a meal or two or has moved the food on her plate around leaving it mostly untouched.  I then recalled the many times she has come home from school a little sad or quiet and now I’m not alarmed…I’m irritated!  I’m not irritated with my daughter, I’m bothered by the administration at the school who bombards my mailbox with emails trumpeting the many instances of scabies, lice and the like, but fail to give parents a heads up regarding behavior that our girls are exhibiting which could affect (if not addressed) those girls who are not involved directly, but are on the sidelines being infected.  Ugggghh!!!  “Lord, help me handle this one.”

As I drive home I sensed a peace that my daughter is not directly involved and I am once again in awe of the Holy Spirit who has been showing me how to pray for my daughter all along; who had arranged that meeting at the bakery because He knew that I must take steps now to protect my girl, to gain her trust, to place a little separation between her and her friends as they continue to heal.  I ask the Lord for help.  I ask for His wisdom and peace as I approach my child with this new found information and I ask Him to guard me from being irritated with her for not sharing what she knows if she knows.

Since my children were around 3 or 4, I’ve been talking to them about bad touch, good touch, stranger danger, good secrets, bad secrets, etc.  I’ve talked extensively as they’ve matured about friends and trust; we’ve discussed the importance of knowing when to bring an adult into confidence for a situation that may be too big for them to figure out.  Clearly, my daughter needs a refresher course, I’m thinking.

The minute she gets in the car, I just about forget how I’ve prayed.  I tell her I’ve heard some disturbing news and then I blurt out…”what do you know about the girls who are cutting themselves and not eating.”  I know….smooth, right?  Her eyes get wide and tear up and I continue my smooth execution by asking her if she’s involved.  My heart is thumping in my ears as she turns over her wrists and shows me and says “no, mom.”  I hear the Holy Spirit screaming for me to shut up and so I do.

We get home and she follows me into the kitchen and as I take a deep breath, I hug her and remind her that I love her, am on her side and there is nothing she can do that can change my love for her.  I tell her that she needs to trust me so that I could help her.  She’s crying now and once again assures me that she is in no way involved; that the girls involved have been in this tailspin since early this year when the school found out.  All of the girls are being counseled, their parents are aware and the reason she has kept that secret is because she was being loyal to her friends who were ashamed and asked her not to tell anyone.

She then proceeded to name each girl and it broke my heart to see her cry as she shared the names.  I wrote each name down and my heart broke as I recognized each name.  She hesitated and said there’s one more and this time she put her hands over her face as I held my breath.  It was her best friend.  Her tears slipped through her fingers and I felt her body relax as I held her.  I’m sure she felt my body relax also.  She was finally able to let go of that secret and I was able to exhale.  I promised not to treat her friends differently and at that point I was not about to lecture her about anything.  I just held her and reminded her what a loyal friend she was.  I told her I wished she would have shared with me so that she did not have to carry this burden alone.  My blessed girl said she has been praying for her friends and begging God to heal them; that she never had a desire to hurt herself because she has no emotional issues and she also knows that her body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.  (I almost cried when I heard her say that.)  I took her hand in mine and we placed them over the names I had written down and I prayed for each girl by name.  As she dried her tears, she assured me that everyone was doing better.  She knew a lot about both disorders…no doubt had Googled about them, since she used some technical terms.  The times she had no appetite or was sad coming from school were times that her friends were struggling either at home or at the hand of their peers who were judging them.  I believe her.

I’m proud of my girl for standing up for and with her friends; for being loyal to them; for praying for them and acting as counselor; for not caring that she too was being judged by the “theys.”  It blesses me when I recall how over the top she celebrated her best friend for her birthday..how she emptied her piggy bank and dipped into my wallet in order to make her friend’s birthday special because she wanted to see her smile…she loves her smile!

My girl and I have spent the last week snuggled up, having tea and talks and many laughs.  She has told me on more than one occasion that she loves and trusts me and feels closer to me since she’s told me.  I’m grateful!

Once again, this piece points to the importance of the Holy Spirit’s leading in our lives.  He is our teacher, our guide, our comforter, our revealer, our wisdom, our peace.  I’m praying today for our youth…our daughters.  I pray a hedge of protection around them and pray that no weapon formed against them shall prosper; that they would be delivered from the hand of the enemy and set on a course which would be pleasing to the Lord; I pray that their appetites would be for that which honors God and that they would respect themselves and each other.  I pray that they would get a revelation of how much the Lord loves them; how they are fearfully and wonderfully made; how great their purpose is; how there is hope and peace in their future; I pray for their parents..for peace in their households; and a greater knowledge of and relationship with the Lord and their children….in Jesus’ name.  Amen and so be it!

Hurt hurts

“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19

Hurt hurts!  I learned that the hard way.  One of the toughest seasons for me began when I noticed this scripture several years back.  What I thought was a great revelation for me to be able to share in a teaching atmosphere turned out to be preparation for what I would endure.  Actually, I believe it was the Lord prompting me to prepare for what was to come and instead I was preparing a message.  In the end I was the one who learned the lesson when all of hell raged against me to prove that I was no match for my adversary…that I had no authority.

My heart was broken after two very special people passed away back to back and I had barely recovered when an all out assault against me began by people who were considered my “friends”…my “sisters,” people I had opened my home to and with whom I shared myself, my family.  You know, the enemy strikes most times when we are at our weakest point.   I was hurt, then shocked, then offended, then irritated, then angry, then bitter, then hardened, then unforgiving, then withdrawn, then silent.  I saw each step of this hideous chain reaction unfold in my life, unraveling my purpose, threatening to choke the life out of me…I had the notes for this process; was prepared to teach on how to guard against living this process and here I was smack dab in it.  It took a year to climb out of that hole.  The irritating part was that I had a heads up and ignored it.

I sought Godly counsel, I confronted the offenders (once I was able to do so in love, of course) and I forgave them.  I may have lost the battle, but I refused to waste another minute and lose the war.  I stepped into my authority as a believer and used the word as my weapon…to live again, to love again!!   One day my sister asked me if I had gotten over that time and whether I had really forgiven those involved and I told her I thought I had.  I measured that response by the fact that I could be in their presence and not want to spit, so of course I had forgiven, but now that she brought it up I was wondering again.  I guess not wanting to spit was not good enough so I asked the Lord to show me whether I had really forgiven and the answer came .  He’ll answer if you ask, you know.  I learned that a good way to measure when hurt has healed is when you can talk about it and it no longer hurts or elicits any other unhealthy emotion; when your experience can become a lesson by which someone else can heal.

I learned that while we are healing if we continue to discuss the issue and rehearse the hurt, it takes longer to heal, to forgive, etc.  When I no longer talked about it to garner sympathy and I finally stuck a fork in it, I found myself taking back the authority I had given the enemy.  I knew not to run from the situation or those involved so I stayed put until the Lord released me, once the lesson was learned to move forward and away to begin again.

Hurt hurts…but He heals!

Praying for those who have experienced hurt..that you would allow the healer of the broken hearted to do a work in every area that has been breached by the enemy; that you would stand in the midst of the hurt and release the Word of God over your situation; that you would seek Godly counsel who would encourage you, agree in prayer with you; that you would forgive those who have come against you so that you too would be released and propelled into your destiny in Jesus’ name..Amen and so be it now!

Would You Love Me More?

Image Courtesy of: http://jcspock.com

Would You love me more if I said more?  No daughter, just say yes to Me

Would You love me more if I did more?  No daughter, just serve Me

Would you love Me more if I tried harder?  No daughter, just believe

This dropped into my spirit today as I thought of conversation shared with a few of my sisters in Christ around a planning table.  Casual conversation in between our thoughts and plans for an upcoming gathering.  Conversations which went from funny to serious in a blink…comments which exposed hearts unearthing the possibility of healing, revealing the importance of sharing, releasing, trusting, believing.  Believing that we were safe to share.  Trusting that someone may have an answer or would agree in prayer.  Grateful that God who in His love and grace has the ability and the desire to bring people into our circles who have been there, are currently there, may be drowning there, wanna be heard from there, need to get outta there.  I love that God meets us right there and doesn’t leave us there.

Can’t wait for our next planning meeting.

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