The Company We Keep

As a 26-year-old, I often think that I have everything figured out. That I'm the woman I'm going to be when I "grow up." That I've reached my maximum point of maturity. That I know everything I need to know to be a successful adult. That the friends I'm friends with now will always be my friends. That the plan I have for my life is right on track and everything will go smoothly from here on out.

And then reality hits. How wrong am I? Oh, so wrong. There's something profound that I'm learning, slowly but surely.



I have brief moments of sanity in between all of these absurd thoughts of me "having everything together" and I see clearly. One of those brief moments happened a few weeks ago when my mom mentioned something profound to me. It's been on my mind ever since.

While I was talking about recent friend goings on with my mom..."Rachel, you know what? I think you may be outgrowing some of your friends. Not because they're not good people, and not because y'all don't love each other, but just because God has you on different paths."

At first I was defensive and disagreed. It wasn't what I wanted to hear, but it was true. 

She then went on... 

"I want you to learn something early in life that it took me a long time to grasp. Your happiness is what matters most, as selfish as that sounds. You can't base your worth on what others think of you. You can't let people walk all over you just so you can assure that they're happy with you and what you've done for them. You'll waste your life doing that if you don't learn it early. And these 'friends' of yours aren't making you happy. See that, please, and do something about it."

Sure, I've outgrown friends in the past. Those friends from high school that were never meant to last...the friend from a freshman class who you never saw again. But what about those friends who have been around for years? Can you really "outgrow" them? Or do they outgrow you? Maybe I'm just clinging to the nostalgia. It's something I've been pondering on a lot lately. And I'm not sure of the answer, to be honest with you. 

I really think these years in our life are important ones. They may feel meager and less than thrilling now, but I believe these years post-college shape us for our 30s, for the years where we settle down and become husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. The years when we learn who we really are, deep down. The people around us shape us, whether for the good or the bad--and I guess that's our choice as to which side we land on.

Maybe it's not that I'm outgrowing them, I'm just on a different path, like my mom said. it's cliche, but I see myself at a crossroads and am not sure which way to go. 

I do know one thing--I desperately want to make myself into the best version of myself, into a woman who loves the Lord and shows it through her life, who finds joy in the little things and is content with her life. The kind of woman who is uplifted and encouraged by the company she keeps. And I think that answers my question for me. 

12 comments:

  1. Oh yes I agree that we outgrow friends left and right. It will be hard to say goodbye or whatever but sometimes its for the best. Its happened a lot with Keith & I lately and I find ourselves happier.

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  2. I know I only have a couple years on you, friend, but what your Mom said is so very true. I think sometimes, like so many other things, friendships just die a natural death. In the end it's not about keeping score, not about who hurt who more or anything like that, but I think when you find yourself at a crossroads you have to give it the attention it deserves and ask yourself why am I here right now? Or why do I keep showing up here?

    You are one of my most precious friends. I know we pick on each other a lot, but I think the world of you. Please trust that you are absolutely the woman you aspire so much to be. I'll be praying for you as you navigate through all of this getting older (soooo fun, huh?) stuff. :-)

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  3. That's really good advice! Sometimes I get sad that I am no longer in touch or as good of friends with college people as I once was, but finding new friends for my new stage of life is just as important. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I think your mom is a very wise woman! I see this in my friendships now too! It's crazy and even a little sad but it's life and we have to handle it the best way that we can!

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  5. Oh, Rachel, what your Mom said to you is very profound and so, so true!! And, guess what, it's still true at my age. Oh, my! And, never forget, the cream always rises to the top!!! I have one dear friend that is the cream in my life and we've been dear friends since the 8th grade.

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  6. I so needed this today... Such wisdom! I have been struggling with this lately, and it's comforting to know that I don't have to live for others, but for myself, and do what I believe is best for me and my family... Thank you so much for sharing :)

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  7. It's an incredibly hard thing to do, especially for us people-pleasers. But once you do you'll be all the better for it. You both will really. Because if its not a healthy and good relationship for both parties then its not really a friendship. Its difficult to stand up for yourself and put your happiness first, but its something I am getting better at and I'm seeing the benefits so clearly now.

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  8. I think I agree with parts of this. I don't think my happiness is the most important thing or that my happiness should be (or even really can be) the barometer on the health of a relationship. Because relationships are made up of two sinful people. There are miscommunications, hurt feelings, fights. And most of the time you can come back from that. But I do agree that you have to stick up for yourself...again, not for your happiness sake but for the bigger picture. I wouldn't want to give up on someone without talking about it with them because...what if it still can be saved? For me, there are definitely friends I have outgrown as closecloser buddies. But we still love each other and would do anything for each other. If I called them up, they would be there. We just can go long periods without communication. But I have had to get rid of people in my life. Some people want to live toxic lives and I don't. Now, if you are in trouble and you want to be better, that's one thing. I'll stick to ya like glue if that's what you want. But if the person insists on being toxic? Bye. (sorry so long it's late!)

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  9. I love love love love love love love this. And some more love. I totally can relate. It's REALLY hard out growing friendships and it makes me sad sometimes. But every time a friendship ends from out growing it, the Lord shows me the new friendship He had in store for me or the lesson I needed to learn. Your momma is a smart lady :)

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  10. Ah, so glad you touched on this today. I've had some of my friends that I have known my entire life but sadly we have outgrown each other. In fact, a couple I even had in my wedding because I felt "required" to even though I've not seen them ONCE since the wedding. It's life and we live and learn. But I really like that you touched on this today.

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  11. My Name is Paul. I will love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos i never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me..The girl i want to get marry to left me 4 weeks to our wedding for another man..,When i called her she never picked my calls,She deleted me on her facebook and she changed her facebook status from engage to Single…when i went to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me..I lost my job as a result of this cos i cant get myself anymore,my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life…I tried all i could do to have her back to all did not work out until i met a Man when i Travel to Africa to execute some business have been developing some years back..I told him my problem and all have passed through in getting her back and how i lost my job…he told me he gonna help me…i don’t believe that in the first place.but he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets.i was amazed when i heard that from him..he said he will cast a spell for me and i will see the results in the next couple of days..then i travel back to Germany the following day and i called him when i got home and he said he’s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells,he said am gonna see positive results in the next 2 days that is Thursday.My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done ..she said,she never knew what she’s doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again.it was like am dreaming when i heard that from her and when we ended the call,i called the man and told him my my girl friend called and he said i haven’t seen anything yet… he said i will also get my job back in 3 days time..and when its Sunday,they called me at my place of work that i should resume work on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit i have spent at home without working..My life is back into shape,i have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with a baby boy and i have my job back too.This man is really powerful..if we have up to 20 people like him in the world,the world would have been a better place..he has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now..Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help.you can mail him to priest_gbenga.magic_temple@priest.com, I cant give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world..he said his email is okay. You can also visit him on his website www.priestgbengamagicpalace.webs.com
    PAUL MULLER

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  12. That is a great way to put it. I used to think that I always lost touch with friends because I grew up and we lost touch. Honestly, looking back, I think your mother's term for it describes it best. God does give us different directions. I think it matters most the impact we have on each other during the time (long or short) that we have with each other.

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