Good friends are hard to come by… I am not saying a friend that you hang out with or a friend that you do stupid things with. I am talking about that friend you can tell absolutely anything to and you know they will not judge you, use it against you, or tell a soul. How many people can you say you honestly trust 100% without a doubt? If I am honest with myself… I can really only think of two maybe three people. One of those people I just became friends with this summer, which is an oddity because I don’t really trust people very easily or quickly. There was just something different about this specific situation. Maybe it was because I wanted so badly for someone just to understand what I was going through and to tell me that everything was going to be alright. I was given that peace in my heart by the grace of God, and through this experience I have grown so much closer to Him, but without certain friends in my life… I am not sure I would have made it.
In the past I have had HUGE issues with trust. Just because of several things that happened to me one right after the other. Those things really made me doubt humanity and if there is a single honest person out in the world. It all started when I was in the 6th grade. I was a HUGE tomboy and only wanted to do guy things. I did not own a pair of fitted jeans or a fitted top. Everything I wore was baggy and masculine. I wore baggy jean shorts every single day and I just loved who I was. My best friend was the pastor’s son at my church and at the time we were building our new house. We stayed in our back yard for the first 9 months, but when we realised it was going to take a little longer than we expected we decided to rent two rooms from the church. On our church campus there was an old convent. The first floor was offices and the rooms we rented along with a big kitchen and common area. The second floor is where the senior pastor lived with his family, which was my best friends family, and the youth pastor lived on the third floor with his family. So my best friend and I lived in the same building and basically hung out every day. He taught me to skateboard and helped me ride my first ramp. We played football in the parking lot every weekend. One day my dad was at work and all of us kids were at the church with our mom (I have an older sister, a younger sister, and a younger brother) when suddenly there is a banging at our door. My mom goes over and opens it. It was my best friend’s dad, in other words the senior pastor. He started yelling at my mom. Legitimately screaming in her face. I was only 11 at the time and really didn’t understand what they were talking about but my mom went outside and closed the door behind her. My younger siblings were crying and all my older sister and I could do was hold them and tell them that everything was going to be ok. I heard my mom ask our pastor if the conversation could wait until my dad got home and he said no. I found out later that he was yelling at my mom about an email that was sent out to many of the church members about a very large issue. My uncle and grandfather had written this letter, but somehow he was holding my mom and my family responsable. The issue discussed in the email was huge. It was about selling the church. Our senior pastor had gone out behind the congregation’s back and sold the church property to a housing developer for 1/4 the price it should have been and the housing developer promised him one house in the deal they made. So basically the Pastor of our church sold the property so that he and his family could have a house. Sounds pretty messed up right? Well it gets worse. He started preaching from the pulpit that my family is full of liars and deceivers and no one should listen to anything we say. He had been caught red-handed and to cover for himself he had to make up more lies. My family was asked to leave the church. So many people believed the pastor and what he had said because people tend to put pastors on a higher level than “regular people.” The truth is… pastors mess up to. Pastors can cheat and lie and deceive. It does not mean that it is ok that they do it but it does mean that we cannot base our faith on the actions of one man who is a so-called “Christian.”
Remember my best friend? I was never allowed to see him again. I have not spoken with him in almost 8 years. He was so much of who I was and I was so young I just didn’t understand why things had to be the way they were. We moved churches that summer and I did not really know how to deal with it… out of all of us kids my sister and I had the hardest time. We could not trust pastors for years. We didn’t even want to be baptized by a pastor because we were so afraid of being hurt and lied to all over again. Then we met the high school pastor. He was the most amazing, understanding person I have ever met. He was so unorganized and spontaneous but he had such a good heart. My sister and I really bonded with him and his wife and to this day they are my most trusted mentors. I love them dearly and I love talking with them. The only problem is… I can’t fully trust them. All it took was one slip up and I could not tell them everything I had been telling them. Yes they still are my most trusted mentors, but they still are not fully trusted. Friends that you can fully trust are hard to come by.