When Buddying Up Leads to Betrayal

I’ve been thinking a lot about The Buddy System and what it looks like for grown women trying to walk it out. The fact is that we’re all a little broken and it’s just a matter of time before we cut one another. Often it’s the person closest to us that gets hurt the most or, on the flip side, who hurts us the most.

If you’ve ever experienced the betrayal of a buddy, you’ve probably thought one (or more) of these things:

  1. I must have picked the wrong buddy.
  2. I must have been a bad buddy.
  3. I won’t buddy up ever again.

We always seem shocked when someone lets us down, don’t we? Perhaps, we had our expectations a little too high. We expect people to understand us completely and to always behave like we want them to behave.

As I was reading through the gospel of Luke, I came across the passage where Jesus selects His apostles. At this point in time, He had thousands of disciples. {A disciple is simply a follower.} Out of the mass of followers, Jesus was ready to pick his inner circle. He was ready to buddy up, so to speak.

I must have picked the wrong buddy.

The first thing Jesus did, prior to choosing His apostles, was to pray. In fact, Scripture tells us that He prayed “all night” (Luke 6:12.) After spending the entire night speaking to and listening to His Father, Jesus selects the twelve men who will be His closest confidants. What I’m trying to convey to you is that Christ did not pick the wrong people. He buddied up with the exact men that God wanted. And yet…

When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:13-16) emphasis mine

Do you see it? Jesus prayed fervently and chose the men God told Him to choose and there, in the midst, was one who would betray. There are times when we buddy up with someone who will break our heart. We will invest in them and they will walk away. That doesn’t mean you chose the wrong buddy.

I must have been a bad buddy.

Can we all agree that Jesus was a perfect buddy? There was nothing He did to warrant Judas’ betrayal. Think about it. One night at dinner, Jesus announced that one of the apostles was going to betray Him.

And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.” Matthew 26:21

Did they all give each other a knowing look and give the side eye to Judas? No, they all were shocked and asking the Lord if it was them! Why? Because Jesus treated Judas just like every other disciple. He loved Judas like the others; He broke bread with Judas like the others. He washed Judas’ feet like the others!

Someone’s betrayal is not a reflection on you. Christ was the perfect buddy and, in the end, Judas still chose to be a traitor.

I won’t buddy up ever again.

It’s happened to all of us. We’ve been wounded by another woman and we’ve promised ourselves it won’t happen again. We aren’t playing this game anymore; we’re taking our ball and going home. No one will get that close to us again. It seemed to be all pain and no gain. Peace out, ladies, the buddy system isn’t for me.

The apostles certainly could have chosen that route. They had walked side by side with Judas. They experienced trials and triumph together. They were the chosen few and he had played them. One man short, they could have just tightened the circle a little and refused to allow another possible traitor to join their ranks.

The apostles must have been paying attention because they did what they had seen Jesus do. They prayed about who should take Judas’ place. They sought God’s will on their next buddy. They selected two men who had been with them from the beginning – someone who had been faithfully on the fringe for Jesus’ entire ministry. They presented the two names before the Lord and waited.

And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen.” Acts 1:24 emphasis mine

They were brave enough to buddy up again. To risk betrayal again. To not place the sin of one man on every man that came after him.  They didn’t ask God for “a good buddy” this time. They simply wanted the one God had chosen.

Ministry is messy and there will be many who turn away. But those of us who are committed – we carry on. We link arms with another woman and keep moving. There is much work to be done.

You are loved!

 

Buddy Up, Buttercup!

The Buddy System

Whether we are walking to church, grocery shopping or playing at the park, our family has a hard and fast rule: always buddy up. This was a way of life even when we only had two children. If they were outside playing and one needed to use the restroom, then they both came in and used the restroom. If one wanted a drink, then they both got a drink. If one child was done playing outside, they were both done playing outside. You get the picture.

These days, we have five daughters; my husband and I are grossly outnumbered (and we love it.) It does present issues when out in public. Zoos, amusement parks and the like would be super stressful if I had to have a hand on each of them at all times. After all, I wouldn’t have a free hand to hold my frozen lemonade! The reality is that I could not physically protect all five at one time in the case of an emergency which is the whole point behind the Buddy System.

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. (Ecclesiastes 4:9 NLT)

 

A child walking alone is a far greater target than two or three children together. A lone child is also much easier to overpower and carry away. A child without a buddy has no one to help him in a time of need or to hold her accountable in a time of temptation.

Women would benefit greatly from the Buddy System approach. The enemy is prowling around like a lion seeking someone to devour (2 Peter 5:8.) What better target than a woman attempting to make her way all alone! While social media has created true camaraderie among many people, it has also given the illusion of community to others. A woman can have thousands of “friends” and “followers”, yet have no one to buddy up with in real life.

 

Nobody Walks Alone

The main rule of the Buddy System is that nobody walks alone. This may seem obvious but, trust me, I’ve had more than one two-year-old who thought she could be her own buddy. Just the other day, my husband attempted to hold our youngest daughter’s hand to which she replied, “No, thanks. I’ll hold my own hand.” And she proceeded to do just that.

Chances are that we all know a woman who wants to just hold her own hand. Perhaps, at times, we are that woman. God never intended for us to walk alone (Genesis 1:18.) and a woman attempting to do life that way is much weaker than one with a buddy at her side. The fact is that it is foolish to think that we can go it alone or that we can hold our own hand.

Are you feeling weak? Look around and find a buddy!

Are you strong in your faith? Scripture says it is your obligatioto come alongside another woman and shoulder some of the burdens!

It’s time to get serious, ladies. The enemy is seeking weak women (2 Timothy 3:6). Let’s buddy up and make sure no woman is left behind.

You are loved.

Don’t Look Away

Sometimes, when my child falls down, I pretend I don’t notice. Please don’t judge me. I’ve come to realize that, if they think I didn’t see, they often carry on with whatever they were doing prior to the fall. If I make eye contact, however, weeping and wailing may commence.

Sure, I’m watching out of the corner of my eye. But no eye contact – that’s the rule. This parenting tactic has served me well over the years. Here’s the thing, though:

This doesn’t apply to grownups.

You know what I’m talking about. You hear that someone is going through some stuff and you’re afraid of being uncomfortable, so you avoid her. You’re worried you may say the wrong thing, so you avoid her. You have enough of your own stuff to deal with, so you avoid her.

When we see another woman take a tumble, we don’t pretend like we didn’t notice! We don’t avoid eye contact hoping we can all just carry on like normal. Let’s just go ahead and face it: if your eyes connect, there may be some weeping and that’s okay.

If we love Jesus like we say we do: we will not look away. Jesus never looked away. Not from the leper or the lame. Not from the pharisee or the prostitute. Not from you or me.

But you, O Lord, know me; you see me… (Jeremiah 12:3)

Hurting women don’t need us to watch them out of the corner of our eyes. They need us to stare into their eyes, hug their necks, and shoulder their burdens with them.

It’s easy at first. We post a prayer request for them. We take up a donation for them. It happened to be a Saturday so, perhaps, we drop by and sit with them. <—These are all good things, by the way!

But it doesn’t stop there. They still need to be seen on Tuesday when the baby is crying and you’re trying to make tacos. They still need to be loved on as the weeks pass and everyone else’s life as returned to normal.

Don’t look away when it’s no longer convenient. Don’t look away when it’s uncomfortable. Don’t look away because you don’t know what to say.

It’s okay to say, “I don’t know what to say, but I see you and I won’t look away.

Don’t look away.

You are loved. ❤

 

The Call of Community

I used to be very intimidated by other moms. I would feel great shame when I would show up at a play date and see that other moms had packed coolers filled with healthy snacks and cold bottles of water. Meanwhile, I would have a ziploc bag filled with random whatevers from the pantry and a desperate hope for a fairly sanitary water fountain.

These days, I don’t worry about it as much – partly, because I pack somewhat better snacks but, mainly, because I have friends who know me well enough to pack extra snacks and drinks for my kids. That is what moms need to do. We need to fill in the gaps for each other. booth

We all have strengths. For instance, if you get in a bind and need someone to watch your kid, I’m your girl. Seriously, when you have five kids, another bowl of macaroni at lunchtime ain’t no thang. Some of you are fabulous at planning birthday parties. I see the things y’all pull off and am so grateful that my kids are not on Facebook to see it.

Motherhood is a community. It is our duty to rise up and help one another. This is a difficult age to raise babies. We need to worry about things that our mothers never did. For instance, were you aware that there is an app designed to hide photos and videos? The sole purpose of it is to deceive! I had no clue until another mother mentioned it to me. We need to have each other’s backs, y’all. The infighting and insecurities need to stop. There is too much at stake.

In Acts 6, the church was growing quickly and some things began to slip through the cracks. Due to a large number of people and a language barrier, the Greek-speaking Jews were upset that their widows were being neglected. They wanted the apostles to fix the problem.

The solution the apostles came up with was for people within that community to rise up and take on that responsibility. That is the beauty of community. We know the needs of our people and we know how to help.

churchbuildingYou and I are a community. We know the signs of a mama who is on the edge because we have been there. We recognize the desperation in her eyes because we have seen it in the mirror.

Listen, sweet friends. Motherhood is glorious. I would not trade this time with my babies for anything. This is not a woe-is-us message – not by a long shot. We are a blessed bunch of women. My point is that, sometimes, we stink at community.

Oh, we are great at moms nights out and small talk in the halls at school and church. We sip our coffee and smile as we sit on the bleachers at our children’s sporting events. Yet, when it comes to true community, we are missing the boat big time.

It is wrong that so many women would slip emails into my box saying, “I am all alone.” A complete stranger sent me a message asking if we could be prayer buddies because she did not have anyone. That should break our hearts because I believe it breaks God’s heart.

We are called to live in community. Let’s rise up and meet the needs of our sisters.

*******

Also, if you are not able to physically join a group of ladies to study God’s Word. You are more than welcome to virtually join me. 😉 I am currently reading through the book of Acts with a couple friends. You are welcome to join us. Just join our Facebook group and jump right in. We just read a chapter each day and share our thoughts. I would love to have anyone join who needs a little daily affirmation or accountability. There is no need to play catch up. Seriously, just jump right in with us. ❤

5 Friends Every Woman Needs (and Needs to be)

We live in this weird time where everything is online to be seen, misinterpreted, exaggerated and envied. If someone posts a picture of their latest culinary creation, girls night out or time alone at the coffee shop, our first thought is to compare her life to our own.

Even a person’s friendships are out there for our scrutiny. We analyze how many girlfriends someone has, how often they get together and whether they do or do not include their children. The fact is that there is not a magic number of friends a woman needs. There is not a perfect nights-out-to-nights-at-home ratio.

friends

There are, however, some key characteristics needed in friendship. These can be found in multiple people or just a couple. If you find all of them in one woman, hold on to her like grim death.

  • The Grace Giver There is no way around it. We are going to mess up in big, embarrassing ways. We are going to speak out of turn. We are going to stand someone up. We are going to hurt someone’s feelings. Every woman needs a friend that is generous with the grace. No one should have to grovel, beg or plead for friendship. There has to be a woman who, when she looks you in the eye, has nothing but love.
  • The Truth Teller This is the friend that you do not always appreciate at the time, but it is so needed. Every woman needs a friend that will tell her when her attitude is out of whack or her priorities are out of line. It isn’t always pretty, but it’s precious. Flattery may feel good, but a truth-teller can be trusted. This is the woman who will tell you when your hair is too big, your jeans are too tight or your contribution to Wednesday night supper was less than stellar.
  • The Couch Counselor Lots of people will open their hearts to you. They will listen intently and pray faithfully. It is a special person, however, that opens her home to you. When a woman is willing to move the laundry and make some coffee, real relationships are formed. Honesty abounds with Dora the Explorer in the background.
  • The Burden Bearer Just the other day, I was struck by a verse in Philippians. When writing to “the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi,” Paul’s desire was that they would be striving side by side and not frightened in anything (Philippians 1:27-28.) If there was some striving and some opportunities to be frightened, it is safe to say that there were some trials and painful experiences going on in their lives. Even your closest of friends can not always fix your problems. You need a friend, however, that will walk side by side with you through your trial. You need that woman who will bake you a casserole, babysit your kids or just be there to listen.
  • The Secret Sharer Oh, this is a good one, y’all. There must be a woman in your life who is a safe place for your secrets. This is the woman who knows that your cakes are from a box, you hid in the bathroom during your junior prom and you love you some reality television on Tuesday nights. There is no judgement in this relationship. When Gilmore Girls did you wrong, she just showed up with chocolate. She knows what you like on your pizza and never blinks twice when you go back for thirds at the local buffet.

Friendship is such a tricky thing. I think back to my mom sitting on the front porch snapping fresh green beans with the neighbor and wonder when it all got so complicated. When did friendship become a competition? Who cares if someone else is having dinner and drinking wine with her girlfriends while your crew are all holding juice boxes watching the kids run around the playground?

Again, I say, “Who cares?” Friendship doesn’t always look like it did on Friends, but that doesn’t make it any less of a friendship.

If it works for you, I say, “Pass the coffee and carry on.”