More recently though I came to the realization that my closest friend helps me to come alive.
By loving and being loved through the good and the bad, THIS is how we come alive. This is what reality is. Real love is impossible apart from relationship. When I love someone I push them to be closer to Christ, when someone loves me they do the same. Apart from this our live is meaningless.
Iron sharpening iron.
The thing about iron sharpening iron though is that it hurts sometimes. Being open enough to love and be loved takes courage, because your flaws are on display along with your weaknesses. Yet, these deep relationships push us in the Holy Spirit to live despite that.
I feel that I can come alive when I have someone that loves me for who I am and believes in me. When I love my friends selflessly, it helps to empower their own life visions.
All of this fits into the framework of love that we see in 1 John. Through this love we experience God's love, the world sees God, and we get to experience Jesus more fully.
With all this being said, now read the following passage from Margery William's book "The Velveteen Rabbit":
"What is real?" Asked the Rabbit one day. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you when a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become real."
"Does it hurt?" Asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once like being wound up?" He asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once. You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept. Generally by the time you are real, most of your hair has been loved off, your eyes drop out, and you get loose in the joints, and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are really you can't be ugly, except the people who don't understand.
To the people in my life that have been real to and with me, I am indebted to you for helping me to come alive despite hardship, doubt, and trials. Mom, Dad, Brandon, the guys of LWH- this post is for you.