Saturday, January 21, 2017

Lost Relationships




Sometimes it's so subtle you don't even realize it's happening...until one day, you wonder when the last time you talked to so-and-so was.

Other times, communication just flat out stops. Sometimes you even reach out for a reason when a person just suddenly, completely stops talking to you.  And they never give you the time of day again, let alone tell you what you did that caused them to just shut off. And you know it’s happened again.

Another relationship lost.  Succumbed to “busy-ness”, or work, or distance, or something you can’t even explain away.

There have been studies on animals (I'm not saying they're right or wrong, so don't go all PETA on me....I'm just making a point) where if an animal is abandoned at birth, and is not touched by another being...animal OR human, they will die.  As in, never-take-another-breath dead.

I saw on CNN a couple of years ago that people who have less than 1.5 (not sure how you get the .5 part...) "face-to-face-real" friends, as opposed to Facebook, twitter, etc., shorten their life span by 8 years.  These "friends" are people you talk to almost daily, people you see on a regular basis, people you get together with and do things with.  They had some psychiatrist specializing in socialization on there, and he said isolation is as dangerous to people as cigarette smoking.

Wow.

I guess I'm in big trouble. I *did* just start a Bible study with my friend JoAnne, and that is beyond awesome!! Thank God for her, or I’d be in super-big trouble!

I know people have lives.  I get that. I can get really busy with homeschooling, writing, just plain life. But I'd like to think that I'd make time for others. If I were healthy, I'd like to think that I would get out and visit people who can't get out themselves.  I'd like to think that Jacob and I would visit people in the hospital, and people in nursing homes, and people in prison, and people with chronic illness who just need some cheering up.

I’ve always wanted to volunteer at soup kitchen, or work at food pantry. It’s always the germ factor that gets me.  As I have said before, people with Myasthenia Gravis (MG) have to be very careful about getting sick.  People with compromised immune systems, like me, don’t die from old age.  We die from a cold that turns into pneumonia, which can lead to being intubated on a vent…So any kind of cold germ is very dangerous.

As a matter of fact, my sweet MG friend Rachel got the flu that her son brought home from school.  That turned into an infection, and yesterday she was hospitalized in ICU with a bi-pap machine helping her breathe. It’s very, very real.

I DO live in the middle of nowhere, and there's nothing I can do about it.  We can’t afford to move, and Jacob and Doug LOVE it here, so I’m in the minority. And that hampers a lot of people from coming out.  Especially in the winter, which I totally get.

When I saw the study about people with mostly “social media” –type friends, I have to admit, it kind of threw me. It made me realize what I already knew in my heart to be true: real people, real, in-the-flesh friends, are vital to living.

Thankfully I now have 2 ladies whom I see on a regular basis…one of whom I mentioned above, and another lovely, godly woman who has been faithfully coming to my house every other week for several years now.  What a blessing!  What a godly example of visiting the sick! And I have another friend who comes over maybe once a month. 

I encourage you, if YOU are in need of some face-to-face “real” friends, please reach out.  Please. Don’t stay isolated and alone.  Reach out to someone…anyone. A local church or youth group, a family member, and old friend… Just don’t let your computer or your tablet or phone take the place of flesh and blood.  It really isn’t the same thing.

And if you KNOW someone who IS alone, who is isolated for the majority of their waking hours, please go visit them.  Call them up, send them an email; how you get a hold of them isn’t important.  Tell them when you have some time, and ask them what you can do for them.  You may never fully realize the gift you are giving them.

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:23-25


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