A few years back, I walked out of my therapist’s office completely distraught. In that moment, it felt like all the pain I’d ever experienced (including the loss of my mom to Multiple Sclerosis, a broken engagement, more vocational misfires than I could list, and a lifelong battle with depression) had reappeared to collectively bully me.
Leaving her office in desperation, I did something I’d never done in my 30-something years of life: I called a friend to ask for help.
Not a mentor. Not a counselor. Not a pastor. Just a regular old friend.
Though we’d known each other for a couple of years, I’d never been open with my friend about the hardest stuff in my life; I wasn’t sure how he’d react. I took a half step outside my comfort zone and called. When he answered, I got out about five words before totally breaking down. He kept quiet, holding a safe space for me from the other end of the line. After a few minutes of respectfully listening to me sob, he started to pray for me. He didn’t know exactly what was happening in that moment and he didn’t need to.
He knew he just needed to be with me in whatever it was.
After some time, I said thanks and hung up. I looked around, embarrassed by my puffy eyes, but finally noticing a brilliant blue sky above me. I remember thinking, “There will be more pain to come in life, I’m sure, but I never again have to go through it alone.”
Too often, we male types try to make life work on our own. But secretly, we all wish we had a buddy we could call when things got tough or scary or confusing. (Or just because we wanted to.)
That quality of friendship is forged when we, as men, decide to stop trying to make life work on our own. When we admit we don’t have it all together and work side by side to help each other realize our full God-given potential. It doesn’t happen by accident; it takes intentionality.
My life changed in so many good ways when I took that half step out of my comfort zone and called my friend. My life continues to get bigger and better every time I let down my guard and risk knowing and being known by other men who love Jesus.
“My life continues to get bigger and better every time I let down my guard and risk knowing and being known by other men who love Jesus.”
The empty tomb reminds us that Jesus came to give us life–to the fullest! And He knows that fullest life is the shared life. So take the risk. It’s worth it. And it’s only a half step away. A band of brothers is waiting to cheer you on.
The upcoming six-week Men’s Fraternity (April 15 – May 20) and Men’s Retreat (May 29 – 31) are both great chances to intentionally leave the sad, solo life behind and discover the richer, deeper, and more adventurous life God has waiting for you alongside a band of brothers.