I was 8 at the time. A cheerful, little girl who loved to wear my hair in French braids and sing to myself as I played. We were living in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma whilst my parents attended Bible College. It was the middle of summer, humid, hot, and I was stuck in a brick ranch-style house, without air conditioning or TV.
I decided to walk over to my BFF’s house to see if she could play, and to my surprise and eventual heart-break, I saw that my BESTIE was having a sleepover with a bunch of girls and I wasn’t included. I didn’t understand. Why wasn’t I invited and asked to be part of the fun? This
I walked sadly home to my mom as tears streamed down my freckled cheeks. My little 2nd grade brain trying to work through this new situation, and my little heart desperately trying to understand.
When I walked through the door I ran to my mom and tearfully told her the story. My BEST FRIEND was having a sleepover and didn’t invite me to join in I explained.
My mom held me as I cried, and slowly rocked me back and forth. I felt her hand on my back as she lightly rubbed in soothing circles for what seemed like forever.
Then she said something that I will never forget. Something that not only sunk deep into my brain but welded onto my child-sized heart.
My mom said “She may be YOUR best friend, but that doesn’t mean YOU are HER’s”.
This was a harsh lesson to learn as an 8-year-old, and one I pray that my little girl will never have to personally go through.
Over and over in my life, I have found myself in the same position, repeating the same sobering line silently in my mind to myself.
“Just because they are YOUR best friend, doesn’t mean YOU are THEIRS.”
I was searching to find my ‘ride or die a slang term used to define someone who is loyal and who will be there for you no matter what.
This is the first person you want to celebrate with when things are good, or cry with when things go bad. This person is your “go to” when planning a night out, dinner with friends, or that dream vacation. Your Ride or Die is the one who experiences life WITH you- the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Now that I am in my mid-40’s, I can see how so many of my life choices were guided because I was hoping it would lead to finding my Ride or Die.
Choosing to follow my “bestie” at the time to the local college rather than going out-of-state like I always planned.
Choosing to move to Arizona to be near that first boyfriend who never treated me as well as I should have been treated.
Always saying yes to every committee opportunity or volunteer position that presented itself at work or church.
Business ventures and investments, committees, book clubs, half marathons, you name it!
I said yes to so many things, because I wanted to prove my loyalty, display my friendship, show my worth… all with the hope that someone would recognise my heart and turn around and choose me back.
My Ride or Die. The person who would lay down their life for me. The one who loved me so much they would die for me. The person who sees all of me, just as I am, flaws and all, and chooses me. Without judgement. Without expectations. Without question.
Who would lay down their life for me?
This was when Jesus whispered softly, “It’s me. I am your Ride or Die. I loved you before you ever even spoke to me. I died for you before you knew me. I gave you my all before I asked anything of you. My dreams for you are bigger than you could ever imagine. And my support for you knows no bounds.”
And then I understood. I was searching for a person who simply did not exist. I was longing to find a PERSON to fill this need deep inside me that only God could ever fill.
Christ died for me when I didn’t deserve it. Christ now longed for a relationship while I was so busy chasing after EVERYTHING ELSE.
My Heavenly Father waited patiently for me to turn my face towards him and ask him to be my Ride or Die.
He never gave up. He waited while I pursued all those other loves. He waited for me to give him all my heart. All my soul. All my fear and worries, joys and dreams.
Never again will I have to look for significance in anyone or anything else.
I have my Ride or Die… and he chose me before I even knew I needed him. In Him I find my STRENGTH. In him I am worthy. In him I how found all that I need.
“And you did not receive the ‘spirit of religious duty’ leading you back into the fear never being good enough. But you have received the ‘Spirit of full acceptance,’ enfolding you into the family of God. Any you will never feel orphaned, for as he rises up within us, our spirits join him in saying the works of tender affection, “Beloved Father!’ For the Holy Spirit makes God’s fatherhood real to us as he whispers into our innermost being, ‘You are God’s beloved child!’ Romans 8:15
If you enjoyed this post you can read more here
You can purchase your doer shirt here and support the work of Feed the Hungry and A21