I'm at a ladies' retreat ... camping ... with fellow Choose Now columnist Wendy Fitzgerald. We are both leading workshops, which start tomorrow. So I went to Target, bought a new shirt, and my sweet husband helped me roll-pack it so it wouldn't wrinkle.
It was more wrinkled because of the way we rolled it than if I had just packed it like a normal person.
My friend Dianna start looking for a way to get the wrinkles out. No irons in sight. No wrinkle releaser. But lo and behold, Wendy has two shirts hanging up on the shelf by her bed. I was getting ready to take a shower, so the steam could help pull the wrinkles out.
Genius idea, Dianna!
Except I didn't want to take Wendy's shirt off the hanger without permission. So instead, we rigged her resistance bands through the shower curtain. Because that was so much easier.
Why? I wouldn't have cared if she had taken mine. I knew she wouldn't care if I did it. But for some strange reason, I started over-analyzing myself and our friendship. Doubts crept in. What if she really didn't want her shirt touched and taken off a hanger? What if I was overstepping a boundary and she would silently resent it? What if I loved her way more than she loved me?
This is what happens when we give Satan a foothold. We go from zero to ridiculous in 10 seconds flat. Really, those doubts were lies that Wendy wasn't the kindhearted amazing woman she is. Did I really think that this friendship, which was gift-wrapped on a silver platter when we met at last year's retreat, wouldn't withstand me taking the hanger? The. Hanger.
Here's the point, Wendy and I have now given each other permission to take each other's things—haha! But at what point in a friendship does that happen? How close do you have to be to someone before you rummage in their stuff for something you need?
This led me to thinking how I "abuse" the friendships of other people I have, including my husband, and this is not a dating post. I'll wear his clothes in a heartbeat if I need to, and not think a thing about it. What's his is mine and what's mine is mine and all that.
We all have people in our lives who we can take (borrow) things and have it be perfectly okay, and then we have people who we haven't been invited into that personal invisible bubble of space. This space is to be respected, of course.
What bothers me about this whole thing is that I wasn't giving credit to Wendy, and instead only focusing on me. What will she think of me?
We live in a world of selfishness, and in some way perhaps I was trying to not be selfish by taking what wasn't mine. However, we need to remember that people that love us want to help us in times of crisis ... or wrinkled shirts.
Bethany Jett is the author of,The Cinderella Rule (Regal Publishing), youth minister and blogger.