I’ve often written about my passion for living in healthy community with others. Although relationships – doing life with others – are messy, the blessings are worth the mess and effort.
Recently, several things collided on one evening, and I experienced the blessings of messy community in a concentrated dose. A friend who lives close but I hadn’t seen much recently planned to stop by to catch up and celebrate her birthday with me. Another friend who lives out of town was going to stop by a bit later. There might be a little overlap, but it would be okay.
But then I got a phone call from a family member who had a rough day and needed to talk through some challenges. I only had about ten minutes before my first friend, who was running late, arrived, but I promised to call her back later. Then my second friend was running early and brought another mutual friend with her. I wanted to spend time with them but also needed to follow up with my family.
Having an open door and open phone line is the way I choose to do life. I wouldn’t change that. I love that people are comfortable coming and going or calling to talk through something. But that night, which ended with a long, late night conversation, was challenging.
I was exhausted. And I was grateful.
Insist on establishing healthy boundaries in your relationships, and that includes some sacrifice and humility, honesty, and respect. When you do life well with others, you will get some surprises along the way, and you will come to find those interruptions a bit exhausting at times but worth much more than the cost.