A few days ago, thoughts that I had been dodging for quite some time finally caught up with me. For lack of a better description, I broke down. I must have subconsciously known what I needed, because out of all of the people in my contacts, I decided to call an Orthodox friend.
It was definitely the right decision. My friend guided me through the actions that had gotten me to this point, asked why I was feeling the way that I was, and gave me very sound, Christ-centered advice. I don’t think that anything else would have done the trick at the time besides thinking about Christ’s mercy. I so needed to remember Christ and receive guidance from someone who knows Him.
Last week, I wrote about how my friends who aren’t Orthodox have helped bring me closer to Christ and how my love for them helps me become more Christ-like. But I sometimes take for granted the people who are Christ-like, from whom I take my examples and who give me strength when I’m feeling down.
Because there are instances in which I need to be reminded of Christ’s presence in my life, and that is where people who are close to Him come in. When I started practicing my Orthodox faith, it was my Camp Saint Paul friends who led me to Him. I still find them being the ones I go to not only when I need to talk about God (because, really, I can do that with anyone), but also when I need to be reminded of God’s presence in my life. And I need that reminder way more often than I’d like to admit.
There is something different about the way Orthodox Christians interact with each other and the perspective on life they share that can’t be found just anywhere. There is a connection between Orthodox Christians that is really indescribable. Because we commiserate and celebrate with each other, we teach each other, and we pray for each other, when I’m having a real spiritual crisis, my Orthodox friends are the ones I trust to guide me.
Of course, any friends, Orthodox or not, will let you down, just as you will let them down. That’s why I’m thankful for everyone who puts up with me as their friend, because I know that I’m not a perfect friend. I know that I don’t deserve people who go above and beyond, who go out of their way for me, who answer the phone for me when I’m hysterically crying on a Thursday at 11:00 pm and who somehow say exactly what I need to hear.
When I receive love from a friend so unconditionally, it makes me realize how undeserving of Christ’s love I am, and yet He continues to love me and show me that love through my friends who follow Him. Sometimes I’m simply dumbfounded by it.
Image credits: Depositphotos
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Maria is the Administrative Coordinator of Y2AM. She is a New York native who isn't completely sold on the city's charm, yet has never left. A proud graduate of Fordham University and occasional runner, she is happiest whenever chocolate, a sale, or a good Gilmore Girls reference is involved.