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6 years ago  ::  May 31, 2008 - 10:25PM #1
jcpindy
Posts: 2
I have been at my church for over 5 yrs, and thru the church I have met and gotten to know a prticular group of women who basically came to know each other thru a small group we were all in.  Well the group has disbanded, but all the women still hung out together, until recently.  There was one woman who sorta took on the "leader" role.  She and her husband had hosted the small group, and her personality is one that lends itself to that anyway.  Well she and her husband have fallen on hard times, financially, and otherwise.  They drive nice cars, have the best designer labels, and that type of "stuff" holds some priority for them, although it has never prevented them from participating and giving apropriately for any church/community needs.  Since the hard times have hit, tho, they have stopped coming to church, and she does not call.  She has always been more they type to wait for me to call her, and I'll admit, that got a little old.  But usually she would call if in need.  Well I get the feeling based on her actions, or lack thereof, that since they have had a change in status they are not able to face their old peer group anymore.  They are the type that would prefer you call them and ask what is wrong as opposed to them coming to you, like for attention, if that makes sense. 
Here's my problem:  I do not wish to "enable" their actions, behaiviours by coddling them and babying them.  I think it pretty much sucks that they only want to be friends with us when they have status, or things to hold up.  It's not like they ever waived it in our faces, or held it up over us, but it seems that as soon as they have trouble, or are in need, they retreat, and it feels like they are doing it because to come humble for any reason would be a sign of weakness, or lowered status or whatever.  I am insulted that I'm only worthy of being someones friend when they are the "haves" but as soon as they are "have nots" I am dismissed.
I don't come from money, not into labels, etc but the fact that they were/are doesn't bother me.  I don't begrudge someone their toys if that's what makes them happy, and they worked for their stuff.  It isn't about being jealous.  I'm upset because it seems I have been cast aside.
Can someone give me some insight as to what I should do with my attitude?  Should I try to discuss this with these "friends" ?  Should I just let them go and move on?  Should I just wait for them to come around?  It's been a while........ like months..........
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 01, 2008 - 3:43PM #2
Rivermom
Posts: 196
Folks who have always had, may be having a real hard time dealing with their changed circumstances.  Even though I have never had those kinds of status things, I have always been the helper.  The one who consoles others.  It is REALLY HARD for me to need help from others.  I have to work hard to receive from others, even though, intellectually I know it is a two-way process. 

The fact that they have stoped coming to church is a big clue that they are not on an even keel.  They are hurting on a spiritual level as well as financial.  Perhaps they feel they will be judged or that people are laughing are their reduced circumstances.  they may even be dealing with depression or other Mental health issues that often follow such life changing events.

How people treat them now will show them who is a true friend.  Who they can count on and who is only interested in what they can give or could provide.  I would extend a hand in friendship.  Call, tell them they are missed at church etc.  Tell them about an up-coming event a church that they would have attended at one time.  Offer a friendly ear and caring heart.   Give them the benefit of the doubt that they are adjusting as best they can.  It is not enabling to offer a hand in friendship to those who are having difficulties.  It is what Jesus would do.

Rivermom
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 01, 2008 - 4:28PM #3
jcpindy
Posts: 2
Well, right after they stopped coming, I had e-mailed that we missed them in church--she in particular, is hard to reach by phone.  Then the following week I text messaged her, told her we were thinking about them, etc.  To which she did reply, just confirming that they were dealing wtih "issues on all fronts" and I then said I was there if she needed, etc.  Well, that was nearly two months ago.  Since then i have tried to call, left a messages which were never returned.  There have been several communications between our husbands, but none with me.  I have tried to "give space" for the past month or so.  We were supposed to work together on some VBS stuff, so I had tried to use that as my "in" but even those calls/e-mails are left dangling.  I guess it makes me sad that our friendship is evidently not as valuable to her as it was to me.
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2008 - 7:26PM #4
Rivermom
Posts: 196
How sad that you have reached out again and again only to be left with nothing.  No confirmation of a problem just nothing.  Try not to take it personally,  go about doing what you need to do for VBS.  Get someone else to help you.  You cannot help if she will not let you in.  Say a prayer for her and her family every day.  Trust that God will send someone to help them who can reach them if they will only allow it.  What is that old saying about leading a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.  I don't see that there is anything else for you to do but accept that she can or will not allow anyone in right now for her own reasons. 

Perhaps you can make new friends working of VBS this summer. 

Blessings
Rivermom
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 02, 2008 - 7:26PM #5
Rivermom
Posts: 196
How sad that you have reached out again and again only to be left with nothing.  No confirmation of a problem just nothing.  Try not to take it personally,  go about doing what you need to do for VBS.  Get someone else to help you.  You cannot help if she will not let you in.  Say a prayer for her and her family every day.  Trust that God will send someone to help them who can reach them if they will only allow it.  What is that old saying about leading a horse to water, but you can't make them drink.  I don't see that there is anything else for you to do but accept that she can or will not allow anyone in right now for her own reasons. 

Perhaps you can make new friends working of VBS this summer. 

Blessings
Rivermom
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 03, 2008 - 1:55AM #6
Devona
Posts: 230
Rivermom has pretty much covered all the things I was thinking here!  Your friend obviously is struggling with some difficult issues - her self esteem, her whole life seems to have been centered around what she had. It isn't easy to come to terms with not having 'stuff' when it's been what 'defined' her for so long.  She has to find her real self, find what's truly important to her......without all those trappings now. 

Give her space.  Email every so often just to let her know that you're there if and when she's ready.  Don't give up on her.  I'm sure your calls and emails are important to her.  She's probably embaressed by her new circumstances and perhaps doesn't believe that she has a friend who truly doesn't care about all those material things and who likes her for who she is.  Give her time to realize it. 

Keep her in your prayers, send positive energy to her...........be patient.  If she eventually responds, you'll have a better than ever friendship.  If she's never able to, then at least you know you tried to help as best you could.

Blessings,
Devona
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6 years ago  ::  Jun 09, 2008 - 2:15PM #7
JAILYNN283
Posts: 5
I have never been well off, but I have had hard times and I know that sometimes when going thru somthing like that it can be embarassing. It can be easier to retreat insted of reaching out. I wouldnt take what they are going thru personally, insted I wolud try to reach out once or twice ,and then the ball is in their court so to speak.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 15, 2008 - 3:49PM #8
multimom
Posts: 50
[QUOTE=jcpindy;536295]I have been at my church for over 5 yrs, and thru the church I have met and gotten to know a prticular group of women who basically came to know each other thru a small group we were all in.  Well the group has disbanded, but all the women still hung out together, until recently.  There was one woman who sorta took on the "leader" role.  She and her husband had hosted the small group, and her personality is one that lends itself to that anyway.  Well she and her husband have fallen on hard times, financially, and otherwise.  They drive nice cars, have the best designer labels, and that type of "stuff" holds some priority for them, although it has never prevented them from participating and giving apropriately for any church/community needs.  Since the hard times have hit, tho, they have stopped coming to church, and she does not call.  She has always been more they type to wait for me to call her, and I'll admit, that got a little old.  But usually she would call if in need.  Well I get the feeling based on her actions, or lack thereof, that since they have had a change in status they are not able to face their old peer group anymore.  They are the type that would prefer you call them and ask what is wrong as opposed to them coming to you, like for attention, if that makes sense. 
Here's my problem:  I do not wish to "enable" their actions, behaiviours by coddling them and babying them.  I think it pretty much sucks that they only want to be friends with us when they have status, or things to hold up.  It's not like they ever waived it in our faces, or held it up over us, but it seems that as soon as they have trouble, or are in need, they retreat, and it feels like they are doing it because to come humble for any reason would be a sign of weakness, or lowered status or whatever.  I am insulted that I'm only worthy of being someones friend when they are the "haves" but as soon as they are "have nots" I am dismissed.
I don't come from money, not into labels, etc but the fact that they were/are doesn't bother me.  I don't begrudge someone their toys if that's what makes them happy, and they worked for their stuff.  It isn't about being jealous.  I'm upset because it seems I have been cast aside.
Can someone give me some insight as to what I should do with my attitude?  Should I try to discuss this with these "friends" ?  Should I just let them go and move on?  Should I just wait for them to come around?  It's been a while........ like months..........[/QUOTE]

Materialism is materialism-women will be and have what men say they can have or have willingly reliquinshed out of sloth or irresponsibility.  God does not have respect of persons.  Where your treasure is, there is your heart.
Inferiority can be paralzying-maybe they feel like you won't accept them. 
Wow-what if we all just shot from the hip w/ each other:
"I noticed you never call me-have I offended you in some way, or misunderstood our connection?
Please help me understand-I'm not good at subtle messages, if their intended in anyway.  I'm sorry."
(It says the truth sets us free)
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 15, 2008 - 7:34PM #9
delmarvamom
Posts: 2,001
Lots go good advice and not much to add.

I think you need to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume that she is in a bad way. Maybe send a note.  People that usually appear to have it together are sometimes particularly hard on themselves when things are falling apart.

Give her some grace.
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6 years ago  ::  Oct 21, 2008 - 10:37AM #10
runegurl
Posts: 87
i agree with delmom. you don't KNOW what is going on with her, you are guessing, based on your own projections.  *shrug*  you may be right, you may be wrong.  the underlying issue is: so what? 

you've extended a few olive branches, she hasn't taken you up on them, for reasons of her own WHICH YOU CANNOT FULLY KNOW UNLESS SHE TELLS YOU, so don't borrow angst by feeling dissed and offended. for her, right now, it's not about you. she may not have the emotional resources to step outside herself and consider how you are feeling right now, and i don't think it's particularly cool of you to expect her to.

if you don't want to be friends, then stop being friends. forgive her, forgive yourself, walk away, breathe the free air.

and frankly, i've had friends of the reach-out-in-time-of-need type, and they can be ten times as exhausting.  so...maybe count your blessings here....heh.

rune
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