Day 13: Target Friend

31 STORIES OF FAITH ADVENTURES

DAY 13:  TARGET FRIEND

You’re probably wondering what a Target friend is.  No, it’s not a friend that goes shopping at Target with you.  Although, if you’re interested in going to Target with me, I’d love to do that.  I’m a recovering Target addict.  I have to delete Target emails immediately from my inbox, or I’ll be triggered to go browse those red and white isles.

Let me tell you what Target friend is, it’s a term that I heard on a Periscope broadcast.  Here’s the definition of it from Urban Dictionary.

Can we just pause and agree how cool I am?  Periscope, sharing new slang with you, and defining terms from Urban Dictionary, can you just even?  (Reality check.  I’m sitting in my home school room typing this.  I have a hot glue gun on my desk and a kitchen piled high with dirty laundry that I’m going to push aside so that I can warm up a frozen chicken breast in my toaster oven for lunch today.  Steve Urkel lives a cooler life then I do.  Side note on this side note:  Did you see Jaleel White on the new car commercial for Scion?  I totally geeked out when I saw that.  Did I do that?  Ok.  Case proven on my uncoolness.)

Now I know that you are wondering what a target friend has to do with faith adventures.  Well, let me tell you.

Back when James and I had just begun our adoption journey, I made a friend target of my now actual friend Shelly Wilson.

Our adoption agency has a FaceBook group for families in the Ethiopia program.  I saw Shelly post something about speaking to her women’s group about her adoption story.  I was so excited when I saw someone from my hometown waiting to adopt from Ethiopia, I knew we had to be friends.

I recruited my mother-in-law to come to listen to Shelly talk at her church, a church I had never even set foot in.

This may not seem like a big deal, but it was a huge deal for me.  I was stepping out to make a new friend, and meeting new people is one of my least favorite things to do.

I have social anxiety, and interacting with people can cause my head to go crazy with insecurity, fears of rejection, and wacky thoughts about myself.

Putting all that aside and being aggressive about making friends with someone was a step of faith for me.

I realize now what I might have missed out on if I hadn’t made friends with Shelly.  Shelly was the one who passed along the invitation to join the adoption advocacy group In His Hands.  I’ve made lots of sweet friends in that group, and I’ve been able to help make a difference for orphans in Uganda with the fundraisers we’ve organized.  I also went on two mission trips to Ethiopia with Shelly through our adoption agency.  Those trips were so educational for me, grew my faith, and gave me a better awareness Ethiopian culture.  I’ve also had the joy of cheering on Shelly’s adoption, praying for her, and watching God move.  That alone has been a tremendous blessing to me.

     Van selfie with Shelly on our first trip to Ethiopia.

     Van selfie with Shelly on our first trip to Ethiopia.

     Shelly and I watching the children play on our second trip to Ethiopia.

     Shelly and I watching the children play on our second trip to Ethiopia.

    Our team getting ready to leave on our last day in Ethiopia, our second trip.

    Our team getting ready to leave on our last day in Ethiopia, our second trip.

That little step of faith, making a new friend, led to other faith adventures that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

What about you?  What simple step is God calling you to make today?  It may be connecting with someone new or even connecting to family member.  Jesus called us to servanthood and to friendship with Himself.  He was speaking to his disciples right after He was led into Jerusalem on a donkey, and He told them this.

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.
— John 12:26 ESV

Almost week later, the night before He was crucified, Jesus told His disciples this.

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
— John 15:12-15 ESV

Jesus asks us to serve Him and love Him as a friend.  He also commands us to love one another.  And He also promises that God the Father will honor our service.

Stepping out to connect with others may not seem like important Kingdom work, but it is!  Loving one another is the greatest thing we can do here on earth.  Sometimes servanthood and friendship takes a lot of faith.  But luckily God supplies that faith measures.