I don’t like having to depend on others. Friendships can be difficult because I find myself constantly wondering if I matter as much to her and she does to me. I always feel like I’m that charity case friend who people are nice to, but don’t really need in their lives. So I keep part of myself aside, and don’t share it. It’s too scary, I don’t know if it’s safe.

But for my relationships to succeed, I need to be prepared to give of myself, completely invest without worrying where it is going. I can’t know going in what will happen. My pastor once said, we need to ask ourselves who is given to me and to whom am I given. There are people whose lives I’ve been called to speak into. Our relationship exists in part because I am supposed to be an encourager and support. Yet, I cannot run from the relationships where I am the one being given; where I am being loved and lifted up, and the balanced is unequal in my favor.

This feels selfish and terribly dependent. But it is also necessary. How can I truly serve others without knowing what it is like to be on the receiving end? If I am always the strongest and the best, I will never know a true heart of service. I must be willing to be served, not out of laziness or arrogance but in genuine need.

Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, and they were horrified. Peter wanted to wash Jesus feet instead. Was it false humility or a genuine embarrassment at letting the son of God lower himself to that level? Jesus allowed his feet to be washed by women on at least two occasions, which was culturally unacceptable for a number of reasons. But I think he recognized that important example he was setting. He had a genuine need, and allowed it to be met, and thus honored the person doing the serving.

When I admit I don’t have it altogether, and leave room for others to speak into my life and love on me, I am honoring them. When I do this it makes my own service more genuine.