There are levels or depths to the relationships I have in my life. Often times I will categorize them as friendships, romance, acquaintances, co-workers, and family. My family of origin has not provided me with any form of emotional or physical support for most of my life, so I have always searched elsewhere. The most dramatic memories of this happened when I was in Jr High, when the George family seemed to adopt me in every way shape and form. That was also the first time I experienced a relationship with a guy that was deeper than friendship, but not romantic. At the time I didn’t know what it was and I couldn’t explain it to anyone who asked. And if any one asked if I like Scott, I would respond with classic 6 year old tone… EWwwww NO WAY!!! As if someone had suggested that my BROTHER was hot… I mean EWwww gross. In wise aged reflection, I can see that it was one of those family type relationships – I saw him really as my brother. We did the typical tease, hit, yell, torture, harass each other treatment and if someone had not feared the BOTH of us, they might have actually said we liked each other. But to me he was my brother through and through… (at least during that season of my life)
In one of my conversations with my friend Brent, I was describing that I had a new relationship in my life… and that I was totally excited about having a little brother again. He was completely confused because I had described this guy as funny, goofy, outspoken, active, spiritual, serving, and on the cute side (I said somewhere between cute and HOT… but I don’t know what that description is suppose to be), BUT even with those positives working in his favor, I was kicking him to friend zone (that is a LONG explanation for another day)… well and after one trip to the beach I had moved him from friend zone to brother zone. At which point Brent so eloquently asked: WHAT IN THE WORLD DOES THAT MEAN? Well, it’s closer than a friend but without any romantic involvement. Where I promptly received that all too familiar guy response: “Huh?” So I had to ask myself, how do I describe brother zone? What is it that makes me believe a relationship is CLOSE but not romantic? Why is the brother relationship so intimate and important to me?
I have to look back at my time at Sunnyside OH so many years ago, as an adult, when it felt like this church social circle was my family. And in that family there were men in my life who loved me, cared about me, and I protected me from harm. I did not date in this group, and I was only ever asked out once; but they were the most important people in my life. There was something in the way we related, talked, worked together, and looked at each other that was different and special. I began to look back at the relationships I had then and knew that there were various personalities, skills, giftings, attitudes, ages, and stages of life for the men who I FELT were my brothers. What did they do? What did they say? It was all different and some of it was NEVER spoken at all.
It begins in my gut, then oozes into my mind, worms its way into my heart, comforts my mind and sets my spirit free when I am around them. Sometimes it’s just the mere gift of a hug from someone who is not afraid to touch me (yes some/most men are uncomfortable touching me) or it could be listening to my stories or how crappy my day has been. It may be that they defended me verbally in some way, or just showed some sign of respecting my opinion (even though I’m a woman). Either way it is something I FEEEEEL and trust; yes there are moments of testing these FEEEELings to see if they are valid. HOwever, it is not planned nor do I think about how I’m gonna TEST them today. 🙂 So monday I had the privilege of FEELING that feeling again… some one had entered my life who I could trust and be at peace around and feel safe being myself with. Ahhhh to have a brother again… Oh how I missed it… and oh how I have needed that.
As much as I would like to be dating and be special and be thinking about marrying someone… having a brother to make my life full of life and excitement and love and TRUST is an incredible FEEELING!!! What a gift… one I will not take for granted AGAIN… EVER!!!
PS I still miss my brothers from the past and will never forget how they have shaped me into the woman I am now… and for that I beyond grateful. Miles, Hunker, Nate, Joe, Brian, Kelly, Perry, and Leo… just to name the ones that are RIGHT THERE at the top.