Friends. I have no shortage of amazing people that God has put into my life. And the fabulous thing about all of my friends is that they don't all come from the same walk of life, and have experienced very different things than I have. Granted, there's a certain extent to which you can't escape the whole similar Dutch experience, but even within that there is the tendency for various childhood situations and high school and university decisions made differently for good or for bad. I'm quite a fan of this, because when it comes to getting opinions from others, I know that the opinions are more than the views that I might like to hear.
Something that I have always struggled with is advice from friends. I rely on my nearest and dearest friends who know me the best to comment on my life, openly, freely and honestly. If I'm being an ass about a situation, I know that I will be told that my behavior doesn't line up with my character, and that I should smarten up.
However, the fact of the matter is that occasionally, I've received honest advice from caring, close friends that I don't know how to reconcile to the situation at hand. For example, I've had a good friend or two advise me against Japan. They presented their reasons, or rather, one presented reasons, the other was just intent on, "I'm not comfortable with you going, make sure that you really think about what you're doing," and so on and so forth to the point of making me incredibly nervous but with no cause attached to it. I think that I know myself fairly well, as far as knowing one's self goes, and I think that I've made smart decisions in the past, for the most part. I have no reason to look at any past experiences and say, wow, chances are they're right, I decided to move away to BC and to England, and look at what a mess that turned out to be! See, both of those experiences were amazing, and I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to experience what I did in both of those places. There were points in each that I would have turned back if I had the choice, but overall they were amazing times.
So this begs the question. Do my friends know something that I don't know? Do I sometimes have to just thank my friends for their concern, and carry along on my merry way? I'm rather a huge fan of making decisions with an awful lot of prayer, and my friends know this as well. I have no misgivings about Japan, even with all of the prayer that I've devoted to it. What of the valued advice of friends? I know that they have my best interests at heart, which is why I have no idea what to do with this kind of a situation....