Running Shoes

Running From Relationships

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I’m a runner. Oh no, not the kind you probably are thinking of….the put your sneakers on, hit the ground and go kind? No, that’s not me. I’m more of the kind of girl whose scars from the past have made her unintentionally (or maybe sometimes intentionally) flee when red flags or hurts in relationships happen. Yep, I’m a runner.

Did you know you can actually have friendship PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)? When I first read about it in Lisa-Jo Baker’s new book Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding & Keeping Lasting Friendships, I thought it was a brilliant way to describe the hurts from childhood, teen, and adult friendships that stay with us, sometimes subtly, without even realizing the scars are there. For me, it showed up in my inner runner girl. It was less painful to run from a hard relationship or person than to stay and grow through it. Now, I do believe that there are some toxic relationships that we are meant to flee from. It’s learning to figure out the difference and trust your instincts to know when it’s worth working through. Some of my relationship scars go back as far as first grade and some as recent as last year. The good news is that I’ve discovered there can be healing for some of those wounds and restoration for some relationships …if we are willing to do the work and feel the discomfort that healing and growth sometimes bring.

our relationships have subtle, yet powerful, lifelong impacts on us. This means that while they can burden us with unwelcome PTSD, they also have highly reparative capabilities too. The relationship patterns we have learned can become clues that lead us back to the scene of the original crime and equip us with tools to investigate, understand, and prevent it from happening again.”
~ Lisa-Jo Baker Never Unfriended

When I was offered a pre-release copy of Never Unfriended, I had no idea how much it would impact me or even those I’ve shared it with. The subtitle is The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships, so I thought, well, I think I know how to do that…some of my friendships span decades. I cherish my relationships. But I realized I was overlooking the painful relationships in my life, the ones over the years where I hit my emotional remote control button and put my wall up or the ones I ran from. So, I decided to dig deeper and quickly found myself highlighting many of the author’s words. I’ve underlined so many sentences in Never Unfriended that it now resembles a coloring book. What I found most refreshing was the author’s gut deep honesty. She shared so many things that I’ve thought but didn’t have the words to say or maybe didn’t want to be vulnerable enough to share. It was a reminder to me that we are not alone. There is always somebody else going through something similar, and sometimes there are many somebodies. As Lisa-Jo shared, sometimes that person next to you is waiting for someone else to speak up. For someone to admit that relationships can be hard, that rejection stinks, and that even the strongest {appearing} person can actually be very weak. Lisa-Jo did that for us….she spoke up with all her vulnerability and raw insight, and all different types of women around the internet and coffee shops are shouting “me too.”

Speaking of the internet, the chapter on FOMO(fear of missing out) is one of my favorites. We are doubly blessed and cursed with all the ways to connect via social media. Actually, that term “connect” in reference to social media is interesting. So many studies have found that the more people are “connected” through Facebook, Instagram, twitter, etc, the more lack of connection and actually loneliness is taking place. It’s created a false sense of friendship and connection.

“…..we have got to demote our social media status, our obsession with inclusion, and our fear of missing out and get it OUT of the hallowed place. We have worshipped at the altar of inclusion when we were built to worship at the altar of the only living God. Living tied to clicks and likes and friend requests on Facebook will drain the life out of us”- Lisa-Jo Baker, chapter 2, Never Unfriended

Through my ever changing years of being a woman, I am so very thankful for relationships. What I ultimately found in reading this book was that our relationship with God and being able to rest in who we are is the most important thing. There’s an inner strength when you feel complete and loved by the Creator, which then helps in all your other relationships. Who knows? I just may hang up my running shoes. 


Jesus is never tired of me always needing Him. Instead, He is delighted by how desperately I need his validation and He never, ever withholds it from me. Or from you.” Lisa-Jo Baker, chapter 5, Never Unfriended

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