The realities of friendship.

22 Aug

Do you have a best friend?  Oh wait, I can do one better… how many best friends have you had in your lifetime?

For many years, I really beat myself up over the fact that I didn’t have very many close friends.  I had a great number of acquaintances, but my heart longed for real, deep, and trustworthy friendships.  And it seemed like everyone else I knew had a group, click, and list of friends a mile long.

My husband has let me cuddle up on his shoulder and cry more times than I can count over the loneliness of not have a truly close girl friend in my life.

My story goes like this; I moved out of my parents home shortly after I turned 18, met my husband, moved to the town he lived in, started attending church where he was going, got married, and have lived “here” ever since.

For me, it isn’t that I have a hard time making friends.  In fact, I make friends really easily.  The problem is that every friend I have ever made over here is bias in some form or fashion to another area of my life.  I wasn’t looking for a friend who was already intertwined with my husband’s past by going to high school with him, or my past, or friends with his family (or even know them- because honestly, how can you have a best friend who is friends with your in-laws…you know what I’m talking about if you’re married girls), or too closely involved in church politics and the same ministries as I was, or who works/worked at the same factory my husband does.

I have some really incredible friends in my life who are intertwined in those above areas.  And I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  They have been so good to me!!  I love them and they have held me up in prayer, talked life out with me, hung out and laughed until we cried, and just been wonderful people to know! But, with each one of them, there is always a certain topic, or topics we had to avoid.  Which is not a bad thing.  And missing out on their incredible friendships just because of that would have been a tragedy, and I’m glad I’ve learned not to avoid people all together just because of that!

I’m not joking when I say, it took me almost 9 years of living over here to find a friend though who wasn’t involved in ANY other area of my life, is in the same stage of life, and also needed and had time for a close friend.

When I went to counseling earlier this year for an entirely different issue, my counselor shared that relationships naturally ebb and flow.  I think the beginning of this year was the first time I really realized that most women, not all, but most, would say they wish they had a real, deep best friendships and that they definitely have a heart to have more, closer friends.  Some times, just the appearance of how busy life makes us, it seems as though that isn’t true.  She was saying that friendships that are healthy will come together and flow apart as the seasons on life change and as schedules change.  When a friend is busy for a few months due to their children’s sports schedule, you may talk less, but the next 3 months, you may talk more and catch back up.  And that is normal, for everyone.

We’ve all been the hurt friend before.  And I believe out of sheer protection, when we meet other women we have up walls that tend to do one of two things;

1.) make us appear to be busy and with a full life as if we don’t have room for more friends.

2.) only allow us to create a surface friendship and never let ourselves get to the gut-wrentching true depth of an intimate friendship where all of ourself is exposed and at risk.

Partially, we don’t find deep friendships because we’re the one unwilling to be deep. And partially, because we are all women and in the same boat, and the one thing we all crave and need most is the one area where Satan is highly effective in crippling us.  He is the author of fear, failure, disappointment, and fake.

Practical application:

Realize that EVERY woman needs, wants and hopes for deep & real friendships.

Be willing to be deep.  Even if that means you take the first step or you go first.

Keep searching.  Don’t let past failed friendships or droughts of friendships keep you lonely and isolated.  Pray, pray, pray and pray some more for God to bring a friend (or FRIENDS) into your life that will meet your deepest needs and grow in unity and fellowship with you as God intended us to do.

What is your friendship story?  Do you have lots of friends, no friends, one friend?  Did you go through a high or low season of friendships? How did you meet friends?


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