DAY 4 – BE STRONG IN FRIENDSHIP!
About a decade ago I had a friendship crisis. I looked around and realized I had many acquaintances, but no one I felt comfortable enough to call in the middle of the night. Everyone needs at least one person like that. Someone who will tell you the truth about how your bum really looks in those pants. Someone who will call you on your issues but also be your most encouraging cheerleader. Someone to laugh with, cry with and go on short-lived diets with.
Then I started to realize that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way. I spoke to some girls in my world – girls who are popular, fun and smart – and found that, if they were really honest, they also felt lonely.
Loneliness is by far one of the most dangerous diseases of all. It is rife in our society and undoubtedly the plan of the enemy to disconnect people from each other. God’s loving plan all along has been, firstly, to have an intimate relationship with us, but also, just as importantly, for us to have close relationships with each other. We are uniquely designed for friendship. Girls, we cannot do life alone… well, we can, but it won’t be the wonderful way God intended it to be.
So I decided to stop waiting for someone to be my friend and followed in the footsteps of the greatest example I know, Jesus, and went first. I wrote down the names of five girls in my world – girls whom I admired and felt a connection with – and made an intentional effort to get into their worlds. I stopped waiting for an invitation and decided to extend the invitation.
Jesus didn’t wait for us to want a friendship with Him before He died for us. While we were still sinners, far from Him, He gave everything to be our friend. One of our Sisterhood values is to be united in friendship and cause. If we want to be strong in friendship, let’s look to Jesus as our example and ask Him for the courage to go first. The courage to reach out even when we know we might get rejected. The courage to love, even if we aren’t sure we will be loved back. The courage to encourage with no expectations of getting anything in return.
True friendship is selfless. It can never be about us first. The Bible says it best in John 15:13 (MSG): ‘This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends.’
So I would like to encourage all of us to be the ones who go first. Don’t wait for someone to be your friend. Ask the Holy Spirit for the courage to step out and initiate friendship with someone. Maybe just start with a coffee. If you’ve been hurt in a friendship, I’m truly so sorry, but don’t let it rob you of the gift that friendship can be. Choose to forgive and move on.
Today, I can honestly say I have the most incredible friends, a handful of girls, near and far, who truly are my girl gang. You don’t have to do life alone. Beautiful and life-giving friendships are only an invitation away.