Friend. It’s a word whose meaning can be perplexing and whose usage is often overdone in our fast-paced, social media, digital world. Increasingly, our circles of “friends” are far reaching, yet often times those relationships can be paper-thin.
Even so, there’s nothing like the sustaining strength, encouraging and life-enriching power of a true friend, a heart friend, a forever friend. And we need them now more than ever!
Maybe you are like me where I am often surrounded by people, many whom I love dearly, yet even so, I get lonely.
I read once that women of all walks of life are crying out for community and close relationships. This need for “authentic community” is so palpable that churches and organizations everywhere are researching and publicizing these buzzwords.
Women from all ages and seasons of life find themselves at times hurting, wounded and struggling. They find themselvs lonely and long for that special friend.
Young moms who are often home alone for hours with an infant and toddler, are desperate for some adult conversation…..sadly, they find that all the women around them are too busy, or don’t initiate relationships. Maybe they get together with others for coffee, yet they still long for that one close friend….. and their soul craves intimate conversations, that friend that they feel united in spirit with, friends that infuse them with hope.
And then there are other women, whether busy with their career, or facing the empty nest, or at the season in their lives where they are busy being the caregivers for ageing parents, who find themselves lonely for deep connection.
Women who may be surrounded by people all day but still don’t feel close to anyone. Maybe they know a lot of people but can’t say that they have real close friendships.
Deep adult friendships are treasured and priceless and they seem rare some days too.
We women wrestle against the crunch of busy lives and our best intentions; against the insecurities that follow us and our desire for close relationships.
I have had best friends over the years, some moved away (or I moved away) and others, due to life changes the relationship changed. Have I been burned in friendships? Yes? Have I been betrayed and disappointed? Yes. But has it been worth it? Most definitely!
Over the years I’ve learned a few things about friendships. Friendships have many different levels. There are those friends we see occasionally, and then there are heart-friends with whom we share everything. There is a place for both in our lives.
Friendships may change with the seasons of life. We are naturally drawn to women who face the same problems and share the same dreams as we do.
But what I know to be true is that we all need friends….friendship is a part of God’s plan for our lives. In fact, Jesus placed great value on relationships. The bible tells us that He spent a lot of His time deepening relationships with a few, not with the crowds.
In Scripture one of the most beautiful portraits of friendship is found in the book of Ruth. Ruth is the story of Naomi, a godly woman, wife and the mother of two married sons. I encourage you to take the time to read it for yourself. In this book, Ruth, Naomi’s daughter in-law was willing to commit her life and time in friendship. And I have found from my own experience that friendship doesn’t just happen. True friendship takes consistent investments of time.
I love this quote: “We live in a “quick-fix” world that often fails to understand or address the relationship truth that it takes time to build a friendship. It is so easy for women to fill every time slot of every day with activity, leaving little or no room for friends. The waters of daily life are often difficult to navigate. True friends are willing to get in the boat and ride out the storm with us.”
I’ve gone through seasons of loneliness, seasons of “aloneness” and seasons of questioning God, waiting and praying for that close friend. I’ve been there….I know the heartache of feeling lost and lonely…I know the tears that come in those quiet moments when we just need someone to talk too…..even though I am married, and my husband is my “best friend” I still need women friendships….heart sisters, we all do!
Over the years my deepest girlfriend relationships have always been nurtured and rooted in prayer. First, by asking the Lord to bring into my life those special, heart friends. And then watching and waiting….sometimes these friendships come in unexpected wrappings, or maybe that special friend has been there all along but we haven’t taken the time to get to know them, and just maybe they are struggling with the very same thoughts as you….trusting God is a beautiful thing…be watching…be waiting….be expecting!! God delights to answer your prayers….
And second, we must nurture those friendships by praying for each other and praying for our families. I have been blessed with some close friends over the years that have truly come alongside me, lifting me up when I needed it, and keeping it real when I need it too. I pray for them, and I know they’re praying for me also. It’s those prayers make us better wives, daughters, mothers, and friends!
May I pray for you; for those who are fighting the loneliness or aloneness….those who desire and long for that “close heart friend,” the one who gets us, who knows us, and loves us?
“Jesus, thank You for being our ultimate Friend. Thank you that You have never let us down or turned away from us– even when we have turned away from You. Please help us be the kind of friend You desire us to be so that Your love can flow through us in our relationships. Teach us how to invest time wisely so that each friendship is a living illustration of Your love. You know our hearts better than we know ourselves, You know the longings and desires we have for heart friends…..Friendships are risky, but they are so worth the risk….give us the courage to not only pray and ask for that heart friend, but also to watch for that special friend whom You are going to place in our lives…give us the courage to take that step, to risk rejection, knowing that You’ve got our backs!! Give us eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to trust while we wait….
Help us to have faith in You and to wait with hopeful expectation that in Your time and in Your choosing our hearts will connect with other sisters of the heart!!
In Jesus’ name,