Girlfriends’ Road Trip Continued…

Hello friends. Thanks for sharing your hearts and thoughts so transparently. I have read each of your comments and am praying for each of you today.

Wow, we all have so many similar stories. Isn’t it so good to know we’re not alone. How about we take a few days to talk through our thoughts and questions here on my blog. Promise me you’ll remember I am not a friendship expert. But also know that I can relate to every single one of you. I wish I had just the right answer for every question, but I’m not sure I will. However, I know Someone who does, so I’m am going to seek His perspective in prayer and share with you what He’s showing and has shown me.

Here is are some of the things that were mentioned in yesterday’s girl talk comments: fitting friendship into busy schedules – yours and theirs, getting hurt, feeling rejected or unwanted, trusting again, when no one seems to need a friend, moving away and starting over again, feeling like you’re imposing, not knowing how to make friends, being a dumping ground for others problems, friendships that become unhealthy, dealing with misunderstandings and conflict, creative ways to spend together, friendships with purpose, seasons and reasons for certain friendships, being open to new friends, not taking friendship challenges and changes personally, letting Jesus be our best friend.

I have to leave for work soon so I’ll be back to share more tomorrow. Today, I am going to glean from these great insights Laura B. shared in her comments about what she’s “learned along the way.”

God is first – He has always been the one true friend who doesn’t disappoint, disappear, or disengage!

Prayer is vital – Pray that God will provide the friendship(s) you need and desire, and that He would show you which ones to let go of and which ones to focus on. Sometimes we try to hold on friends that were meant to be there for us in a special season of our lives – when God may have another person in mind for the next season, or for your long-time, 60 year-old best friend.

Purpose is a must – When you find that special friend (or friends), or if you already have that friendship, you must pursue it. Make sure you both agree on what friendship is, and what makes you feel close as friends(i.e. some people need to connect with their friend(s) daily, while others are more casual about it).Be intentional about your time together – schedule it on the calendar as a commitment (not optional) – and get together as often as you can – even if just for 30 min. of chatting at Starbucks.

Stay in touch – You may hit a truly busy season in your life that forces your friendship time to the ‘back burner’ for a while. There are thoughtful things you can do during that time that only take a minute, but leave a lasting impression on your friends. Send an upbeat thinking-of-you card and drop it in the mail with a note that says ‘Sorry I’ve been so busy… missing you’ and suggest a tentative future date to catch up. Drop by their work or home with a special note or gift saying I just have minute but wanted you to know I’m thinking of you. It helps to maintain the closeness of the friendships when time can’t stretch far enough.

Always forgive quickly – Quickly is the key here, before an offense has time to take root and grow. You treasure the friendship and no offense is worth losing it over. If you run to God immediately, He will take care of everything, and you can continue to take care of your treasured friendship.

I love all of you to pieces and treasure your friendship in this journey called life. For now, how about we each ask God to show us one way to be a good friend to someone we know or meet today. I can’t wait to hear what happens.

© 2008, Renee Swope. All rights reserved.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. For me, the key point in your blog entry today is to pursue our friendships. To purposefully make a commitment to pursue my friend. That is giving me food for thought today. Thanks, Renee!

  2. Great insights today Renee, as usual! 🙂 I think one of the key things you mentioned is to bathe our friendships with prayer – to seek God for His perspective. We women tend to go on feelings a lot and I think if we were more grounded in God’s word and were speaking to Him regularly we would be less likely to be easily offended.

    Hope you have a great day. I’m praying for you.

    Blessings,
    Pearls

  3. Confession is good for the soul.
    Renee you ended your post by saying, “For now, how about we each ask God to show us one way to be a good friend to someone we know or meet today. I can’t wait to hear what happens.”

    Oh boy…
    I read your post after being at a Bible study at our church this morning. After the morning ended I was talking with a few of the ladies there when one gal approached me and asked me if I was free on Friday morning. To be completely honest, I have Friday off work this week….and was guarding it as “my day”! This gal wanted to know if we could spend the morning together and ‘do lunch’. Here’s the thing….this gal is not a believer; I do give her a lot of my time; I really try hard to be patient and kind and initiate outings with her, but she is so bitter about her past and adamant about not forgiving certain family members for things that happened years and years ago, and her visits drain and exhaust me. She puts up real resistance to any suggestions of forgiveness or trusting God. It really has been amazing she’s come out to Bible study this year. Anyway…I started to give her reasons why I might be busy Friday…told her I would call her later. Truth be told…I’m longing to connect with a friend for lunch…but one who could encourage me! I’m only thinking about myself.

    I read your question and thought, oh Lord, You want me to have lunch with this gal don’t You. Maybe it’s not the friend I’m hoping would suggest lunch, but the Lord has placed her in my life and I need to minister to her heart. Praying that this Friday we will have a fun visit and that if I share anything about the Lord, her heart would not be so resistant.

    And also, Lord, could you just send a little encouragement my way?
    Trusting Him to change my attitude,
    Joy

  4. Anonymous says:

    Renee,

    Thank you for the posts on freindship. This has been an area of distress for me since moving – that was 5years ago and I still haven’t found anyone to form a deep connection with.

    These post and many of the comments I have read over the past two days has encouraged me to continue praying and to begin reaching out again.

    Anita

  5. Thanks so much for the words of encouragement and the cyber hug. It was all deeply appreciated.

    You are a blessing!

  6. Renee:
    I had a powerful time of fellowship with my sisters in Bible study last evening. We stood shoulder to shoulder as we listened to Travis Cottrell sing on our teaching tape.

    We sobbed and hugged and shared our “I love you’s”. At the end of the session, a dear friend lingered at the front. She told me that she would be going for her bi-monthly “scan” on Wednesday, as part of her ongoing cancer treatment. She asked for my prayers, and I asked her if she would like to pray right then. Motioning to a few friends, we gathered around and laid our hands upon her.

    We prayed for God’s peace to mediate its way into her life, regardless of the outcome.

    I got a phone message late this afternoon. It was Beth. Her scans looked good, and she wanted me to be the first to know.

    Friendships don’t happen. They require our intentional pursuit of them…our genuine love cradled somewhere within.

    My Tuesday women are by far, some of the best women I have known. As a pastor’s wife, it’s not always an easy fit with a congregation. They have made it very easy for me. I’m just one of the gals, and I count it my highest privilege to serve alongside them in this season of living.

    peace~elaine

    PS: changed my blogger identity, but I’m still “elaine”.

  7. Hi Girlfriend~
    I just listened to Lean on Me your radio message (on the internet) and wanted to share with you.
    One of my favorite hymns is
    Leaning on the Everlasting Arms. Your message so beautifully and sweetfully (not a word 🙂 ) illustrated the message of that song.
    I am reading through a One Year Bible. This morning I read in Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms….”
    So assuring that those arms are faithful to get us down the mountain and through the valleys and even up more mountains. Praise Him! Thank you for sharing your message. I loved it!
    Cheri Bunch

  8. Anonymous says:

    Quote from original post: “Here is are some of the things that were mentioned in yesterday’s girl talk comments: fitting friendship into busy schedules – yours and theirs, getting hurt, feeling rejected or unwanted, trusting again, when no one seems to need a friend, moving away and starting over again, feeling like you’re imposing, not knowing how to make friends, being a dumping ground for others problems, friendships that become unhealthy, dealing with misunderstandings and conflict, creative ways to spend together, friendships with purpose, seasons and reasons for certain friendships, being open to new friends, not taking friendship challenges and changes personally, letting Jesus be our best friend.”
    _____________________________________________

    Did we talk about these things? I can’t seem to find the responses…

    I am still feeling very lonely. I have worked and worked over the years reaching out toward others. I have sent notes, made calls and met together with a few people. Perhaps I am just in a “pit” or having a “pity party” but does anyone else ever wonder if there is anyone on the earth that thinks about them? There have been many days where I was the one who reached out…but occasionally it would be nice to know that someone thinks about me–and not just so I can listen to their problems.

    signed “Feeling Blue”

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