I’ve never been good at friendships.
I’m not saying that I’m not a good friend. I’m kind, I try to listen, when I’m out with friends I have fun. I’m just not good at starting or continuing a friendship. Sometimes I don’t neglect to contact a friend and say “Hey! Let’s get together!”. It’s not that I don’t want to do it, there’s just something that stops me.
So what hinders me? I worry about what others will think about me. A real friendship means that you have to open yourself up. “Surface” friendships, where you don’t get very deep and can just exchange pleasantries, are easy. Deep, meaningful friendships happen when you open yourself up to one another. You have to let that person in. That scares me.
I worry about people judging me. I worry that they will find out things about me that will turn them off. I worry that they will find out that my entire bedroom floor is currently covered with clothes. I worry that they will find out that sometimes I am rude. Sometimes when others are talking I’m not listening very well because I am distracted.
I worry that people will find out these things and will no longer think highly of me.
I would say my best friend is definitely my husband. Obviously, it is a good thing for him to be a best friend. Other than Jesus Christ, my relationship with my husband should be the next closest relationship that I have on this earth. It’s good for our marriage and good for our family. My husband sees me in my best and worst moments and still loves me in spite of it all. I think that is one of the reasons that he is my best friend. If I snap at him in a moment of frustration or bawl my head off because I’ve had a hard day, I know he’ll still be there and love me just the same.
Will a friend do that? That’s the heart of my personal struggle.
Lately God has been speaking to me about my problem with connecting with people. I have a lot of surface friendships but I am very weary of opening myself up to something deeper.
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”
To me, this is one of the reasons we are not supposed to live life alone. We CAN do things alone, but that doesn’t mean that is the best way to do it. I mean, having two arms DOES make most tasks more manageable. There are so many things in life that we can’t physically do alone.
When I read the first part of Ecclesiastes 4:10, it says that if either fall down the other can help him up. How many times do we “fall down” in our Christian walk? Every day! Every day I make mistakes, I sin. WE are sinners, and so we are going to “fall down” at some point. Having a friend, doesn’t just keep us accountable, but it also reminds us that we are not alone when we do fall. A close friend can be there to help support you in Christian Fellowship.
The second section of verse 10 says, “But pity anyone who falls and has no one to ehlp them up.”
Why should we pity them? Because, unfortunately, they have chosen to not surround themselves with people who would help. This is where I am.
God has been working on me that I need to be in closer fellowship with other women. As women, we need to be better about creating & working on close friendships.
So what does that mean? Am i going to pick up the phone tomorrow and suddenly have a new best friend? No, but there are some things that God has placed upon my heart to focus on. God wants me to work on making some of my “surface” friendships, true friendships.
First, God is calling me to step out in faith.
Yes, I am scared to open myself up to others, but my fear is not an excuse to disobey what God has called me to do. My emotions cannot determine whether or not I follow through. I have to trust that He is guiding me toward women who will care about me in spite of my faults.
Now, just because I step out in faith & obey what God has asked me to do does not mean that He has promised it will be smooth sailing. Relationships require people. People have baggage. Baggage causes problems. Even though there may be some bumps, I need to continue following God in the direction that He wants me to go.
Secondly, God has opened my eyes to the receiving end of friendship.
Friendships require us to open up and share our struggles with one another, but when a friend is opening up and sharing we must remember to listen without judgment.
One of the reasons that I struggle with connecting is because I worry about what others are going to think of me. What do we see on tv and social media? Cat fights & gossip. We see women tearing each other down & being applauded for their actions. Why are many of us weary of opening ourselves up to other women? This is why.
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?”
If we want close relationships we have to take it upon ourselves to stop silently (or for some, publicly) judging each other. Opening ourselves up is only the first step. We then have to listen & support each other without judgment or condemnation.
I am going to be working on developing closer Christian friendships, and I challenge you to do the same. I actually have someone that God has brought into my life hat I am going to call this week to get together and have lunch. I’m nervous, but excited to see what God has for this new friendship.
If you don’t have any issues with developing genuine, close Christian friendships with other women, look around you. Is there somewhat in your social circle that doesn’t seem to make connections easily? Ask God to show you someone that He wants you to connect & fellowship with.