Friendship is a powerful thing, and it’s changed my life! Friendship was the place I learned to unpack my soul. Where I could talk about the moments I felt foolish and ashamed of who I was. Or confess the ways I was proud and arrogant, but know I would still be loved. Friendship helped me to ‘shake it off’ and laugh at myself. To know I had quirks, but that someone enjoyed me anyway. To know I could make someone laugh, even though I’m not funny. Friendship opened my eyes to who I was when I couldn’t see it. Experiencing friendships that are deep and meaningful, have given me a sense of security, of being safe even when I’m afraid of failing or doing something wrong. Because isn’t being known and loved better than being perfect? Friendship breeds confidence.
Because isn’t being known and loved better than being perfect? Friendship breeds confidence.
I recently went to see Batman vs Superman. It wasn’t my favorite movie. *Spoiler alert! If you haven’t seen or read the end, skip this part!* But it did remind me that shared mission, interest or passions is where friendships are born. Through most of the movie the two heroes were pitted against each other by the ‘mastermind enemy,’ each thinking the other had gone rogue and was being self-centered. The apex at the end was that they realized they had a common enemy and a common interest in protecting humanity. They forged a connection and took on the bad guys together. This is the place where friendships begin.
Friendship thrives when our hearts are heading the same direction, when we have a common goal. C.S. Lewis says it best: “Lovers are normally face to face, absorbed in each other; Friends, side by side, absorbed in some common interest.” And again,“Friendship is born in that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.’” Sometimes it takes us time to discover a connection with a person, and sometimes it’s an instant connection. Friendship can surprise us, like in Batman vs Superman – after long times of being on the opposite sides of the fence we find ourselves on new ground together. However our friendships start, longevity makes it a very sweet thing.? A life changing thing. A happiness thing. A confidence thing.
So in honor of friendship, and the way it makes us better, braver, freer women, here are some ideas of how we can make room for this gift to grow in our lives!
- Be Intentional. One of the very best ways to make friends, and keep them, is to be bold and brave enough to intentionally build opportunities into your schedule. If we’re not present, the magic doesn’t happen! Showing up, inviting people, committing to a community – all open us up to friendship possibilities. It requires effort, it might be pushing us out of our comfort zone, it may take sacrifices, but it’s the way friendships spark.
- Listen & See. Friendships happen and bloom best when we listen to what someone is saying, not just the words coming out of their mouths. Watching someone’s way of life gives us a window into their hearts. Another word for these things is to discern. If we can discern what makes a person tick, we can bring the right kind of support and love. If they do the same for you, a beautiful friendship is growing.
- Don’t Look to Hard. I’m speaking from too much experience here. As a ‘doer,’ I’ve done my fair share of focusing on what I lack and coming up with plans to fill the gap. When we’re focusing so much on the need, we’re coming at friendship from a selfish place. Friends make our lives rich and bring value and such happiness…but what we lack in human friendship for a season of time, we can find from the One who created friendship. Be honest with God about your desires, and trust that He is the “master chess player” and will nudge you to move into the right spot at the right time for the right connections. The best friendships usually happen naturally and ‘by chance’. Which, of course, is not chance at all. Realizing that even the very best of friends aren’t meant to be our source (picture ticks sucking off each other; not good), we’re always meant to be side by side, pressing together towards something, bringing happiness, hope, joy, encouragement, security, love…pushing each other along. If you deal with co-dependance be aware and get ‘filled’ from Jesus instead of a friend. Friends are more like the icing on top!
- Communicate. I’ve hurt and been hurt in friendships when we didn’t communicate what we were thinking or feeling. Don’t make assumptions out of insecurity. Most of the times I hurt someone was because I assumed that I didn’t matter that much to them. The better plan is always to assume the best, and then talk about it if there’s confusion.
- Create Connection. There are all different ways to say, ‘I’m here for you,’ or ‘I love you,’ or ‘I support you.’ It might be a quick text, an e-card, snail mail, a social media shout out, a phone call, a visit. Shared experiences are king in friendships! It can be the shared experience of motherhood, being a stay at home dad, having the same job, fighting for the same cause, or being part of the same family. Whatever brilliant or simple ways we think of, connection is vital and beautiful and every human craves it!
What ways do you make space for friendships to grow in your life? How has friendship changed your life? Feel free to share your ideas and experiences in the comments ~ I would love to hear a piece of your story!