People in my life who aren’t Christians assume that because my faith has grown strong over the past few years that it makes me their “crazy” friend.
That because I am a Christian I must not love those that aren’t. I must not love people who are different than me or practicing a different faith. My circle of friends must be from Church and we probably sit around judging all of those around us who live a life different that ours. It’s sad that this is the first assumption but it’s certainly not the truth. In fact its not the truth with the majority of Christians I know.
The past few years it felt like I was in a season of life where friendships took the back burner.
I didn’t have girls nights or any nights really that didn’t involve two small children and my husband. It was odd because I am someone who naturally loves to be with people but I didn’t miss it during that season. I suppose thats how I knew I was where I was supposed to be, doing what I was supposed to be doing. Instead I was pouring all of my energy and love into my new little family. Now, 5 years into motherhood, I’ve started missing new friendships.
It’s always amazing to me how God weaves our stories and how He really changes our desires throughout them. If you would of told me 2 years ago that I would be opening my own business and on the hunt for meaningful friendships I would of laughed. Not because the idea didn’t sound amazing but because I just didn’t have that desire. Now that I do I’ve been praying and thinking a lot about what it means to be a good friend and how to build these relationships.
My 3 lessons on friendship.
When I talk about the season of my life when I was focusing on my family and not friendships that doesn’t mean I just gave up all of my friends. I still nurtured my closes friendships but I wasn’t actively trying to build new ones. Some friendships ended, some hit pause, and some walked through that season with me. During that time though I really learned 3 big key lessons to friendships and how to approach creating ones that would be with me for the next 30 years of my life. I’m no biblical scholar, which is why I have always been cautious when talking about God on this blog. However I’m done second guessing myself and learning to share what is on my heart.
Be a house of Prayer and a hospital.
I can’t take credit for those beautiful words because they come from Annie F. Downs but the second she spoke them it hit deep and became the focal point for this post. As a Christian my goal on Earth is to be as Christ like as possible, right? That means loving His people and loving them hard. Not just the people who wear their pearls to Sunday service, everyone.
Looking back I have seen God working this in my life for so long and I just never picked up on it. My entire life I have surrounded myself with a diverse group of people: one of my best friends as a teenager was gay, another struggled and still does with addiction, some came from rough home lives, and some were like me and super lost. My friends list, the people I have loved deeply, is not a who’s who of “Christian Elites”. I want people, no matter who they are, to know they have me in their corner and I’m praying for them but I’m also here to help with their hurt. This is listed as first as a reason.
Be the real you.
Guys it would take me a day to count how many times I have changed or altered myself to fit someones idea of who I should be. I’ve quieted parts of myself that I really love to not offend or disrupt someone and that had to stop. You can’t build genuine friendships with people if you aren’t being genuine yourself.
Remember how I talked about being in a season of life where friendships weren’t on the top of my list? I know part of that was God making me work out my issues in this subject. This is tough because we really want people to love us. How many times have you uttered ” I don’t care what people think about me” ? Probably 503625 times like myself but who are we kidding we do care. Letting that curtain fall and being authentic to myself was scary but it’s brought deep peace and I know it will lead to friendships built on that truth.
Be a shining light.
John 1:7 says ” He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that all might believe through him.” John wasn’t the only person sent to show others the light. People will see Christ through you and you need to remember that. We are all deeply flawed humans but we still show others Christ, in our actions. With your friendships you want to act in an authentic way that allows those walking next to you see Christ. This ties into the first two lessons because if you are living life as a authentic you and loving on God’s people, all of them, then you will show them Christ through you.
I hope that you find the meaningful friendships you are looking for or that you have an new perspective on how to nurture the ones you have. Either way I am praying for you, friend.