I love this picture of a woman worshiping at a retreat I did in New Hampshire. Because of our love relationship with Jesus, it dramatically changes our relationships with one another. Here’s a few illustrations from my life – and we’d all be encouraged to hear yours.
In looking for friends, I am prayerful and alert. I will take a risk based on faith. My first Bible study was a huge risk for me, for I was new to Seattle, didn’t know my Bible, and was so lonely. All I did that day was cry (how embarrassing!) – but two women reached out to me who have remained friends for thirty years. (Patti and Lorinda!)
When Steve died I so missed his spiritual sharpening. I thought about which friends had truly been that for me, and Ann and Sylvia, friends from twenty years before, immediately came to mind. Though we now lived in three different states and basically just kept touch at Christmas, I called and asked if we could rekindle our friendship. They graciously said, “Yes!” At least yearly we get together for three or four days. They are coming to the cabin Monday! (Ann from Fargo, Sylvia from Jacksonville) We have lists of things to talk about: how God has worked in our lives, what we are learning from Him, a discussion of Tim Keller’s Prodigal God and the new first chapter of my new book, and how we want to pray. I can’t wait!!!!!
How about you?
Fifteen years ago I was a very troubled mom who ran a bakery/deli, overwhelmed by difficult children and a busy schedule. A customer who is a massage therapist invited me to a “big girl slumber party” at her studio and, contrary to my norm, I went. She introduced me to quiet. We have become spiritual sisters. When we are together, whether in intentional vocal prayer or laughing and telling stories, the presence of the Lord is with us. It is such an affirmation of when two or three are gathered Jesus is in our midst.
“Introduced me to quiet.” Love it. A massage therapist would know that power.
I thank God for those ‘sharpening’ friends in my life. When I first became a Christian 20 years ago – I lost allot of friends – they all thought I had gone ‘Crazy Christian’. I was so lonely – God was so faithful – one by one He brough strong Christian women in my life.
I think that the key to maintaining these friendships was – we set dates and planned ahead. Coffee on Thursdays – dinners once a month. We all made it a point to be there for one another – babysitting- dog sitting – baking – what ever was needed.
The most wonderful thing that God did was – as I became stronger in my walk with God – He brought many of those old friends back into my life. We’ve gone to dinner – their children have come to VBS and other kid’s events at our church – we have even prayed with old friends who sought us out during difficult times. God truely restores what has been stolen! :o)
One thing that always happens after a three hour coffee fest with friends – I come home better – refreshed – a better wife – mom – a better woman! :o)
Enjoy your time with your friends, Dee! Be refreshed!
Love that pic!
Setting dates. So true. In this busy world. My friends coming MOnday are busy women — but we’ve set a date and they are keeping it! Good word.
I love your story!!! I am so encouraged. I do pray that God does allow some of these godly women in my life to remain 20 years from now! I have some at the ten year mark that I a so grateful for!!
I am so excited for you visit with your friends! Praising God that He allowed it to take place! What a blessing indeed! Enjoy each and every moment!
Sweet Angela. I can still picture your face, full of life and intelligence. Thanks for blogging faithfully. I appreciate it!
Dee,thank you for your blog on friendships. My best friend, Diane, moved hundreds of miles away after her husband (another one of my best friends and the man who baptized me years ago) died. I am happy she is able to be near her children and grandchildren, but I truly miss her. We talk on the phone several times a month and we are never at a loss for words or tears or laughter. The most wonderful thing that came from our friendship early on was her leading me to Christ. She gave me such a kick start in my relationship with Him and I am so blessed to be able to say that now she sometimes relies on my faith to get her through challenges. That is a true friendship!
That is true friendship, a three fold cord, for certain.
Thanks for sharing, Susan.
I have a great Christian friend who I work with, but also attend church w/ and our families are friends. It has been difficult though as we have worked together over the past few years not to get “tired” of each other and begin to take our relationship for granted. Those times we spend outside of the workplace have now become not as special or fun as much. Any suggestions? Sometimes too much of a good thing makes the good thing seem not so good. That’s hard!
Great question, Lisa. Friendships usually have a rhythm of moving close and then moving apart. When close, we may want space, when apart, we miss them and move back. It may be that is all that is happening and that some absence may make the heart grow fonder. I’d allow some natural space, and see if that’s helpful. When you say your times together are not as special or fun anymore, it may be that simple — or there may be a deeper problem — but I’d start with this. Let me know how it goes. Love to you!
A younger gal and I are in a mentoring relationship, studying your book. We have a question: how do we begin to trust people in a friendship? She is a mom, worker, wife and I’m an empty nester.
We are enjoying our times together, laughing and praying together. We both attend the same church and have many interests in common. The common trait we share is lack of trust with people. We have both been hurt by friendships.
thanks for your ideas and for the book and study.
I’m so glad you wrote. I noticed on the Moody forum a couple of women who have simply given up on the friendships of women, having been so hurt. When you have been severely hurt, it is easy to be so wounded that you withdraw like a turtle, and others sense that, and are wary, and that hurts you even more. So I’m thankful you two have found each other and can help each other trust again. There are definitely unsafe friends, and I address that a bit in the chapter near the end on alligators and fools. We need to keep our distance from them. But most people are not like that, though they will let us down, for everyone has a sin nature. What’s So Amazing About Grace by Yancey has helped me give grace. When you get to that chapter, if you have questions, come back and ask me. Thanks so much for writing.