For a lot of people, making friends is easy and even enjoyable. But there are a few of us that have been affected so badly by past relationships so we shy away from creating any new ones. If you're part of the hurting club, welcome, I'm here with ya.
Your fear of friendships could have started like mine- By girls talking behind your back, fake social media pages going up on the internet making fun of you, rumors spreading, and by straight up d r a m a.
It makes you feel alone. It makes you want to shield yourself from being vulnerable ever again. It makes you want to live through the friendships that you see on Netflix and have no real interaction with the real world.
And I lived like that- for longer than I'd care to admit- but I chose to stop listening to the lies of the enemy my freshman year of college.
Not every girl is out to hurt you; Not every girl is comparing herself to you; Not every girl will leave you. And even though I have spent years planting truth into my brain- the struggle is still real. When disagreements arise within my newfound friendships, I just want to pack it all in and say, "nope, see ya later!" But because God has given me friendships based on His Word, we stay and fight through it together.
If you find yourself in this situation now, what you need to do is replace all of your unhealthy thoughts ("She's going to intentionally hurt me", "She won't ever follow through on her word." "I'll feel more alone in this than I did before") with healthy thoughts ("Maybe she is bothered by girls too, and we can break that stigma for each other.", "It's going to be so great having a new friend to hang out with and talk to!", "I'm going to be intentional about our friendship and really invest in it.")
And there is no easy way to completely break this cycle of thinking, but with the Lord, it is possible and this is His will for you.
Let's look at some examples of friendships in the Bible:
1.) Abraham and Lot: Abraham was so loyal and went above and beyond for friends. He gathered hundreds of men to rescue Lot from captivity!
2.) Ruth and Naomi: Ruth became friends with her mother-in-law and they became so close that they were family, looking out for one another always.
3.) David and Abiathar: David felt the pain of Abiathar's loss, as well as responsibility for it, so he vowed to protect him from Saul's wrath with all of his might!
I don't know about you, but I would love that kind of intimacy with another human being. To be fully known, and truly loved- And at the end of the day, isn't that what we all want and crave, underneath the messiness in our hearts that pretend otherwise?
So I encourage you- and I will even keep you accountable (Send me a message!)- to seek out friendships, no matter what your history looks like, and to continue to love, no matter how unlovable you think some people may be.
Here are some practical ways we can seek out other girls:
1. Comment sweet things on their social media photos: Communicating via social media isn't always a bad thing. It actually opens some amazing doors. I met one of my bridesmaids and best friends on Instagram! So if you want to cultivate a friendship, show support by commenting on their pictures and showing that you really do care about their life!
2. Text them randomly each week and tell them you are thinking of them: I make myself text at least three friends each week- no matter how busy I really am. I text them a Bible verse or just to ask them if they need any prayer.
3. Don't cancel plans: If you're anything like me, "anxiety" is your best friend and its cousin is "cancellation". I can't tell you how many people I have turned off or lost as friends because of my constant backing out of certain adventures. Don't let the enemy rob you of fun. Honor God by following through on your word and He will reward you. Remember, you cannot grow If you are comfortable all of the time!
4. Pray for friendships: When I was in 11th grade, I met my life long best friend. Her name is Faith and she is one of the most God fearing woman I know. When I met her family, they told me that she had endured a lot of bullying and that they were praying very hard for a friend that loved Jesus to come along side Faith. And if you heard how insane the story was of how we met, you would just know it was God answering their prayers. We spent our time praying together until we fell asleep, taking purity courses together, spending nights at church, leading Bible studies, attending worship concerts, holding up "FREE PRAYER" signs in NYC, and so much more. God will honor your requests. He has friends for you.
5. Get plugged in a Church: If you go to Church Sunday, leave right after service, and only know the name of the Pastor, then you're doing it all wrong. You cannot complain about not having friendships if you are not trying to find some intentionally. Immerse yourself in the young adults group, find some mentors to walk with your through seasons of your life, be planted and grow. If you truly don't find yourself being able to pour out into others and be poured into, then pray if God is leading you to another place of worship.
Though it may seem impossible to develop and maintain friendships in this century, don't lose hope.
Shatter your rearview mirror. Don't be afraid. YOU GOT THIS!