Friends

I’m entering a difficult subject, a vulnerable subject. Friends are complicated at best. Having friends is at the core of our beings, especially as women. I see people around me and on TV and in movies, and they all seem to have these wonderful friendships with other women. They have a great group of friends who never have conflict and always do EVERYTHING together. Or the have a best friend. That one friend seems to mean everything to them and fulfills every need in their lives. I used to wish for this. I used to want this. I wanted a great group of girl friends to do everything with, but I never had it. I wanted a best friend that meant everything to me and we were inseparable. I did have that as a child, but not really since then. I thought maybe it was because I wasn’t friendship material. I’m not a girly girl. I don’t really understand girls that much. I grew up with all boys and was a tomboy. I don’t do makeup and hair and all that. I still don’t really know how to do makeup, I try, but I know I am not great at it. Truth is I don’t really care about all that. I would rather do a hundred other things than that. I feel like I don’t speak “girl”. I am much more straight forward and don’t understand the nuances of speaking girl. I feel like I mistakenly offend other girls by not understanding what they are saying or trying to say. The bottom line is I felt like I just could not be the friend that everyone wants.

I was listening to this podcast about friendships. It was speaking to young girls, but it really was eye-opening for me. There were two things I took away from it:

One, we aren’t meant to have just one friend who fulfills all our needs. We are meant to have multiple friends who fill different needs in our lives. Wow. That really takes the pressure off, doesn’t it? I don’t have to have one friend in my life who is my ‘best friend’. That’s good, I don’t think that was really gonna happen anyway. I do have a few close friends who fill different needs in my life. Some are friends because we share kids the same age. Some are friends because we have shared difficult circumstances in our lives and others are friends because we have been friends for a very long time. I wouldn’t trade any of them. Some I am closer to at some points and others at other times, but there is not one that is my best friend all the time. And guess what? That’s okay. I’m not missing out or a looser because I can’t find that one best friend like you see in movies. Some people find that, but that is few and far between.

Second, God said that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and so he made a companion for him. This is referring to man and woman, but it works with friends too. God made us for relationship. He wants us to have friends. Guess what? Satan wants nothing more than for us to not have friends. To feel alone. To feel weird. To feel unloved. He is against our friendships and works to keep us isolated. Wow. I never thought about it. You have to fight for your friendships. You have to work to keep them healthy and together. Friendship won’t be easy. It takes work. It’s worth the work though.

Do you have a best friend? If you do, you are blessed and also in the minority. If you don’t, don’t worry, you are not alone. Most of us don’t. I would bet though that you do have close friends. I would also bet you and your friends don’t necessarily look like an episode of Friends. It’s okay. That’s not reality for most people. If you struggle with friends, if you feel weird and awkward, you are not alone. Everyone else feels that way too. Reach out to others around you. Be vulnerable. I know it’s not comfortable but if you want friends you have to be vulnerable. You cannot do this life alone. You weren’t meant to.

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