Thursday, December 8, 2011

"Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses."
Proverbs 27:6
 A friend may have to give you unpleasant advice at times, but it's often for your own good. It's better to be told truth then be told sweet words that send you into your own ruin.
Oh yes we're going there today..

Why? Because I want to touch base with an issue we are all going to run into. 

Here is what i'm hearing from a majority of woman.
*I can't find good friends
*It's hard to make girlfriends as an adult
*I can't connect with woman around me

sound familiar?
i've been there!
Have I mastered becoming a great friend, no
Have I made mistakes and hurt friends? sadly, yes!
(Thank God for his grace though.)

However, He has laid a few things on my heart about friendship and I wanted to share.

I don't have it all figured out because lets face it, humans are tricky and try as we may we're plain ol' selfish. When you put two imperfect people together you will eventually have a few snags or perhaps a big one that ends the whole relationship. 
Normally I'd say that I could get along with pretty much anyone. I can find a lot of good in a person and i'm thankful for that. But lets face the truth..there are a handful of people that i've come to meet that drive me nuts. Do you know what i'm talking about? 

They are either miserable and pretend otherwise, Or they are miserable and let everyone know.
But either way being miserable is hard to be friends with. 

But I hear it time and time again from these same people how people are walking out of their lives. I want to grab them by the shoulders and shake them and say 'do you really not know why!?'
 THEN they are adding to the mess with status' on facebook about what a bad friend so and so was for ditching them and there are tons of others chiming in about how awful that person is and sugar coating sweet words that sounds something like 'you don't deserve that' or 'you're wonderful!' wait a minute.
(Can you see why facebook can be more then annoying at times?) 
It's fine when we have a bad day and need to vent or are going through a chapter in our lives that we're struggling but a never ending negative attitude is hard to deal with for anyone.
Let me tell you that i've been the negative friend and I've had some pretty amazing people stick it out with me but I can tell you that it was hard for them.

We have different temperaments and each of us deal with things differently. It's not fair to expect a woman to have to make friends with another woman who is lets say negative.  They're constantly posting on facebook about this bad thing or that bad thing and they don't want answers or help, they want to complain.
If you're anything like me if there's a problem you want to fix it and move on.  If not then I admire your view on a more patient approach to let things run it's course.  But I can't take the constant negative spirit because it brings me down!  Selfishly I want to surround myself with woman that are joyful. Now I didn't say happy.

Joy is this constant hope and a content spirit no matter the situation.
For example:
My cousin's wife miscarried recently after being far along. I didn't know how she would respond but when she wrote a note praising God still I was blown away by the attitude she chose.  She responded gracefully and with love in her time of mourning.
She didn't add it to a list of wrongs been done against her instead she placed it in Christ's hands.

Do you see what I mean? Isn't that the kind of friend you want to be around?
But then I've met many woman who have been wronged or are going through bad situations and they hold onto their pain and throw up their card every time you start to question their attitude...
They want to stay unhealed. They have a right to be angry or bitter. They don't want to give God whatever it is that's hurt them.
To stay friends with a person like this wears you down eventually.

 I have met people who feel bad about walking away from this kind of friend and they carry a lot of guilt in their choice. I'm one of them!
So i've asked myself recently if it's wrong to walk away from someone? Is it ever God's will for us to move ahead with our lives?
Here's what i'm learning..
In some cases, it's okay to leave, you're not a bad friend to commit to walk away and simply pray for that person because God did not intend for you to be hurt. 
We can look to Matthew 10:14 where God instructs his disciples that if a place or person does not welcome them or listen to their words (the good news of Jesus Christ) that they are to shake the dust off their feet and leave.
Read that entire chapter if you have a minute because it's message could probably be taken a few different ways but honestly it's simple.  Jesus wanted his message to be spread but knew that some people's hearts were hard and wouldn't accept truth.  Later in chapter ten he says to them, v16 'I am sending you out like sheep among wolves.'  God knew the kind of world that he was sending us into.  He cares for us deeply and the idea of his lamb among wolves doesn't sit well with him but it's the result of the Fall.
How can we apply this to our friendships now that go sour?  If you are loving a friend and trying to help them and they turn you away then I believe God wants you to move along.  It's always my desire to live peacefully with everyone but that can't always be the case. There are people who are hurting that need to hear about Jesus and it's not worth sitting with a person who has already chosen to be hard to God.  Be gracious though and walk away with caution, don't do anything that causes you to sin.
Here is my experience with what I call a good friend.  I've been confronted with truth by a friend before and it hurt really bad. It bruised my pride mostly, but oh did I need to hear what she said. I respect her all the more for what she did because I know it's hard to approach a friend in love.
  I have also experienced a friend who knew I was about to make a bad choice and said nothing, didn't stop me and I walked straight into one of the worst decisions i've ever made. Although at the moment my friends sweet words justifying my choice made me feel good and I thought she was a wonderful friend you can bet that now I look at her and realize she was not the right kind of friend.

I've ran into a few situations with people where I cared so much for a friend and saw the choices they were making were really hurting them.  I didn't know whether to say something or keep quiet.  There is a big difference in speaking something in love and judging and I have to be careful.  When you see a person hurting it may be appropriate to stay quiet and pray, or sit and listen to them, or be available to sit quietly with them saying nothing, but there may be a time for gentle reminders of truth.  It requires much prayer!
And girls if your friend throws you under the bus..move along unless she comes around. Don't feel like you need to earn back trust for being a bad friend because loving a friend is not being a bad one.  God will deal with your friend in a gracious way but it's not his will for you to get hurt.

So lets go one step further and girl talk some more...

What about those questions i've seen over and over about our lack of connecting with other woman?
I think it's our desire to be known by a friend.  Have you ever had a best friend that keeps your secrets and loves you still after knowing them?  Or the kind that brings over your favorite coffee drink just because?  How about the friend that is willing to sit and talk or sit and listen? 
Women need friendships..desperately.

I have a load of wonderful woman that have filled my 22 years. They're amazing God loving woman that have helped me to be the woman I am today.
I recently have met a fellow navy wife who asked to be a mentor to me. I love her so much and was really excited that God blessed me with her!
It starts when someone says i've been there too or i'm walking where you are now.
I find my best friends are those woman that love God deeply and know His love because they show it to me every time we're together.
I walk away from lunches with them and have a sense of peace or a restored soul.  I am ready to go back home and love my boys and serve God all the better.
Yet as much as I've been blessed there have been times i've walked alone.

I don't know where you find yourself right now. Maybe you have an abundance of friends or maybe you're walking in the valley very much alone. 
Is the problem always us or is it simply a season we're in with no close friends?

I want to throw this out there.  Maybe God needs to get us all by ourselves to speak to us at times.  He needs to remove certain people in our lives so that it's only his voice we're hearing and not someone Else's.
But dear one, you were made for relationships..not to walk through life alone.  God intended us to walk through life together and I believe when we pray he will bring friendships.  You have to give quite often because like any relationship it requires us to be selfless. (keep that in mind)


I want to tell you about my Amy. I thank God for her all the time and know she was an answered prayer.

I call her 'my amy' and i'm not sure why but when I see her in church coming in I think 'there's my Amy!' and I get very happy.
I prayed for a friend and God brought me the most not girly girl, blunt as can be, sport nut (i mean that in the best way!), and honest person i've ever met.
But oh man do I love her!
When I met her she had just experienced a great loss.  She lost her two babies in a miscarriage. We met in a bible study and week after week I came to respect her.  She was honest and real about her loss and it was refreshing but still heartbreaking.  Over the months we were able to get together and talk which  was not something Amy did often but God continued to use her. 
She is my coffee buddy and a good one at that!
There's no expectations in our friendship and that's what I find is amazing.
If we don't talk for a week or if we miss a text there's no hard feelings.
If one of us sees another friend there's no feeling of resentment that we weren't included.
It's peaceful.  And I love having a friend that doesn't expect me to be a certain way but takes me as I am and yet still encourages me to grow.
Did you catch that?  Yes she likes me but she is not afraid to share with me when i'm out of line..she doesn't sugar coat but tells it as it is and I love it!
Everything I see her she makes me laugh so hard. 
Pray specifically for this kind of friend because laughter, truth, and a real God loving woman is a huge blessing in life!
I know Amy may just be in my life for a season but I am so thankful that God blessed me with her.

Keep praying God would help you be a good friend and don't expect too much, we're imperfect people and need Grace.
Until next time,


No comments: