Raise your hand if you've ever had a hard time making a good female friend.
Raise your hand if you've lost a friend. Or had a falling out with a friend. Or gone for years without having one single friend with whom you could share your heart.
I can raise my hand on all of the above.
Have you ever moved away and lost ALL your friends, overnight?
Well, I'm realizing I'm in a situation, having just moved, where I am starting at square one with making face-to-face friends. And then as I've talked to a few people, I've also realized that pretty much all of us struggle to make or keep even one good, solid, safe, female friend. It is not easy. Women are not easy. We are complicated, emotional, protective, and horribly addicted to comparing ourselves with others. Comparison is like friendship arsenic, by the way (more on that another day).
I felt I needed to bring this befriending challenge that I'm up against to the table here. Maybe we need to talk about this friendship issue we as women have. Maybe it's just a little too easy to sit behind our screens and desire connection but feel too afraid to step out. I feel that way some days. I feel really, really lame. I don't want to drum up a conversation with that other mom standing five inches from me at school pick up. I don't want to ask my kids to point out the boys and girls they like so I can chase down their mothers in the parking lot and introduce myself. It is NOT fun or comfortable for me.
But I know it's worth it. And I've been taking some courageous steps - for me, anyway - in the pursuit of friendship.
So I thought you may enjoy it if I posted regular updates on this pursuit. I also have a lot of thoughts on the different seasons of friendship that I think God ordains for us. He hasn't always provided friends for me. I've been through painful seasons of loneliness. That's part of His plan too, sometimes.
I've received two emails this week asking for advice on friendship related matters. They are actually what prompted me to put my thoughts down here about starting a dialogue with you on friendship. Do you have any issues or questions you'd like me to address during this little friendship series? I'm hoping, through this process, you'll feel encouraged to pursue new or deeper friendships as well, whether you're in a season to look outside of yourself for that, or to look inward for a deeper friendship with the Lord.
Okay. Let me gather my thoughts for my first post on befriending, and I'll share soon.
In the meantime, answer me this:
What is one immediate thing you look for in a friend, something you can assess within the first few times of meeting?