Friendship is weird. There’s some good weird and bad weird and we fall somewhere in the middle because friendship will never be perfect. Women will let us down. They will forget the important things and remember the small petty things. They will intentionally or unintentionally leave you out and may tell a sarcastic joke that feels a bit too personal. One day things may seem great and the next day, they don’t return your text messages for unknown reasons.
There is a reality to the bad parts of friendship—our world is broken, including our relationships!
So, when we have felt discouraged, unwanted, or disliked in some of our friendships, how do we move forward? How do we continue to trust other women? How do we not get frustrated with God for the lack of healthy female community?
TRUTH FOR YOURSELF
First things first, seek truth because these broken moments are when we are susceptible to allow the lies and insecurities to take over and drown us. Seriously, I cried for days over a friend-breakup because I couldn’t get over the hurtful words she had said. I played them over and over again in my mind, doubting every friendship I had. I believed that if one person felt this way, then everyone must feel this way about me and thus, it must be true. LIE! So, I rushed to my Bible and did my best to replace those harmful thoughts with God’s truths about me:
- You are a child of God (John 1:12)
- You are a friend of Jesus (John 15:15)
- You are accepted by Jesus (Romans 15:7)
- You are redeemed and forgiven by the grace of Jesus (Ephesians 1:7)
- You are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
- You are light. (Ephesians 5:8)
- You have the peace of God to guard your heart and mind. (Philippians 4:7)
- You have all your needs met in God (Philippians 4:19)
- You belong to God (1 John 4:6)
- You are loved by God (1 John 4:10)
Dig in, sister! What God says about you is TRUE and there is powerful healing in finding our identity in Him before we pick ourselves up for a new friendship.
FORGIVENESS FOR HER
To move forward, we have to forgive the friend for the pain she has caused. Preferably, this is done in person, to remove as many barriers to misunderstanding one another as possible. Yet, I understand that sometimes a face-to-face conversation isn’t feasible. Whether you get to say the word “I forgive you” over the phone or whether you say it out loud to God, you need to put your resentful, bitter feelings to rest. Ask God to see your friend as He sees her. Pray for her good. Find healthy closure over this relationship.
LOVE IN NEW FRIENDSHIPS
You’re ready to make some friendship moves and reach out to a new gal in your community. You have courage because you walk with God. You are ready to open yourself up again without fear and anxiety that this new friend will behave in the same way as past friends. You “know and rely on the on the love God has for you” so, you can enter into friendships with joy and excitement (1 John 4: 16).
IS IT OKAY TO TAKE A BREAK FROM FRIENDSHIP?
So, you recently had a friendship breakup and the wounds feel really fresh? It can be tempting to give up pursuing friends all together. I know I have felt that way before. I have felt the sting of a friendship gone wrong so, I tell myself that I will just give the whole “friendship thing” a rest. As much as I believe in taking some time for yourself to heal, I also think the enemy looks forward to our defeated position. Our spiritual enemy wants to see us lose faith in friendship, he wants us to call it quits and to isolate ourselves from community. Let’s not give the enemy wiggle room to hold us back from fruitful friendships. Let’s return to God who heals all wounds then go and model His love to one another.
Friendship, just like any relationship this side of heaven, will require truth, forgiveness and LOVE “that covers a multitude of sin” (1 Peter 4:8). Because we all mess up in our friendships and it takes a lot of courage to open ourselves up to new friends and to trust that the effort is worth it. Even though it may seem hard to envision now, God wants you to be in empowering, kind and affirming friendships. Dry seasons may will come but trust that God has good things in store for you and your community.