In Friendship Matters the book I co-authored with my best friend, Rebekah Hargraves, I wrote of the importance of sharing your story. When I wrote this section my thought wasn’t of the “me culture” we find splashed all over social media. It is really easy to get on Facebook or Instagram and write “Friday Introduction” type posts. We crave attention, we want people to know who we truly are.
Can I suggest though, that this is likely not going to happen behind a screen? Oh, we would like for it to. It’s easy to get behind a screen and shout to the world who we really are because the screen gives us some form of anonymity. We don’t have to face a “real person” and share. Hi my name is Amber and I am…. is a lot easier to type than it is to be vulnerable and share in person.
It’s the culture we live in, this locking ourselves away by staying too busy to cultivate friendship. All of us want to be known, but many are not willing to do what it takes to truly be known. We would like to have our cake and eat it too please.
Some of us have been previously burned from an in person friendship and it became easier to place intimacy on the back burner and move on with our lives. Who wants friends between the ache of friendship drama and friendships breaking up?
True friendship is a gift. If I did not believe it to be so I would not have written a book on the subject. I have walked through many different friendships, some which I thought for sure would break me when they ended and others which are so strong I thank the Lord daily for His grace in blessing my life with that particular friend. These friends who are more like family.
I think its easy to point fingers. We don’t want to be friends with that person because of xyz-reason. How often though, do we slow down to really consider what is happening inside of our own hearts? Do we take the time to seek the Lord and ask for His wisdom and guidance in our own self being a good friend to those in our lives?
Friendship takes grit. It takes being willing to open up your heart and risk the potential of being hurt. It takes showing up and being willing even when it isn’t convenient for you. I love the C.S. Lewis quote “Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: “What? You too? I thought I was the only one!”.”
One of my very favorite ways of growing friendship is fellowshipping over a meal or coffee. Jesus broke bread with His disciples and I think there is something so special about coming together and sharing our hearts while we feast. Taste and see that the Lord is good the Psalmist says, taste and see that the gifts He provides us (friendship in this case) are good.
Not every friend you have in your life do you need to share a “ride or die” relationship with. In fact I can count on one hand the number of ladies in my life who I share this type of bond with. I think we can sometimes get lost in building friendships, thinking we have to be closer than close simply because we are in relationship with someone.
But friend, that’s truly not the case. It’s really not even the point. Yes those friendships are precious and yes there is a place for them, but again 95% of your friendships are not going to be that deep. Still, cherish the people God has placed in your life. Make it your mission to get to know them and to love them well. Be the person they can trust to bring a smile to their face on a hard day, the person they know will pray for them should they ask. Have fun, laugh together, be adventurous, make time to be together.
And when those once in a lifetime friendships those best friendships are granted to you, thank the Lord for them.
Get out there and share your story. Love people like Jesus would have you. Build friendship and connection, people are in desperate need.
“How many slams in an old screen door? Depends on how loud you shut it. How many slices in a bread? Depends how thin you cut it. How much good inside a day? Depends on how good you live ’em. How much love inside a friend? Depends how much you give ’em.” – Shel Silverstein