goodfriend

I don’t have any friends, and neither do you, right?

Admit it, you’ve said it, “I feel like I don’t have any friends.”

I’m not sure why as women we go there so often, but I do know that it is a common area of doubt for me, and many of the women I am able to get to know. I’ll see photos of women with their “close” friends and catch myself thinking “I feel like I don’t have any friends.”

Those of you that know me, know this is absolutely not true.  I know that it isn’t true.  In fact, God has given me some amazing friends, both in the community that I live in, and in the online world.  But, those of you that know me well, also know that I often ask for prayers of protection in this particular area of attack in my life.

Today, for each one of you who has ever entertained that thought, for every one of you who have cried silent tears when no one was looking because you felt lonely, for everyone of you who thinks that everyone else has dinner plans with friends every weekend, and on and on…  for you, I just want you to know, we all feel that way. We all wrestle with doubt and insecurity, it’s not just you.

My daughter is 7.  She has been coming home from school and saying she played alone at recess.  As a mom, it makes me sad to think she doesn’t have friends to play with.  But, here’s the thing…  when I talk to her teacher, she tells me she has all sorts of friends.  Her perception of her friends, and the reality are two totally different things.  Hmmm…  it starts that young.  Together, we have been processing this phrase,

“To have good friends you have to be a good friend.”

As adult women, the same is true.  To have good friends, we have to be a good friend.  My friend Lelia held a mini-friend “thank you” event this weekend and shared with me (who lives 3+ hours away and couldn’t go – boo) how many of the women needed to feel like they had a “friend” and how moved they all were.  I know right – we ALL struggle here.

I’ve had to adjust my outlook from time to time and realize that when this attack is coming, it’s because I’m making things all about me.  If I focus on others, instead of myself, things begin to look different.  I need to BE a good friend, in order to have GOOD friends.  I can’t wait for friends to simply arrive in my life.

So I challenge you.  Instead of thinking “why doesn’t anyone call and ask us to come over for the evening” I think, “who should I call to see if they want to hang out?”  When I write a blog, I LOVE to see comments and interact with others, which doesn’t happen near as often as I’d like (wink wink)

At the same time, when I’m out reading other blogs and getting to know people and their hearts, I find that I rarely comment.  When I look at my “why” behind that, I realize that it is because I believe the whisper that says “well, they don’t know you and they’ll just think you are a stalker lady or something. Everyone who comments seems to know her.”  (please tell me I’m not the only one that has that thought!)

So, I started a list to help you out.  (be warned, I’m likely going to hover on this topic for a few Monday’s!)

5 things for when you think you don’t have ANY friends:-) 

1.  YOU DO HAVE FRIENDS- don’t believe the lie, instead shift how you are looking at your circumstances.  When doubt whispers, see it for what it is and just proclaim the name of Jesus instead!  Jesus, I ask that you fill my thoughts with how you feel about me and erase any thoughts of doubt I’m having right now.

2.  Start actively looking for people you can pray for – even if they don’t know it.  It will shift your heart and you’ll be surprised at how much it changes things.

3.  Call others – when you think of someone, call them, or text them, and just tell them they were on your mind and you just wanted to say hi, or see how they were doing.  These “thoughts” are often the Holy Spirit prompting you.

4.  Respond – if you are in the social media world, or a blog reader, trust that some of your best relationships may happen from a distance.  However, for people to get to know you, you can’t be a silent reader.  Respond, comment, like, or whatever it is that you.  But to know you, you can’t be invisible.  I promise, I have never thought “that’s weird, why is that person always commenting?”  Instead, when I find a consistent reader, I try to get to know more about them in some fashion.  And always, always, comments that help me know I’m connecting at some level make my heart happy.

5.  Share how you feel.  I know, it sounds crazy, but I have found that by simply saying it out loud makes a difference.  Not in a please be my friend way, but more like my friend Lelia did – in a “thank you for being my friend, it makes a difference in big and small ways.”

 

Today, for whoever it is that needed this, I pray a smile and a lifting of the weight you have been carrying.  I pray that you realize that you are not alone, and that you do have friends, and can BE a good friend.  We all can BE a good friend.  And if, we focus on BEing a good friend, I think that Jesus will make sure that we HAVE good friends.