Friendship at Its Best

Over the past few months, I’ve made a new group of friends. Making friends at any age can be hard, let alone when you’re a bit older. These friends came at a time when I was feeling as though a shift were coming in regards to my intimate community. For me, the body of Christ is everything, and not having close family ties over the course of my life has left me independent beyond words and extremely alone and at times unbearably lonely.

I don’t know where you fall in personality, but I tend to be the initiator. My top love language is quality time, so more often than not I am the one initiating connection with my friends. I love it because that is how God wired me, and yet it can become quite exhausting. I think everyone wants to be seen and known, but not everyone knows how to build those types of relationships.

Friendships take work. They take effort. They take time and care and pushing past differences. They can be awkward, hard, and messy. For any friendship to stand the test of time and display the Kingdom, there are some foundations that must be laid.

 

1. Consistency is the key to authentic connection.

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)

I know you’re thinking that you are too busy and can’t possibly be consistent at being consistent. I have found that I don’t need to do anything fancy or out of the ordinary to connect with my friends. I really do just want to do life with them. Recently, I went to several sports games of my friends’ kids, and I had the best time! And their kids thought they were super special because I came, so it was a win-win. I was able to be supportive and have quality time with my friends. I love breaking bread with my married friends and both encouraging and learning from them, and I’ve also been walking a lot more with my dear friend. We talk about all things Jesus, church, the Word, family, dreams, disappointments — all the things!

 

These are some ways I have been gathering with my new people. It ends up not being so hard to be consistent when we are just living life and inviting others in. These have been some of the sweetest times I’ve had in community in a long time.

 

To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

He Meets Us in the Middle

There’s been a stirring in my spirit since the year began. I think I subconsciously assumed that the trauma of last year would simply disappear the moment the calendar rolled over. Two months in, I’ve discovered that to not be the case. The bulk of the trauma may be over, but I am still dealing with the fallout. And then, 2019 brought its own set of setbacks, causing me a bit of whiplash.

I’m very much still in the middle of a mess. I can see victory in the distance, but that distance sometimes feels farther and farther away. In these times, I easily fall into hopelessness and weariness. I easily focus on the disappointment around me.

I want this time to be different. I don’t want to fall into my old, familiar patterns. I want to trust God in ways I haven’t before. I want to see Him move in ways I haven’t seen before.

The Father, in His infinite grace, is ever so patient with me. He has been gently reminding me of the foundations of our faith. Maybe you find yourself needing these reminders as well.

1. Nothing comes as a surprise to Him.

God, the creator of the Heavens and the Earth. God, the Creator of us. God, who always was, always is, and will always be. Him, that God. He is the sustainer of all things. He knows the end from the beginning. He knows the times and seasons. My sin, my struggles, and my disappointments will never throw Him for a loop. He is never at a loss for what to do concerning me. Even when I can’t see the works of His hands, He is working. He simply wants us to trust that He really does know best and that He is a good Father.

 

To read the rest, join me over at Incourage!

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