I've heard from so many women over the years who long for female friendships, but are generally mistrusting of women.
That's a rough place to be. Its like thirsting for a drink, yet fearing you'll drown if you take a sip.
Most of these women's fears are not unfounded. Maybe they had friends in the past who turned on them. Maybe they had female family members who took advantage rather than taking care of them.
Maybe they've been wronged and hurt by "the other woman." Maybe they've been the other woman themselves.
My own friendship fears were anchored in my life experiences which convinced me: women are not to be trusted, but avoided or competed with. That's why I had to learn to walk by faith with Christ, and not by my fears or cynicism.
I had to ask God for good friends, and then trust them with my heart. I had to make space in my life to care about them and what they are going through.
And when they messed up and blew it - as we all do from time to time - I had to learn to grant them grace and trust them once again.A small few I had to phase out of my life because I found them repeatedly pulling me down rather than helping me grow.
I'm not saying you can't be friends with anyone less mature in Christ than you. Besides, that's how mentoring and lifestyle evangelism work. The problem was they were stagnant, yet having more influence over me than I over them so neither one of us were growing. I enjoyed their company but it was more of a guilty pleasure and I sensed God leading me to let that go.
Today I head for Charlotte for one of my favorite times of the year: the annual She Speaks conference. I'm stoked to spend the next several days with some of the best friends a gal could have, the She Speaks team. My excitement continues because I also get to make new friends while I'm there.
This year I decided rather than rooming with a P31 teammate (Micca and I are usually roomies and I will miss that - she cracks me up y'all!) I'm rooming with a complete stranger that I hope will become a dear friend. Her name is Ariel Allison - do me a favor and pop over to her blog and tell her to be nice to me this weekend, and to grant me grace should I happen to snore!
The point is friendship takes risk, and effort, and work, and grace - just like any other worthwhile thing in life. But friendship is one of the things that make life feel more worthwhile. So don't be afraid to reach out, break the ice, make the invite, and touch someone. Forget your former foes ... new friends await. That's what my devotion today at P31 is about.
Can you think of a good friendship movie (besides, of course, Steel Magnolias)? I always return home from She Speaks too tired to do anything but sit on the sofa, drool, and watch movies for about 2 days. Maybe you and Netflicks can hook me up?