The other day I came across a Facebook post where a woman was complaining about how she believed friends where hard to come by and keep. Especially Christian ones. At the end she was asking for other women's thoughts and advice.
After reading, I had this "ah ha" moment. I knew I had to write a comment back along with expand on this topic more with you.
First, let me share what shocked me.
At any other time in my past I would have agreed with this woman. BUT I DON’T AGREE ANYMORE!
This was an absolutely joyous moment for me.
You see, I never had good friends growing up. I wasn’t necessarily “disliked”, but I was not “liked” either. I would say, I was the girl who was forgotten about. Of course, this is just my thoughts about my past. Someone else might disagree. But the point is, that is how I identified myself for the longest time.
Since I identified myself as not being able to make and keep good friends, I self fulfilled it.
When we moved to a small town for my husband’s job, this identity just intensified. How would I ever create real friendships in a town where most people had their social groups set? Most have lived in this town the majority of their life and don't need new friends.
For the first few years of living here, I clung to that. And not in a good way.
I’ve had a whole shift in how I view myself and the world through coaching. The most dramatic shifts have been with my relationships. Not just a few of them, but all of them. Husband. Children. Family. Friends.
For today, I am going to focus on relationships with friends.
The first dramatic swing happened after I realized that relationships are just the thoughts we think about another person. I’m sure some of you have heard me say this before. But, for those who haven't, take this example.
A friend sent me a text not that long ago saying she was sorry for being distant. It also stated that she was really struggling because she was envious of some aspects of my life. She really wanted to get back to the good relationship we had. I was kind of dumb founded. I didn’t think our relationship had ever turned sour. Yes, I realized we didn’t talk as much, but I just attributed that to our schedules. To me, our relationship was as great as ever.
That example shows that you can have the exact same people and two very different relationships. It is because our relationships are built from our thoughts.
The most amazing gift God made me realize was…
I HAVE THE FREE WILL TO CHOOSE MY THOUGHTS.
I did Beth Moore’s bible study called Living Beyond Yourself: Exploring the Fruit of the Spirit. I LOVED IT! Hands down, the best study I’ve ever done. I highly recommend it to all of you, but keep in mind you’ll get more out of it if you do it with at least one other person (talk about strengthening a friendship 😉).
It's fruit of the Spirit that has increased exponentially in my life over the last couple of years.
Beth writes, “WE are catalysts of joy for one another! After we were born again, He did not leave us on earth to be loners. He wants us to bring joy to one another! He gave us one another to enjoy!”
Here are some verses to back this up...
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! Philippians 4:1
Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the Lord’s people. Philemon 7
Paul writes in both of these verses about how other people brought him JOY.
Here is what I’m getting at friends (yes, I do consider you friends if you are willing to take the time to read what I have to say…), your relationship with your friends is how you choose to think about them and you can choose to think about them JOYFULLY!
Guess what's an added bonus?! If you choose to feel joy when you think about them, you are WAY more fun to be around. You become magnetic. That pull just brings about more friendships and JOY!
If you still think you’re struggling to find, create or keep friendships, step out in FAITH. Let God lead. Show your love and joy to draw them in. Believe me, they will come.
This is exactly what I did in my life. I took a leap to be vulnerable and uncomfortable. I let myself feel stupid and say dumb things around others. I just brought my joy even when I was uncomfortable.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:24-25
One last thing, never be too busy for your friend. If you make the time, they will make the time. Paul writes how we need “not giving up meeting together…but encouraging one another…”
I think that is the secret sauce right there…
MEET TOGETHER and ENCOURAGE
Think about the friend you want to have and be that person right now. If you do that, you WILL attract the people that can be that kind of friend back.
Alright ladies! Go. Make some friends and strengthen those friendships God wants you to enjoy!
Do you wonder how to bring the joy? Are you wrestling with your physical weight or the weight of your thoughts? Sign up for a FREE consult with me and lets explore this.