I just listened to a very quick podcast by Victoria Jenkins on A Woman Inspired. The Title of it is “The Friday Five: Bread & Butter. It’s a little over 2 minutes and worth the listen. They have it also posted in written format for those who prefer. I was especially moved by the last two paragraphs of what Victoria wrote. I’ll not copy and paste it but rather you can read the entire post HERE.
There are certain topics that are not easy for everyone. For some when you say a message on obedience, forgiveness or gossip they run to the hills. For others, like me, friendship is the topic that always makes me give a deep sigh. For years I thought something was wrong with me because I would always hear or read all these incredible stories of such loving friendships between women either one-on-one or group friendships. I’d hear or read stories of long-lasting friendships: 5, 20 or 30 years and all the time they would meet for coffee, have long chats, do things together with their children, go on mini-trips together and so on, and I’d wonder why can’t I have at least ONE female relationship like that Lord? No sisters growing up, a mother who didn’t want me and who faked it in front of the public until I was 43 years old when all communication ceased, while behind closed doors there was no relationship with her children from day one and then 5 very hurtful friendships and even recently 1 that has had to be redefined. And so I found myself asking what is wrong with me?
I have spent the last few years really delving into this with God, how He called me to minister to women especially, and have been, by His grace doing that for almost 16 years successfully, and how He’s given me such a compassionate and loving heart for the needs, struggles and concerns of women of all ages, and just how many wonderful and fruitful connections I have in ministry with women YET, still not ONE fruitful friendship. He’s answered me and given me great insight, revelation and wisdom and so I continue to pray and to wait for that one up-close fruitful friendship that will be grounded in Christ. Other than my Grandma whom I adored, and is with the Lord now, I’ve not had a healthy relationship with a female long term. I throw my whole heart in and then betrayal, being used and dismissed has crept in. God had to show me that part of that was the types of friendships I chose and out of the pain and need, or guardedness that I had at the time of each friendship. I used to say, “I must not make a very good friend”. The end of 2010 God told me flat to stop saying that and beating myself up.
Another insight God has allowed me to see is that I’m actually NOT alone in this. I have had many women privately come to me for prayer from the serious hurts of friendships or the loneliness of not having a real girl-friendship. There are many women of all ages (young ladies, mature aged women such as myself, and older), who experience the same thing and who have been terribly hurt by friendships and it can cause you to be so guarded. The problem is, as God showed me is that if we’re too guarded we can miss the person that He will send along.
If you struggle in the area of friendship and you are too embarrassed to say or you feel as if there is something wrong with you, don’t allow the enemy to feed you that nonsense. Yes, go to God and ask questions so that you can discern what is going on but don’t just beat yourself up or think that there is a problem with you–that you’re the only woman who is experiencing this. Friendship is hard work and requires us to be very willing and vulnerable and that is not easy when you’ve been burned.
Here’s the response I left on Victoria’s post:
I enjoyed hearing your voice! Friendship is for some, a difficult topic and for others it’s like breathing air. I have not found it to be an easy area in my life. While I love on everyone and enjoy many fruitful connections with women, I have experienced great loss, betrayal and hurts in friendships (which I consider to be relationships that are up-close), in my almost 50 years on the planet. It has caused the guard dog to stand at the gate of my heart to protect YET, God’s presence and peace reminds me still that there is hope; that there is a relationship that will be grounded in Christ–where I can be fully vulnerable and so can she and I not have to worry that betrayal, being used or dismissed will be the ending factor but rather love and unity.
The last two paragraphs of what you shared I most especially enjoyed as it speaks what I believe as well about how God views friendship.
Love you girl! Keep living the faith! I don’t get to pop in often but glad I did today.
Do you need support in the hurts of friendship(s) or the loneliness of not having a girl-friendship? You’re not alone. Other women feel the same. I have the Lord as the keeper of my heart and I also have a hubby who is my best friend on earth and I’m grateful, but there’s nothing like a girl-friendship when grounded in the Lord so I will pray and support you through your season. Reach out and know that God has a sweet friendship for you. Pray, trust and keep your heart pliable and open to who He sends.