Friends, time and women. Three very complex things in the lives of women.
Time is an interesting thing. I don’t care what we do we never have enough of it even though we all have the exact same amount. Isn’t that interesting?
Time is a commodity we use up. When we have it we rarely notice it go by. But, when we are lacking it, we find that we are in desperate need of it. But, guess what, we can’t get more of it. So, we have to learn to manage it effectively.
Friendship is the same way, sort of. When we have it, sometimes we really don’t notice it until it is gone. We notice that we really need that listening ear or voice of comfort and reason.
Friendships with women is a hard topic for most of us. One of the reasons is because we as women are so complex. Far too complex for me to put in this article I can assure you. Friendships can be a source of great pain and contention for some and for others it is one of life’s greatest pleasure
Anything in this life that you value you put time into it or you give great attention to it. The Bible says that he that wants friends must first show himself friendly. These, I’m going to call them “gifts,” take time and attention.
These “gift” topics as I mentioned can be a great source of pain for many but wonderful life “gifts” for others. Unfortunately, for me they have brought much pain into my life. Thus, the reason for this article.
Friends Don’t Come Easy
Ohhh, growing up was so painful for me in the area of friendships. Back when bullying was merely picking on a kid for day or two and it was over, I was on the receiving end of the bully’s hate. I was the little nerdy kid in glasses that girls picked on and teased. All through grade school and middle school I was picked on. Teased for my hair, teased because I was smart, called four-eyes, chased home from school and more. As I write this article, I remember running home from school so afraid of this gang of girls, not much older than me. Afraid of what they would do to me. Afraid, and not understanding why they didn’t like me.
Making friends can be hard. The mean grade school girls didn’t take time to get to know me. They didn’t see who I really was. They didn’t know me. I have found that this is the same in adult women. We must take time for each other. I honestly struggle with this now that I am divorced. I have more time on my hands that my married friends. I’m in a different season of life. But, I still love all my married friends but the relationships are changing. I am finding that married women do not really hang around with a lot of single women. When you are married you just seem to have married friends in your circle. I still like my married friends but our lives are different and our time is different. Now that I am single my world and time is different than my married friends.
Having life-long friends is hard. It doesn’t come naturally. It takes work (time). It takes intentionality (time).
Friends on Purpose
Far too many of women are not intentional about friendship. We let some of the most important relationships slip from our lives, just like time, because we are not walking in an understanding of the importance of value in each other’s lives. We sincerely do not take time for each other. This is a problem in my life right now, I hate to admit. But I’m sure it is for you too. But as grown women, we do not run to our mommies about this. We just keep drudging along in life, pretty much friendless. Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we do not need friendships. True heartfelt friends.
What does it take to be a good friend? I think this is a question that a lot of us need to ask ourselves. What is your part or their part? What exactly do we look for in a friend. Are you paying attention when God sends someone to your life? Do you know how to recognize a good friend? Do you on purpose make time for a friend? Do you listen to her? All of these are important questions that you need to ask yourself.
I will answer a few of them here. But before I do, let me add this. A key to friendship is this quote, “you must recognize who someone is to your life” in the season you are in. Why? Because sometimes friendships are unique. Sometimes God gives you a friend for you and sometimes He gives you a friend for them.
A Recipe for Friendship
There are so many ways to recognize if someone is a friend. More than I could put in this blog. But we all need friends and friendship takes maturity, intentionality, and heart sharing.
Let’s talk about these:
Maturity looks different to a lot of people. Being a mature friends means understanding that the friendship can’t be all about you. At what stage in your life did you become friends. Is it possible that the person befriended you when you were in a crisis place and now you are not there. Sometimes the friendship was created when you were the crisis person and now that you are not that person you seem different to them and the friendship has changed. I have this problem right now. A lot of people I know, came into my life when I was in the deepest pain. Now, that I am not in that place, they are not around. They don’t know the more healed me. The friendship can’t handle the change. It didn’t grow with the change I was going through.
Are you a listener? What do I mean. You need to listen to your friend, but you also need to listen to God about your friend. Do you actually listen to the other person and hear with your heart. We as women, sometimes, just want to be heard. It is nothing harder than trying to have a friend and they do all the talking or they don’t let you finish your statements. Listen to the message behind their words. Listen to their heart. Listen to why they are in your life and why you met them out of all the people on the planet.
This one is interesting. When you are with your friend, are you there or are you totally being distracted with your cell phone or kids or something else. There is nothing worse than when a friend needs you and your time (because they go together) that you are always on your phone. Think back ladies, years ago we didn’t have these cell phones. Drop the phone, be present.
Being a friend means you have to intentionally take time for the relationship. This one is hard if you are busy person. But, it can be done. Yes, we all live in a busy world but busyness is not always a good thing. People are more important than anything on this earth and we need to really take time for people. You never know what another person needs or what you can offer to them at any given moment. Do not wear your busyness as a badge of honor. It could cost you friendships.
Heart sharing is a two-way street. Both people must share from the heart. Let me add a big neon sign here. Do this without judgement. When this doesn’t happen, it makes it very hard to be in a friendship. Pretty soon, the other person will feel they cannot trust in you. Heart sharing is another word for being vulnerable. Sometimes we have so many walls around us that we just can’t let people in. When we do that, we suffer the loss of a relationship that could be one of the best things in our lives.
The Gift of Friendship
Women are unique creatures. We are so many things to so many people. Yet we sometimes go lacking in what we need because we simply can’t find it. A lot of hurt occurs amongst women. We have to be careful of that all the time. But, not so careful that we stay isolated from each other.
It takes a lot to let people into your life. What are you losing if you don’t but what are you gaining if you do?
Learn to embrace the gift of friendship. Know that it takes time. Recognize that it is truly a gift. Realize that you are a unique woman and may need that woman that you are pushing away. Simply be a friend.