by Lisa Jordan @lisajordan
I spent this past weekend with four close friends, celebrating our belated Christmas and one of their upcoming birthdays.
Before I had gone to hang out with them, another friend commented that she didn’t have a group of friends like mine and expressed a twang of jealousy. Earlier in the week, another friend shared she wasn’t good at nurturing friendships.
I get it. As we go through different stages in our lives, our friendships may come and go as well. Even though we may pinky swear in third grade to be best friends forever, life doesn’t always allow for those childish promises to be fulfilled. Not only that but as we grow and mature, our attitudes and opinions change, causing rifts and distance. Wives and moms can become too consumed with their family roles to take time for outside friendships.
Cultivating friendships is essential because we were created for relationships. God didn’t design us to spend our days alone.
Even though I have a very healthy marriage and a strong relationship with our two sons, I need my female friends to sustain me in ways that my husband and sons can’t.
For the most part, women understand other women. PMS, anyone? Try to get a guy to understand that one.
Not only that, but there’s a connection between friends that is different than a marital bond or one between a parent and a child. While my husband and boys appreciate my stamping, scrapbook layouts, or crocheting/knitting projects, my female friends are the ones who share those hobbies and totally get my need for some crafting therapy.
Chatting with a friend over coffee feeds my inner needs of being heard, being noticed, and being needed because hopefully, I’m strengthening that relationship with my friend as well.
But what if you don’t have a close-knit friendship or circle of friends, and you want one? How do you go about cultivating those friendships?
Think about what you want in a friendship and what you’re willing to sacrifice and give because any relationship worth having requires sacrifice, compromise, and your willingness to invest in that bond.
How do you like to spend your free time? Are you a classic movie buff? An avid knitter? An outdoorswoman itching to go for a hike or launch the kayak as soon as the ice in the river melts? If you’re involved in particular hobbies, see if there’s an acquaintance who shares your ambitions. Take the first step. Invite her to grab some coffee, hang out, or do something you'd both enjoy.
Pray for your friend. Take the time to drop a note in the mail, send a text or email, or pick up the phone to connect with your friend. Do something to show how much you value your friendship.
Once you allow a relationship to grow organically, you'll want to spend more time with that person and cultivate a friendship that will feed your soul and make it blossom.
What about you? Do you have a close friend? How did that friendship come about? What do you do to cultivate that relationship?