If you know my Momma (you lucky ducks), you know she's a mighty smart lady. She is wise and caring and all around wonderful. And when I was in my awkward stage(s) (lasted about 8 yrs old to... now) she was always who I turned to for comfort. Especially in the area of friends. And Momma always told me, "to find friends, you must first be found friendly".
Which is true.
(wait for it... here it comes... )
BUT, I've also learned two things, through uprooting my entire life and moving 600+ miles away from my closest emergency contact, other than Handsome. The first, is that sometimes being friendly just isn't enough, and the second, that while my momma is brilliant, she's not God. And so Momma, I'm sorry if you're offended, but I looked beyond your wise wise words, to try and figure out just how to make friends.
Lets be honest: once you're out of school, making friends gets hard. I think this is especially true for ladies. There is much more insecurities and second guessing and wordplay... its just so tangled sometimes, being without friends is easier. But its hardly satisfying.
So to try and sort all of this out, I took out my kindle (best Christmas present eva!! Thanks love!) and did a word search of "friend" in my digital bieb-la (bible). I found approx 145 references. And most of it was... not good (or helpful). There were fair-weather friends, friends who lie, friends who are discouraging, and friends who betray. I think everyone has had a run-in with a bad friend. Either that you you live alone in your apartment writing user manuals and cover your windows with tin-foil.
These bad friends are what makes it so difficult to make that second step of friendship. Because yes, you must be friendly. But you also have to allow yourself to be vulnerable. You have to need you a friend. And that is a risk, and its scary, and if you're at all like me, you don't want to do it most of the time.
But if you can find a good friend, a friend who likes (some of) what you like, who gets your humor and ignores your dirty house, its worth it. The rewards of friendship are invaluable. Friends can help in a time of need. Friends pray for you and tend to your soul, as well as pack up your house and celebrate with you. Friends expect you to be your best, and encourage you to do so .
I'm still trying to figure this friendship thing out. Which is sometimes bewildering, seeing as I've been labeled "aggressively friendly". But I want to be careful with whom I place my heart, who gets to see all the secret dreams and stories I have. I do have some friends who fit that category, although most fall outside of that 600 mile limit. I'm still working out the details.
However, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the best friend out there, who "sticks closer than a brother". Jesus is the best BFF a person could have. I've always wondered about scriptures that say "so-and-so was a friend of God". And I thought, "Gee! How does a person get that title?" And curiously enough, in my search tonight, I came upon the following verse where Jesus is speaking (John 15:14): "You are My friends of you do what I command you." Straightforward, no wordplay, no secrets. "do what (He) commands". Easy, no. But something to look towards and center on this week, yeah.
So thats what I know. I still don't know what the friendships in my life are going to look like in weeks or months or years. And honestly, I still don't know much more regarding how to go about making friends. But I've got a new goal, and I'm going to sit myself right there for now.
: Judges 14, Esther (Hamon's friends), Job, Psalms, all full of bad friend examples
: Proverbs 17, 18, 22, 27, Acts (Paul & the disciples friends)
p.s.- for any of you that made it this far in this long long post, and are wondering "Isn't she friends with her husband?" I give you this little nugget:
Him: Who would you say is your best friend?
Me: Well, you, of course...
Me: ... what?
Him: Oh nothing, I just thought it was supposed to be a mutual thing...
And he did admit later to me being his bestie. He just doesn't like to make things easy on me