“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 (NKJV)
I feel very blessed.
For in addition to developing a closer relationship with God, I realized that I am super blessed in the area of friendships – especially women friendships. This hasn’t always been the case.
Back in college, I allowed my friends to “choose me.” I know this sounds silly, but women would often choose me to be their friends for very superficial reasons. I had “friends” tell me that they chose me because I was “pretty like them” or because “boys liked me” or because “I had a lot of friends.” And these same women would also want to exclude other women from our events and “friend circle” if they lacked these things – especially “being pretty.”
As you can guess, these friendships did NOT stand the test of time. In fact, quite the opposite. Most of these friendships did not make it past a few years after college. In some cases, I found that my friendship, which honestly was not based on those things, was not valued. Or in other situations, the ugliness or lack of character in some of these women showed their faces to a point where I couldn’t ignore it any further.
Now my reason for writing is not to disparage these women or make myself look like a saint. It took me years to actually see some of these relationships for what they truly are and were – and my enabling contribution to them. I am actually very thankful for these women and for these experiences because they have made me recognize and value “true friendships.”
So a couple of years after college and the beginning of my realization on how poorly I chose friendships, I began to be more deliberate and discriminating in my friendships – especially with those closest to me. And this intention has proved itself extremely beneficial.
Sadly, I let go of some friendships that weren’t good for my heart and my soul. I would find myself mentally and emotionally depleted after these interactions. But fortunately, I made new friends, true friends – some of which have lasted more than 12 years and span the globe.
I made new friendships with women based on their character of warmth, honesty, authenticity, personality, and their relationship with Spirit. I chose depth to shallowness. I chose beauty on the inside instead of only beauty on the outside.
I can now claim a “sister circle” of women who are deep into the Spirit that help me draw closer to the Lord and keep me accountable. And I have friends of other faiths who God also uses to speak the truth of his Words to me. It has been quite amazing.
God is Good.
So, I am reminded as a begin this new journey of finding friendship and community in my new city (San Fran) of the importance of these earlier lessons.
I must remain authentic, open my heart, and be the friend that I seek in others. And I know that I will always have a friend in God, and continually seek to be more like Him.
Wishing you hope, joy, and peace,
[This post is a part of a special series with the community at The Holy Experience. Every Wednesday, we Walk with Him, and post a spiritual practice that draws us nearer to His Heart. This week, and the next two weeks, we consider: The Practice of Relationship.]