Re-engaging In Friendships Is A Path Worth Taking
Written by Guest Blogger, Pamela Havey Lau
Several years ago, I needed a friend outside of my current circle to help me navigate an extremely painful life experience. Before I just randomly talked with anyone who came to mind, I made a list of what I needed in that counsel. I remember the morning I wrote out that list in a journal. I asked God to lead me, no matter how long it took, to the right person who could hear my heart and pray with me. Specifically, I asked God for a friend who would authentically talk about her own story.
Three weeks later to the day, I was sitting across the table from a woman who stockpiled resources like no one I’d ever met and she freely offered what she’s received along the way.
Her honest truth-telling about her own story (that was very similar to my own), cut me to the core of my pain and set me on the path to freedom.
How did I find her? By waiting and listening—in our culture we tend to rush impatiently through our hurts and our needs, our joys and our offerings. The more a woman can use her tenacity to find the community, the person, the friend she identifies with best, the more satisfying life becomes.
I’ve learned that my deepest need is often closely tied with another person’s great joy in sharing their personal journey in the most authentic of ways.
Here are five things I want to share about being persistent in seeking the right friendships:
1. Name Your Need to Yourself. Be brutally honest and clarify exactly what your heart and soul are telling you. Do you need another play date for your pre-school child, advice in dealing with a colleague, or do you need to express some feelings you are experiencing that are distracting you? Name your need here ____________
2. Pray and ask God to Provide. Ask Him for the right person who you need and who needs you to initiate.
3. Wait. Pay Attention to what’s being said around you while you wait for God to bring you the right friend. During the three-week period I persistently prayed for the person I needed, so much clutter was removed from my perspective. I was sitting at a small party when I overheard another woman speaking when something caught my attention. I asked a few more questions and knew immediately that who she was talking about was a woman whose name God would have me hear.
4. Initiate. Later that day, I sent an email to the woman mentioned above and asked her to meet with me. We set a date on the calendar and met in person.
5. Stay Open. I wasn’t sure how many times we would meet or how long this friendship could withstand my need. But here’s what I do know–our Heavenly Father who knows us better than we know ourselves, hears us when we pray, answers us with his kindness by leading us to reengage old and new friends.
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:18-19, ESV
Join the conversation and share your thoughts below on how to engaged in friendships…We will use your input on Joy of It Radio as we discuss this topic for the next few weeks!
Pam will speak on the topic of friendship at an upcoming event call Lives Woven Together on Saturday, September 24th. Click Here for more info and tickets.
Pam is the author of a Friend in Me and Soul Strength. She teaches writing and communication at George Fox University and speaks to women around the country about friendship. Pam lives in the Portland area with her husband and three daughters.
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