I realized I couldn’t be friends with her the way I wanted, the way I was friends with others…..and I wondered immediately what was wrong with me. I wanted to develop a relationship and connection, but it didn’t happen. I know connection takes time….but I wanted to rush the process. With similar hobbies, interests, life-goals, and temperaments I figured the friendship would grow faster and more naturally.
It didn’t. In fact, I realized I probably would never be friends with her like I had once thought. Surprisingly, accepting this reality helped ease the hurt (a little). I was ready to relinquish control….again. I can’t control who likes me. I can’t fix other people’s problems with me. I can act in a Christ-like manner, be kind, courteous, and reach out – but sometimes a friendship just doesn’t grow.
I should know better.
I’m horrible with plants. I bury the seeds in the ground. I use the best dirt, water them, and then let them bask in the sunlit window in my kitchen. So many times I’ve watched a pot for growth only to see brown soil day after day. Just because you add the right ingredients and do all of the “right” things doesn’t mean growth is automatic.
As I was reflecting on the fact of failed friendships, or a lack of friendship growth, I felt the still small voice from my Father: Focus on the friendships you DO have.
OH MY HEART. It hit me like a ton of bricks, His quiet voice continued: You’ve neglected the friendships you DO have.
There it was. The answer to why He wasn’t opening a door for this new friendship….I needed to learn cultivate the friendships I already have. I have several long-term friendships which run deep and wide. They are my “girls” and I love them all. Each one encourages a different part of my heart, and I am so thankful for them.
So while I wish I could “fit in” with a certain crowd, I can’t. But I do want to be a good steward of the friendships right in front of me. I want to remember to text my Bible study girls with encouraging notes. I want to send my other adoptive mommas messages to help build them up. I want to continue to reach out to the few friends I’ve had since childhood.
The growth will come (if God allows). I need only focus on watering. You see, the reason my plants usually died was not because of the soil or sun, but because I forgot to water them. They sit right in front of the sink. The same sink where I wash dishes several times a day. I fail to see their sweet blossoms and forget to provide the nourishment they need. So they whither. And only when they are dying do I notice.
Today I’m going to write a long letter to a friend in need of prayer.
Tomorrow I’m going to text a sweet momma struggling with a sick child.
Later this week I might make some cookies for a friend just because.
Let’s not forget to water the friendships we already have. When you can’t be friends with “her” – maybe remember to tend the friendships you already have.
I would love to pray for you. Send me a message and I’ll cover it in prayer.
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