When Friendship Seems Elusive


I was talking with a friend the other day about close personal relationships, especially close personal friendships.  Her struggle was that no matter how she tried, she just couldn't seem to connect with someone in a way that didn't end up a mess, or complicated, or frustrating on some level.


She said, "It's almost like God doesn't want me to have a close friend."

I swallowed hard at that sentence because I totally understand what she was saying, and yet, at the same time, it seemed counter intuitive to what I know about God.  I mean, He created us for community, right?

Her struggle is not unlike mine and many other women I know.  We are very emotional beings.  We need close friendships.  As Dr. Christina Yang would say on Grey's Anatomy (don't even think about judging me right now) "We all need our person."  We need that someone that we can go to with anything; someone who can look beyond what is seen, into the deepest darkest places, the places where we hide our secrets, our wounds, our desires, our dreams.  Someone that we can trust to see those things and not run away in horror. And even more importantly, someone who won't betray us when we become fully transparent with them.

For me, for her, for many, we find that we so desperately need a human being to share those things with, that we forget God's role in our life.  HE is that person for us.  His Word tells us, I will never leave you nor forsake you.

I have spent a lifetime trying to find a friend, a best friend, my person.  And I have been very blessed to have some incredible friendships in my life.  But here is the funny thing about those friendships.  Every single one of my close friends lives far away from me.  Every. Single. One.  Surely that cannot be a coincidence, right?

Here is what God has taught me about my friendships lately (just being really raw right now):

Lesson one is that I have a husband who would love to be my person, the person I share my hurts and hopes with.  And lesson two is that I have the personality type that would likely abandon having a close personal relationship with God if I had someone on earth to take His place.  That was difficult for me to grasp, but I recognize the truth of it.

My sweet friend and mentor of 15+ years told me once that she had struggled her lifetime to have a close personal friend. She believed God didn't want her to have that person here on earth because it would be a distraction for her.  I remember thinking, "You are the most godly woman I know.  How in the world could ANYTHING be a distraction for you?!"

And I'm not saying that I'm some super godly woman and that's why God doesn't want me to have a close friend. (In case you were about to make that correlation)  I'm saying, it comforts me to think back to that conversation because it tells me that God isn't being some ego maniacal Creator that doesn't want me to have friends.  It's comforting because it tells me He knows me.  He knows what I need, and He knows what would be dangerous for me.

All that to say, I'm kind of all over the place today. But what I'm trying to say, if I'm not saying it well, is this.  God loves you.  He knows you.  He knows what you need, and what you can't handle.  And He loves you enough to show you both.

What is God teaching you about your friendships?

8 comments:

  1. "Is any pleasure on earth as great as a circle of Christian friends by a good fire?" - C. S. Lewis

    "How the hell would I know?" - D. C. Jackson

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  2. I used to think my lack of close friendships was due to moving every few years almost my whole life. But then I had an autistic child and saw myself in her. Mystery solved.

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  3. I saw this post the other day but didn't read it because I felt comfortable in my friendships. Since then I've experienced a huge level of frustration and have wanted to walk away. Friends are hard. I want to blog about it but right now I can't even journal about it! Thankful for the one who doesn't disappoint.

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  4. Chris, you make me laugh and smile and nod my head.

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  5. Kimberly, thanks for your transparency. I've been there. I get it. I'm sorry it's a rough season. Call if you want to have coffee.

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  6. I've also struggled with the lack of a close friend. Good word at a good time!

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    1. Thanks Carrie Ann. Glad it was timely.

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Thank you for reading. I look forward to hearing from you.