One of my biggest struggles this year has been in the area of friendships—specifically with other women. Not that I don’t have friends—I do. I have lots of wonderful, loving, godly friends. But this has been a season in my life where many of my friendships have been changing, shifting. And honestly, it’s been hard for me to deal with. Some of it has just been part of growing up and maturing. And some of it is because other people’s seasons have changed too. But, facing that was still painful.
I found myself in this place this year, and I will honestly say I did not handle it well. Bitterness and resentment started taking root in my heart. I was lonely, angry, and disappointed. Life had not turned out the way that I had planned.
But somewhere—even in the midst of all this mess inside of my heart—God found me. My moments of crying out to God (sometimes without words; just crying) became moments where God began to speak to me. He began asking me to “come away” with Him. He began speaking to me the truth of who I really was. And I began to believe it—truly believe it in my deepest heart. I think this is the first time in my whole life that I’ve really, truly said “yes” to who God says I am.
And as these truths began to take root—that I am a daughter, dearly loved, delighted in, precious—God began to soften my heart to the gift of repentance. Not repentance as a punishment, but just agreeing with how God sees the situation. Agreeing that this anger and bitterness in my heart really had nothing to do with the people that I had inwardly leveled it toward. Agreeing that my heart is too precious to carry the weight of such things—things that bring death. God gently spoke that He wants to bring me life. Joy. Peace. Laughter. That He is a good Father, and He delights in giving good gifts to his children (Mt. 7:11).
And so God began opening my eyes to the gift of friendships, all around me, that He is blessing me with. Older women, younger women, women at my work, women living in another country…Over and over, I heard God say, “This is a gift…this is a gift.”
And finally, my heart said yes.
I think this quote sums it up beautifully (from Christine Hoover at http://www.GraceCoversMe.com): “We are not guaranteed or entitled to heart friends. They are gifts of grace, and when we catch glimpses of sisterly love, we must receive it as such with deep gratitude.”
Gratitude, yes… A heart of thanksgiving puts it all into perspective.
I believe that, deep down inside, all of us have been made to connect deeply with other women. So let’s ask God to give us the courage to see and pursue godly friendships. It’s sometimes hard, but it’s such a blessing.
This post was written by Heather Dillard. To read more about her, click here.