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.
11 thoughts on “The Friendship Connection”
Wow Heather – those are awesome thoughts full of experience and wisdom learned in the presence of God! Love you!
Beautifully put dear friend!!
Thank you, Heather. That made my heart smile!
So sweet Heather! It’s crazy that so many girls struggle with this, but that quote sums it up amazingly! Love getting these glimpses of your heart, it is a huge blessing!
And here I’ve been admiring you for going on and finishing up your masters. I would have never known. Yes life changes our friendships. I’m sitting in Tennessee having newly moved there, missing sisterly visits and friends in FL. But I’m observing the new friends God is placing in my life through church, work, volunteer work, and I am excited at the prospect of new friendships God may be giving me. But it has taken over a year for me to get to this place. God is great!
Great stuff, Heather!! Thanks so much for having an open heart to receive this & share it with the rest of us. YOU ARE A GIFT!!
My precious and dear friend….this is beautiful! Thank you for putting into words and sharing with us what God has been whispering to your heart. You are amazing and I love you so much!
Such great insight! Love it and love you sweets!
Thank for this Heather. I needed to read this.
Thank you for sharing your heart. This really helped me process through some of my own hurt feelings! I honestly think I’m still in junior high sometimes when I really evaluate some of my offenses. But once I say what I’m really upset about, God faithfully points me to the truth. Isn’t He good?! You have consistently been a source of life for me even though we haven’t spent just a ton of time around each other. Your heart is amazingly precious and I am proud to know you!