I got the chance to eat lunch with one of my dear friends a couple weeks ago, and I came away from that moment feeling so refreshed. We shared our hearts with each other, celebrated exciting news, talked about things that we’re struggling with, and encouraged one another – all in a matter of a couple hours. We were real with each other. And it was fellowship that my heart desperately needed.
In the last few years of working with college students, I have heard countless stories from young women about the struggle of trying to build life-giving friendships with other women. I can easily understand their pain, because I use to live in that cycle of desiring authentic relationships, but not allowing myself to push past the “uncomfortable” enough to build authentic relationships.
When I think back to why I was so hesitant to cultivate deep friendships, I realize that it wasn’t because I’m naturally an introvert (which is true), or even because of stories in my past that have too closely resembled scenes from “Mean Girls.” My problem was that I had no idea who I was in Christ, and therefore had no confidence that I was worthy or deserving of life-giving friendships.
As I began to learn who I was in Christ, my confidence grew. As my confidence grew, so did my ability to build friendships. When I choose to walk boldly in who I am in Christ, I am free to love people without fear of rejection. I’m free to hear God’s truth for my friends when they need it. I’m free to encourage instead of being worried about saying the wrong thing. I’m free to invest in relationships without the fear of being inadequate.
Brené Brown says it this way:
Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.
We are enough today. We can confidently be who we were created to be, and we can build authentic, deep relationships right in the season and place God has us. Will it always be easy? Heck, no! But it’s so well worth it.
This post was written by Catherine Dunn. To read more about her, click here.