We all crave it.
Some of us have it.
I've never had many close friends. Growing up, I had one best friend who I did everything with and several other friendly acquaintances. Around the time that I entered high school, my best friend and I grew apart. Since then, I've had a couple periods of time where I had a real close gal pal, but for the most part I've been "close friend-less". Most of the time though, I only have my best friend- my husband.
Being a missionary's wife means I have to be extremely careful about my friends. You can't talk as freely as you can if you aren't involved in the ministry. No, I'm not talking about gossip- that's just wrong regardless. However, I've learned the tough way how careful you have to be! Very few people understand this and some get offended when you don't share openly about your life! It definitely makes finding friends challenging!
Another aspect that makes it hard for me to have close friends is the fact that I live a completely different life than most! You can definitely be friends with people who are different than you, but friendship is so much sweeter when it joins two like minded people.
I've learned though, that sometimes a friendship simply requires you to make the first move.
"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:29-32
Watch your mouth! Only let things that edify or minister come out! Definitely don't say things that are rooted in bitterness, wrath, anger, or clamour!
Be kind! Tenderhearted. Forgiving.
Sometimes friendships require you to forgive. Maybe this forgiveness will draw your friendship closer, although sometimes you simply must forgive and move on. It doesn't stop there, though... The Bible goes on to tell us to be kind. I've learned that kindness goes a long ways and is often the seed that begins a friendship. Kindness is that friendly smile. Kindness is making an effort. Kindness is not saying something in anger, even if you think it's deserved!
I could get depressed that I don't have a special gal pal to go get a manicure with, or I could make an effort with the ladies in my life. It might not be the easiest friendship or the quickest one, but I would be foolish not to put forth effort. Maybe it's just an invite to lunch or to have their whole family over for dinner but it's still an effort! And who knows, that might be what it takes to begin a real close friendship!
"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19
Can I get an AMEN? God will supply all our needs- including the need for friendship. I can look back at my life and see those close friendships placed in my life at just the right moments!
Do you have a close gal pal or do you just have a bunch of friendly acquaintances? What do you do to cultivate them?