The Importance of Friendship

Last night, I had the supreme pleasure of a girls’ night out with two of my very best girlfriends, Colleen and Barb.

This is the only picture I could find of all three of us together!! It’s from last fall’s camping adventure (husbands present, but not photographed!).

We met at a local eatery, drinks, appetizers, and desserts were devoured, and laughter abounded as we joked and talked about the not-so-serious and downright-silly.

We also talked serious about the “real” stuff going on in our lives: husbands, kids (where applicable!), families, our own personal struggles in being Godly women.

It was good.

There was a time in my life when I did not consider it to be very important to maintain friendships. I struggled with wondering why I didn’t have that group that I just “clicked” with, and wondering why friends didn’t naturally flow into my life. As I’ve lived with depression, one of my personal struggles over the years was that I would never call people back, I would cancel plans (if I actually managed to make some!), and generally stayed to myself completely.

In junior high and high school, I was blessed with a group of fantastic girlfriends. We weren’t the most popular, or the least, we were just part of the landscape of our high school but for us, we were the greatest. As we’ve grown up, our lives have certainly gone in different directions, but we still keep in touch and they all hold such a special place in my heart.

Well… Not the best picture! But we’re all there (plus two extras, but I won’t tell you who!). You may recognize Sarah, still one of my great friends, and Nicki, who just got married in December!

I think the ease with which these friendships came even though, I now realize, I put minimal effort into them, spoiled me! When these ladies nearly all left town after high school and I stayed behind, I realized that I had no friendship skills! Bad news. And worse news, I was too deep in depression to try to figure it out. But I was super sad.

Thankfully this story has a happy ending. But before that, I spent years praying, but not actively trying; sad, lost, and confused. As a couple, Terry and I also had the same struggles ~ we didn’t have any “couple” friends who fit the criteria of both living in our same town and being at a similar life stage to us. I continue to pray for God to put the people in our lives that He wants here, in His time.

We, and I, are finally at a place in our life where we have friends. Although along the way I may have definitely questioned God’s plan a time or two, I can see that He was working His plan, His way, in His time. And now we are blessed with a fantastic group of couples in our lives who get us, who we can be real with, and silly as well; we even have our brand-new friends from the retreat. I have not only the two lovely ladies above, but my book club ladies, and the friends that I’ve made in Character Development. My life has suddenly become filled with friendships that are deep and fulfilling.

A few things I’ve learned along the way:

  • It takes work to maintain friendships.
  • Women need other women.
  • If I feel like I’m the one always reaching for awhile, it doesn’t mean my friend doesn’t like me. It means that they may have stuff going on. They still want to be my friend.
  • Sometimes, even with the best of friends, I still have that “I don’t want to” feeling. Terry gave me a pep talk once that basically consisted of “too bad, go anyway.” That has always stuck with me, and I never regret going anyway.
  • Women can find other women intimidating and unapproachable. It turns out, we all feel that way! Getting to know each other bridges that gap and makes it easier for all of us.

My definition of friendship: real people, sharing real stuff, about real life.

God calls us to fellowship. It’s part of His plan. He didn’t promise it would be easy. Here’s what His word has to say:

Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.

Romans 12:10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Out do one another in showing honor.

What have you learned about friendship over the years?

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10 thoughts on “The Importance of Friendship

  1. This is so timely for me! I have really been struggling recently (depression), and I have a hard time with friendships. Something I really need to work on! Thank you sooo much for sharing your story, it definitely encourages me!

    • Thanks Jane ~ your response encourages me as well! Depression is hard, and for me it also comes with anxiety, including social anxiety. It’s definitely been a battle!

  2. Good blog Katie. Great discoveries and growth for you. And thanks for putting into our mom/daughter relationship with phone calls, visits and updates. All relationships take effort:) Love you.

  3. Great post that all women should read. Thank you for sharing and being vulnerable. I think it is so hard for women to find friends and maintain friendships. My husband and I have lived in Florida for 8 years and have just recently met friends that we really connect with. It’s even harder to find “couple” friends. But once you do–they are wonderful friends! Thank you also for including the Scripture and the things you’ve learned. I once thought I didn’t need friends. I was an introvert and that was OK to stay in my cocoon. It’s OK to be introverted, but it’s not OK to not put forth the effort to be a good friend. It’s taken me a long time to figure that out! You are WAY ahead of the game, friend! 🙂

    • Thank you so much Christi! Your words always mean so much to me.

      I’ve always considered myself to be an introvert as well, and I agree ~ it’s not a bad thing! However, I used to think introvert meant it’s perfectly okay to be by myself all the time. Now I know that being an introvert means that when I’ve spent too much time around others, I need that time by myself to recharge, but it definitely does not mean that I don’t need my time with others as well!

      I’m thankful to count you among one of my new friends!

  4. I am thankful for you, too! 🙂 You are so right…that’s how we recharge. I keep telling my husband I don’t need anything big, just a hotel by myself to read and sleep and be all alone!! Haha!

    • You laugh, but my husband and I have each done that on separate occasions in our marriage, at a time (for each) that we really just needed to be away. And it was wonderful, for both!

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