As well, living for the well-being of others might also mean forgiving those who have wrongly needed or mistreated me. I remember one quasi-friend who said to me after I’d listened to her process her muck over a few dinners, “Oh, please don’t think I’m using you just for a sounding board; I really like you too.” Hmm … I’d never actually thought I was being used. But in retrospect, that was what was happening, and when I finally saw it (in, for example, her never communicating with me once her crises had passed), I had to admit her affection was primarily about what she could get. Then I had to forgive her. (It also proved to be a ripe occasion for asking why it had taken me a while to notice her motives.)

However, beyond these two crucial if difficult steps of repentance or forgiveness (there are no better words to do these steps justice), comes the fun stuff. First off, how wonderful is it that there is a God to whom friendship matters? Moses, the Old Testament leader and prophet, scribe of the Ten Commandments as a matter of fact, was called a “friend” of God. And Jesus was himself called a “friend of sinners.” God is into friendship. So, though it can be a wee tad humbling, I say, let’s ask God to teach us what it is to be good friends as women, to have healthy intimacy and affection – even in a hyper-sexualized, intimacy-starved society. Let’s ask him what it is to relate to one another so that the weirdness diminishes and the beauty that God has planted in each woman multiplies. And then let’s take risks. I am completely convinced he will honor this desire in our lives.

Click here to read Part 1.

28C.S. Lewis, "The Four Loves" (New York:  Harcourt, 1960), 81-82.
29Deuteronomy 5:7-8
30Lori Rentzel, "Emotional Dependency:  How to Keep Your Friendships Healthy" (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1990), 26.

 Adapted from  "Revelations of a Single Woman: Loving the Life I Didn't Expect," © 2006 by Connally Gilliam.  Published by  SaltRiver Books (an imprint of  Tyndale House Publishers).

Connally Gilliam earned a Master's of Teaching (English) from the University of Virginia and has taught high school and college writing.  She now works for Navigators as a Life Coach for Twenty-somethings in the Washington, DC, metro area.  She loves sharing coffee with friends and discovering how God is real, even in a crazy, changing and unintentionally single world.