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When You Feel Lonely, Jesus Sees You - Encouragement for Today - May 19, 2022

  • 2022 May 19

Bailey T. HurleyMay 19, 2022

When You Feel Lonely, Jesus Sees You
BAILEY T. HURLEY 

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“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” John 15:15 (ESV)

When I first joined our local church, there was a “cool crowd,” and there were those who wished they were included in the “cool crowd.”

If you couldn’t guess, I was in the latter party — I wanted to belong so badly in what I perceived to be the “it” group of women. It was a season where I constantly felt like I had to prove myself worthy of their friendship.

So I volunteered for everything at the church, showed up to help where I could. I tried to ingratiate myself by being overly friendly and agreeing to babysit the other women’s children, hoping it would lead to an invite into their group.

But months went by, and no friendships had been formed. I began to battle negative thoughts: I must not be funny enough. I wish I was more spiritual so they would be impressed by me. Will I ever fit in here? I felt disqualified for friendship — never good enough to fit in. Could people not recognize I was hurting and lonely?

There will always be cliques or groups of women where we feel on the outside … unseen … even in some churches. After my big disappointment with trying to make friends with a certain group of women and struggling to find someone who would reciprocate my efforts, I turned to the one Friend I knew would always invite me into His social circle — Jesus.

When no one else will call you friend, Jesus will, like John 15:15 tells us:

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

He graciously invites people to share life with Him. You don’t have to jump through hoops to be included by Jesus.

When I felt left out by the women at my church, I felt embarrassed. But I also felt encouraged to take my bad experience and instead be the kind of friend Jesus is — patient, kind and open to who God placed in my path to love.

In our friendships, this might look like:

  • Keeping our social circles open.
  • Loving people who may not be our first choice for a friend.
  • Letting people prove us wrong after a bad first impression.
  • Extending forgiveness to our “frenemies.”
  • Offering hospitality when others have withheld it.

Now, when I feel left out or lonely, I try to reach out rather than shut down. It isn’t always easy to push past my insecurities around making friends. But because I know Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice to be in relationship with me, I can find a way to make someone else feel like they belong.

God, thank You for loving me so much that You sent Your Son, Jesus, so I may experience the richness of relationship with You. Please heal the areas of friendship that have hurt me, and fulfill the friendship longings I have. May You always remain my first Friend, and may Your love have a ripple effect to all the people You have entrusted to me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS

Friendships fluctuate from season to season, and without the right tools, many of us feel we will never find our place in meaningful, godly community. Bailey T. Hurley’s book Together Is a Beautiful Place: Finding, Keeping, and Loving Our Friends offers simple rhythms for women to rediscover what friendship means to them and tackle the obstacles keeping them from experiencing the beauty of being together.

ENGAGE

To continue the conversation and find more #friendspiration, you can connect with Bailey on Facebook and Instagram. Or find her at baileythurley.com and sign up for her newsletter.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Together Is a Beautiful Place by Bailey T. Hurley. To celebrate this book, Bailey’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, May 23, 2022.}

FOR DEEPER STUDY

Matthew 7:12, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (ESV)

How does this scripture encourage you to be the kind of friend who treats people the way you want to be treated?

How can you become someone who creates a space for others to belong?

© 2022 by Bailey T. Hurley. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106
www.Proverbs31.org



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