Finding the Power of Female Friendships Where I Least Expected
- Meg Bucher Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2018 29 Jan
It’s been two decades since my high school friend passed on to heaven, and I still can’t bring myself to go to a class reunion. Knowing she won’t be there solidifies the fact that lasting female friendships are hard to come by. God has a way of placing people to speak truth into our lives. No one could expose my terrible choices, applaud the successes I was too timid to share, or shake up a Sunday service by clapping and dancing in worship with me like my friend did. For a chronically insecure girl like me, her loss was devastating.
Through the long road of healing, God has graciously bloomed flowers of remarkable friendship. Each God-placed friend has extended the love of Jesus to me when I have needed it most, sometimes unknown even to them. When we seek God with all of our hearts, He blesses us with people to share life with. Here are three friendships that came into my life when I least expected to meet a lifelong friend.
1. The Friend that Tracked Me Down
“Orpah kissed her mother-in law goodbye, but Ruth clung to her” (Ruth 1:14).
She had invited me to FCA, which ignited my faith and led me to officially surrender my life to Christ. Her life reflects her solid faith. Even amid the pressures of college life that all but took me out, she remained steady in her faith. When I became a ghost, she never stopped looking for me. Before social media was a thing, it was possible to disappear for a little bit. That’s exactly what I did as my life unraveled and I destroyed the shattered remnants of my first marriage. I started to pull back and disappear, ashamed and scared that God would never be able to use me, and my past friends would never forgive me. But this friend never gave up trying to find me. Jesus never gives up on us.
“God sees over our lives by teaching us what His Word says. He also surrounds us with people who can speak truth to us and by showing us He can work through every circumstance if we’ll trust Him. But see, if I stop reading His Word, God can’t teach me what it says. And when I isolate myself from others who love God, I can’t be poured into. Or, if I am determined to make things happen my own way, I might miss what God has for me” (Nicki Koziarz, 5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit).
“I’ve been looking for you!” The message popped up on my screen as I dove into the world of social media. Reconnected and faith rekindled, she helped me remember who I was, and that no season of darkness could take me out unless I let it. I had hurt everyone around me. Flaky, non-commital, and inconsistent. Who wanted a friend like that? She saw past the struggle to who I was, and I will never be the same because of it. She clung to me like Ruth did to Naomi! Her faithfulness sparked a revival in my soul. It was Jesus tapping me on the shoulder, assuring me that it was silly for me to count myself out… He surely hadn’t.
2. The Friend that Sat with Me
“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need” (Proverbs 17:17).
Divorce is an ugly word that no one dreams of putting into the list that describes their life; but that’s was what I was facing. “Do you want me to go with you?” my friend asked. I immediately said yes, and we sat side-by-side in the waiting room as I waited to be called in to sign the papers. My heart caught in my throat each time the elevator opened. Alone, I faced the new label that I would carry for the rest of my life. My friend had been through it too, and shared some of the common threads of heartbreak that wove through our stories.
“The goal in our female relationships should be to encourage one another’s security. Not enable one another’s insecurity” (Beth Moore, So Long, Insecurity).
My friendship with her to this day is a side-by-side story of redemption, as we both not only put our lives back together but have watched some incredible blessings unfold in our lives. We share something not many women share, and I’m forever grateful for it. It’s not easy to walk out of a wake of destruction, let alone to turn and encourage others that have suffered through the same. I didn’t expect to find a friend that would sit by my side that day, but I’m forever grateful for her. Jesus promises never to leave us, and sometimes He places a friend by our side to remind us.
3. The Friend that Reminds Me
“Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself” (1 Samuel 18:3).
We were fast friends, but it would take years to truly understand why God had brought us together. I was a young and inexperienced cross country coach, and she had been the first person to call me a leader since I was a kid. That season we shared bumpy bus rides, and cold and muddy Saturday afternoons running around in wellies and losing our voices out of our passion for those runners. Her son ended up running for the same university I had, and my family ended up at the same church as hers.
“People care more about what you share with them than what you ever say to them” (Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way).
She’s teaching me to lead by the way she leads—with humility, diligence, sincere concern, passion, and strong faith. She will pull me out of my mullering and tell me to push on and push through… and I do. I trust her friendship because we share the same passion for Christ. There’s no way we can schedule coffee without reserving an entire morning to fit in all of our excited chatter… about our families, our kids, ministry, God’s plan and path for our lives, and what He’s teaching us. I didn’t expect one of my runner’s parents to become one my most treasured friends. She’s encouraging and wise, because she looks to Him first. Jesus is encouraging and wise.
Female friendships are hard to find and even harder to foster. Wait patiently. Traverse through life grounded in Christ, studying His Word daily and chasing after His calling on your life. Along the way, He will place unmistakable friendships in your life… sometimes where we least expect it.
Praise You for friendship, and for the omnipotent way You place people in our lives. Thank You for the souls we treasure on this earth, and the friends we serve You with side-by-side. Bless our friendships to honor You and bring You glory.
In Jesus Name,
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock
Meg encourages others to seek Him first through her life as a stay-at-home mom, career as a freelance writer, teaching Emoti-moms Weekly Bible Study, and leading the kids worship teams at her local church. She resides in a small, Northern lake town with her husband of ten years, two daughters, and their Golden-doodle. Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, http://sunnyand80.org.