As many of you know, I am in a new community since I moved halfway across the country last month away from my family and friends. Here are a few quick things I’ve learned all over again in my efforts to make friends:
– Be yourself: If you want true friends, you have to be a true version of yourself. If they don’t like you, that’s okay, bless them in your heart and move on. If there are things you can learn, then apply the lesson and pray that God would give you wisdom and discernment in making healthy, safe friendships. Be honest, sincere, and genuine and you will be more likely to receive that treatment in return.
– Be intentional: I needed to make a decision that I would pursue friendships and any time I felt sorry for myself for not having friends I remembered that I needed to “be a friend” in order to have friends. I texted women that I had met through various circumstances and asked to get together. I asked if we could go to church with them so we could find a home church. I asked questions about their lives and shared about my own. I didn’t sit back and hope God plopped good friends in my lap, I am keeping my eyes open and asking God for opportunities. When He brings them, I do my best to be intentional about reaching out.
– Be available: Building quality friendships takes time. Our lives so often get filled up with activities, work, ministry, and life circumstances that we can easily put time for friends to the side. I’ve been guilty of this. I’m realizing that a good heart to heart talk with one of my girlfriends is so edifying, uplifting, and life-giving that it’s a priority worth keeping.
– Be patient: with myself and with others as they get to know you. Every friendship needs to be nurtured and trust needs to be built before getting to the deeper layers. Give it time, attention, thought, prayer, and you will be on your way to more fulfilling, purposeful friendships.