A loaded word, isn’t it?
For some it may bring visions of lunch, laughter, and trips to the mall. For others, it may bring up a sense of nervousness or awkwardness. And yet for even more, it echoes of insecurity and hurt.
I think we’ve all been there. Me included. Different seasons of life have brought different friendships. I’ve had friends that have betrayed and friends that simply didn’t care about my personal well-being. Then there have been others that wouldn’t welcome nor invite me into their circle to even see if I’d be a good friend.
I know those situations pierce the heart and ache the soul because we are designed to desire relationship. When we desire it and open our hearts only to have them injured, our souls grieve.
Not the plan
I’m convicted that God never intended for friendship to represent pain.
He designed us for community and for relationship.
He wanted us to love well, bear one another’s burdens, and sharpen each other.
And He desired us to seek righteousness, pray, mourn, rejoice, and encourage one another.
It is possible.
Of course none of us are perfect, but meaningful God-centered friendships do exist. I know it because I have been blessed to have those in my life, too. Friends that give life and make it richer. That care, reaching into our messes to lend a hand. Friends that love for simply the sake of loving.
The friends that have gone the distance – the ones that enrich my life are those grounded in Christ. They grew and deepened over prayer, studying God’s Word, and serving side-by-side. Some began in other environments, but they deepened and became strong, true, and authentic when we planted ourselves and our friendship on Him.
Last week I had the opportunity to spend time with a precious friend. Jesus and the sharing of His hope was our common denominator in the formation of our friendship. Our life situations are different. She’s young and newly married. I’m not-so-young, married for a while, and refereeing 3 kids! But because Jesus is the fuel of our lives, we connected in a way that assures me this friendship will endure. It’s authentic. And it’s one that will encourage the best in me and give me hope.
Friendships matter. We are designed for community. For relationship. But to make our friendships matter, we have to stop hiding behind walls. We need to get real and we need to get humble. We need to bring Jesus in front of our insecurities, our desire to be right, and our craving for control. When He is first and we surrender those fear based needs and desires, our friendships become the kind He desires for us.
If your heart aches for meaningful friendships, let’s start with prayer. Let’s ask Jesus to do a work in us and in others to prepare us for friendships. And let’s ask Him to bring God-centered friendships into our lives.Open your heart to friendship and start with this prayer #momentsofhope #friendshipprayer Click To Tweet
If you know me at all, choosing just one featured post each week is an ordeal. I agonize over it each time. Seriously. Because you guys are gifted and talented writers. Your hearts for Jesus and others move my soul. I want to encourage you and give you hope and let you know that your voice matters! Your obedience to the call of Jesus matters! And you matter! So I just go to God. I ask Him to move me in a direction of my Moment of Hope for the week. Which of these posts lines up with the moments He has given me.
This week, Melanie Redd’s post, Seven Bible Verses to Give You Strength, encouraged me a great deal. This lady is a hope-giver! She shines brightly and friends, she does God-centered friendship so well because she grounds her heart in the love of God. As a matter of fact, her and Alison Tiemeyer are doing a month-long friendship challenge! It’s not too late to join them! These ladies are the real deal and will encourage and challenge you toward finding and keeping those meaningful God-centered friendships!
When you stop by her page, make sure to check out all her gorgeous Bible Verse images she included as a part of this post!
And, just so you know …
I’m so glad you’re here. ?
What I ask of you:
1. Share only one URL (to a blog post, not the actual blog) that resonates with the topic of HOPE. Anything that gives us hope for tomorrow. Hope for victory. The little things and the big. Anything that inspires us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
2. Important: If you don’t have a blog post or podcast that resonates with HOPE, join in other ways as you pray and encourage others with a comment or a prayer.
3. Leave a comment on the link just before yours. Would you love on them well? Encourage them in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. If you have time, stop by more than one sweet writer’s little corner of the blog world!
4. Of course, I would love it if you would follow me via my blog and/or social media channels! Signing up for my blog gets you fun freebies and post updates, plus I get to know you a little better!
5. If this gives you hope, would you consider sharing it with others to give them hope, too?
6. Please either grab my button or link back to me to encourage new linkers.