About the Author

Believing God is the author of each person’s story, Pat enjoys nothing more than writing about the lives of people she meets. The conviction that every individual has divine worth is a compelling force behind everything she does. Pat has served as a mentor and consultant in the field of...

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  1. Authenticity and vulnerability go hand in hand. Together they cultivate connection. “The stunning view of God’s face becomes clearer through the unobstructed face of friendship.” ~ Amen, Amen Amen! I have had friendships surround me with tangible experiences of God’s love and I have felt the utter sting of loosing a friendship for lack of authenticity and vulnerability. I pray I am an authentic friend who can encourage my friends to feel safe to be authentic themselves.

    • Reading your words, “the utter sting of losing a friendship,” stirs up some hard memories for me. I don’t think we ever fully get over a severed friendship and usually can trace it back to a lack of vulnerability or authenticity at one level or another. Thank you so much for sharing, Brandi.

  2. It takes a long time to build up friendships in a new part of the world once you leave a place you have lived for a long time. Sometimes I would like to be able to ‘pop’ in for a coffee with some old friends and catch up where we left off. I have many friends but not many I truly trust and can be totally open with. May God send a new friend my way, 🙂

    • It does take a long time to build trusting friendships – and worth the effort. Look at the model Jesus left for us. He had many friends and followers yet three he singled out for close communion. We’re blessed if we have one or two like that. Thank you for commenting Kathy, and may God give you the desire of your heart for genuine friendship.

  3. Like Christ, who invites us to come to him with nothing held back and no shame-face to face-our imperfections become perfect. As we uncloak and reveal those hidden, perceived flaws, the light of true friendship can shine on them and then the define and refine can happen- when the glitter clings to the mud spots and reminds me that we are all Princesses of our Father, The one true King. Thank you , Pat, for this beautiful view today.

    • Isn’t it amazing we can claim such intimate positions with the King of Kings – friend and princess? I’m praising God with you today, Laura – mud spots and all!

  4. Friendship makes space for us to be fully who we are. My life is rich with those friendships and I can’t imagine who I would be without those voices of clarity and comfort. Thank you for taking us on this journey with you!

    • Thank you for being with me on the journey Leanne Leak. My life was rescued by the rich friendships God gave me. I will forever be grateful.

  5. Precious story Pat. I love the sound of friendship, I love the word friend and I am ever so grateful to The Lord that He gives us those special, special friends who take the risk of being vulnerable, TOGETHER! Thank you for sharing and inviting us into your friendship at the Ritz. Xo

    • You are so right – friendship is a tremendous risk, especially in the vulnerability arena. At least women know they struggle with it. I think men do too and maybe don’t admit it as readily.
      I appreciate your thoughts and comment, Pam.

  6. I have a few good friends who dare to be honest with me, in love. With one I meet every Monday morning. We hold up a mirror for one another and pray. We don’t say what the other wants to hear. No, we are honest and give perspective. Recently I was struggling with a certain issue with another person. She never took my side but offered perspective. It made me a better person. I looked at me, it showed me to get passed my hurt and reach out… and just be better. Friends who dare to speak up are THE BEST and most valuable.

    • What a gift you have in your Monday morning gatherings. I can’t tell you how many women have told me they long for that kind of honest fellowship. A mirror – Wow. Whether you meant literal or not – it’s a great way to offer accountability and build honest friendships. Kind of like “speak the truth in love”, right? Thanks for sharing, Hope.

  7. I only know how to have deep and meaningful friendships where there are no barriers. No walls. I love to talk and talk and talk and listen to what’s happening to my friends. When a person does not share their life with me, it’s like they do not think I’m worth the telling. Worth the sharing. It hurts. I got this hurt many a time. I don’t need a person who is shut up and cannot share. It hurts me.
    Yes, friendship is lovely when people share their feelings and time and things. Just the little things in life. The things that have more meaning and makes friendship more meaningful. Things that no one would consider mattering. A true friend, to the true friend, the little things matter. Just the simple things in life. Good and positive words. Laughter. Happiness. Joy Joy Joy untold. All the things that make a difference. Not the big things. Even how a flower looked. Meaningful things.
    🙂

    • You sound like a fun friend to have, Karyn. And you’re right, being a good listener is worth its weight in gold as a friend. Sometimes friendship takes patience. Like Jesus – we offer ourselves without expecting anything in return. Sacrificial friendship (not reciprocated) is the hardest, but the most Christ-like.
      “For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son.” Romans 5:10

  8. Pat, this is beautiful! I love how you hardly noticed the view! I so want to be–and hope I am–that kind of friend. I know that is the friend that Jesus is. And oh, how I want to reflect His face in everyone I meet! Thank you so much for your encouraging words.

    • I saw Jesus in your face today, Jennifer. You’re an encourager and Christ follower – I just bet you’re a fantastic friend too! Have a blessed, Jesus-filled day.

  9. How I value TRUE FRIENDSHIPS! No man is an island to himself. We need each other! Many times I have shared hours with a devoted friend and left feeling empowered and my need met. The Lord set us up that way. It’s all about relationships with Him and each other. How awesome and rich heaven will be when we drop this robe of flesh and REALLY know each other. I am so thankful for every friendship I have on this earth. Each friendship will go on for eternity and will get better, richer and more wonderful! Thank you Pat for reminding me how valuable our friendships are, not taking them for granted.”By this shall all men know you are my disciples if you have love one for another.”

    • Reading your wonderful words put those blessed little bumps all over my body. Our friendships ARE the expression of who He is – what a beautiful reminder. And one day – oh one day. We have no idea how incredible that will be! Thanks Jeannie.

  10. I am almost 60 years old. It has taken me a long time to learn how to be a good friend and cultivate the deep friendships that I have. The close friends that went a different way in my 30’s and 40’s God replaced with new friends who have walked with me the past 10-20 years. God healed my heart and brought some special sisters as an answer to my prayers. Some friendships are still there from the early years and are not at intimate as before but I am thankful for them. There’s a song I used to hear , make new friends but keep the old one is silver and the others gold.

  11. Thank you for sharing your story of friendship with us here, Lisa. The lessons for becoming a good friend usually include some rough places, don’t they? I love contemplating Jesus’ relationship Judas – it’s such a picture of invested love, betrayal and unconditional love. And then, he washed his feet along with all the others. I want to be a friend like that.

  12. Beautiful words. Friendship is indeed a gift. I loved your story and take on it. I have a group of friends from H.S. (I am 55 so they are OLD friends!) We meet for lunch twice a year just to keep in touch, it is so amazing how God has kept us together. We are all in different walks of life (married, single, kids, no kids) and we all seem to reconnect and love on each other and it is a rare gift!

    • I love that you see your long-lasting HS friendships as a “rare gift”. It sure is. It also takes intentionality and commitment to keep the tradition going. You’ve made your friendships a priority – hats off to your group!! I hope you have many more decades to enjoy each other. Bless you for sharing, Melody.

  13. I’ve been blessed with friendships like that, forgetting the rest of the world and just being wrapped up in conversation. It’s a beautiful place to be!
    I think honesty and authenticity are difficult sometimes, but rewarding when we can be that way. One of the hard things about getting older is that maintaining friendships and making new friends takes more effort on being intentional and intentionally vulnerable; another facet of being honest and authentic, more so with ourselves and about our priorities. It’s so easy to just not call, or write, or say we’ll “get together sometime” and weeks, months, even years go by.
    I think when we can show our honesty and authenticity to people we would like a deeper relationship with it creates a safe space for the other person to come to if they choose. We risk a little vulnerability in ourselves (unobstructed by the wall of self-protection) to show the other person they can trust us to be their friend and not hold things against them.

    • Boy, you sure hit the nail on the head – building relationships take work, intentionality, honesty and vulnerability – basically TIME. Trust is usually earned over a long period of time, but unfortunately can be lost very quickly. Friendship is fragile – a sacred gift. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bree. Bless you!

  14. It seems as though the older I get the more purposeful and intentional friendships become. There is a point in friendships that becoming trustworthy. We begin to trust those with our honesty and what makes us who we are through our authenticity, yet it has been earned. Friendships then become a safe place, a place where we become raw one with the other.

    • Time has a way of refining us, doesn’t it Michelle. Time also helps us see that the robes of self protection and guarded conversations really aren’t as invisible or undetectable as we thought.

      Thanks for sharing!

  15. I am amazed at how much I’ve learned about friendship over the last few years. You’d think that this would be something that you had “down pat” by the time you were in your twenties. However, your quote above, “Friendship thrives when the heart – and conversation – is open and unobstructed” – has only become real to me in recent years. I can fully appreciate time spent with those who aren’t afraid to be open with me, sharing their stories in good times and bad and encouraging me to share my own. And in addition, we are able to keep the lines of communication open when forms of hurt, jealousy or frustration is creeping into our relationship through one form of another. How I wish I’d been able to grab hold of this in my younger years, allowing honesty and good, heartfelt conversation to guide us into stronger relationships. But as God helps me grow, I am forever grateful for the strength of my new friendships and what they bring to my life. It’s a blessing that I dare not take for granted.

    Thank you for your wonderful words!

    • Thanks for sharing your story and your heart, Jennifer. I love Helen Kellers quote, “I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.” We’re blessed to walk in the light with people God gifts us with. Amazingly blessed, aren’t we.

  16. As a person who panics at the very thought of being vulnerable, I appreciate a few friends who allow me to be just that… It takes a lot of effort to self-protect. Although, sometimes necessary. Real friendship when found is a breath of fresh air.
    Thanks for showing me that. I appreciate you, Pat.

  17. Friendship truly is a blessing from God! In my friends, I see the heart of Jesus. True friendship can empower, lift up our hearts, and give us the extra little “push” and support we need. They are the cheerleaders in the audience that always support us, and believe in us. Sometimes, when I have felt down, or having a bad day, just having a little girl time and coffee talk can make the clouds part and feel as if the sun is shining right on my face. It is as if that bad day may never have happened! Having a good friend, and being a good friend, should never be taken for granted. This shows who we are and how we are made to be Christ-like; compassionate, loving, and giving. As I have gotten older, I have learned to appreciate my friends. Those that will support me, hug me when I need comfort, and dance with me in celebration are those that will never leave your side. They are my soul-sisters. And thank God for them!

    • My guess is your friends see the heart of Jesus in you too, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing such a sweet description of the gift of friendship.

  18. “The stunning view of God’s face becomes clearer through the unobstructed face of friendship as well.”

    Oh my goodness! Such beautiful words.

    Thank you for sharing!

  19. So true, my friend. Authentic friendships such as these are life-giving and have nourished my soul….a precious gift from the Father.

  20. I don’t need many words to express my appreciation for the depth of friendships I have received as the love of Jesus has poured out of some beautiful people into my heart.
    Just a deep thank you to my Heavenly Father for friendships that go deep even when the opportunity to meet face to face doesn’t happen very often! Thank you Pat for reminding me of how precious they are!

    • Some of the most precious relationships are long distance ones, aren’t they Ruth. The fruit that comes from the depth of commitment it takes to stay in touch, seems to make it even richer! Bless you for commenting today.

  21. Friends are very important to me and being single makes them even more important. My friends keep me from isolating and from being too self focused. I appreciate days like you described in your story. Fun girlfriend lunch dates help me keep it real and bring levity to my life.

    • I think we can all use a little less self-focus and a little more levity in our lives. Thanks for bringing another perspective to our conversation, Rachel – appreciate you!

  22. I have a hard time making friends. I have a somewhat quiet, shy demeanor and don’t enjoy idle chit chat. Once I get to know you I will be your authentic friend for life. Call me and I will pray or help out in any way I possibly can.

    In our little church we attend I have made some truly great friends. One in particular is my hubby’s ex-in-laws. We can talk about anything and everything. We go garage sailing together & call each other to check up on family. It feels good to have such wonderful friends.

    Blessings 🙂

    • Thanks for taking the time to comment here, Beth. It sounds to me like your middle name should be, Loyalty. I think it’s the best quality a friend can have. God bless you.

  23. I just stumbled across this blog, and this was the first post that I read. What wonderful and true words!! I have a few close friends in my life, especially from college; however, two of my very close friends and I have a unique friendship that I just love. I am in my early/almost mid twenties, one friend is in her early thirties, and the other one her early forties. We met at church and the three of us have quickly fallen into a beautiful, Godly friendship. It’s pretty big age range for such close friends, but they are the sisters that I never had, and they challenge me every single day. The oldest and I are very much alike in our personalities, and we are constantly challenging each other to be better women of God in our actions and reactions because we know how each other will handle a situation. Because of that, I’ve been forced to be authentic and more vulnerable in this friendship and I’ve seen my walk with Christ becoming deeper. We’ve often said that God has a serious sense of humor in putting the three of us together….but I’m so thankful He did. Through these friends, I’ve seen how much God draws near to us and displays HIS love for us through our relationships with others. Godly friendship is an amazing thing!!

    • I’m so glad you “stumbled across this blog” Sarah and took the time to share your story here for others to enjoy. The sweet unconventional friendship the three of you have must bring a very unique perspective to your overall ministry. Each of you brings a different world view to the table simply by growing up in a different generation – I just love that. Bless you for sharing.