I have spent thousands of hours of my life held hostage by worry about friendships with women.
I have over-analyzed, ranted, and kept my husband awake as I rehashed interactions with women I care about—mining our conversations for minute details and trying to make sense of who was wrong and whether or not I needed to apologize or if I was justified in feeling so upset.
I have worried just as much about misunderstandings with women I didn’t even know on a first name basis.
I have cried in hidden corners of hotel lobbies over throwaway sentences that still managed to cut deep, and panic-checked my phone in the middle of the night for text messages. I have woken up first thing in the morning to squint at my emails in order to determine if an argument has escalated or finally been resolved. And I’ve walked through long days under the weight of dread that comes with unresolved conflict. I have hit refresh hundreds of times on Facebook to see who has included me, criticized me, or misunderstood me.
No matter what else has been going on around me, I’ve paused my life, my kids, my focus in church, my pot of boiling pasta, my work, my errands, my car, and at times even my anniversary celebrations in order to obsessively track what other people are saying about me. And I have wished I could control what they’re thinking about me too.
I have been afraid and resentful. I have wanted to hide. I have felt sorry for myself. I have been so full of jealousy I could almost feel it—like black, thick, greasy tar clogging up my soul. And I have wanted to blame the women around me for how terrible I’ve felt on my secret insides.
Friendship is not for the faint of heart.
Because nothing hurts as much as the unkind words of a friend.
And nothing heals as much as the love and acceptance of a friend.
And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
I’ve heard too many stories, cried with too many women, and apologized too many times to think I’m the only one with these bruises on my heart and holes in my story where friends fell through.
I’m guessing you can relate?
I’m guessing that, like me, while on the outside you might look like a grownup —maybe even with kids of her own—there’s a teenage girl that lives inside you just like the one that lives inside me. Mine has long, stringy hair and ears that embarrass her because once upon a time a hairdresser told her they stick out too far from her head.
The teenager inside our grown-up bodies still worries about fitting in, being included, and what her friends think of her. She worries what people will think of her ears or maybe the tiny apartment she grew up in, her old acne scars or her struggle to make sense of math. Not to mention her fashion sense and whether or not she’s comfortable in the body she’s grown up into. And while she might look put together on the outside, she’s wondering if the “cool kids” notice her. Because she notices them noticing everyone else and she’s not sure how to make herself worthy of being included, invited, and loved.
No one can make us quite as unsure about ourselves as another woman.
And no one can make us quite as brave as another woman.
In a world where women can unfriend each other with the swipe of a finger, how do we find friendships that we can trust to last?
Over the last almost decade serving you all here as the community manager at (in)courage, I’ve had the chance to engage in thousands of conversations with women about friendship. I’ve learned that no one can make us quite as unsure about ourselves as another woman. And nothing can wound as deeply as unkind words from a friend. While we are all hungry for friendship, it’s the fear of feeling awkward and being rejected, left out, or hurt (again) that often keeps us from connecting.
But what if we knew we could never be unfriended? Would we risk friendship then?
I wrote a whole book about it.
It’s called: NEVER UNFRIENDED.
Because that’s what we all long for. The safety of friends who won’t unfriend us. We want to know what the secret is.
As honestly as I could, I wrote them down for you. All the secrets I’ve learned the hard way.
Never Unfriended: The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships.
Get your copy today.Leave a Comment
Warm but that is because my sisters are my bffs before all else. Outside friends are another matter. I have my beloved non-sisters and all you share is so true and real. Thank you for sharing. I cannot wait to buy your book!
Lisa-Jo Baker says
Warm!! Oh what a wonderful description of friendship!!!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
When I think about friendship, I feel blessed. In my younger years I moved around the country a lot due to my husband’s job. I kind of had to learn some of the nuts and bolts of friendship by the crash course method (and of course making lots of mistakes). But, I feel so blessed that God put these people in my life’s path and that I followed His nudge…okay….His shove to extend my hand in friendship. The true wonderful friendships I’ve built have been worth all the rejections. But then, again, for most things worth having their is often a price to pay. Can’t wait to read the chapters, Lisa-Jo, and congrats’ on the birth of your “baby”…looking forward to reading!! And thank you for heading up this comfy space in the blogosphere where I’ve built some wonderful friendships.
Lisa-Jo Baker says
It’s SO encouraging to hear that Bev. To know that safe, real, trusted friendships are where we can all come home to.
Lisa Derrick says
I feel…a bag of mixed emotions. Love, confidence, fun, joy, heartache, and struggle. My friends help me through each day. I often feel I don’t measure up and fail miserably at being a good friend.
Lisa-Jo Baker says
That pretty much sums up a lot of how I feel too, Lisa!
When I think about friendship, I feel . . .Blessed
Encouraged to embrace community rather than isolation, courage instead of fear, life instead of death.
Lisa-Jo Baker says
BRAVE Pam, I LOVE this!!
When I think of friendship, I think of being accepted, love, wanted, safe,afraid,and it is alright to take a chance. It is ok to open up to these friends and allow them to see the true me. I am revealing who I am, it is like being transparent.
The down said to opening up is, I have taken a chance, and I hope my friends will accept me for who I am . At this point I am hoping that I am not being criticized for allowing my friends to come into my private world. I am always hoping that I have not said or showed too much of me .
Lisa-Jo Baker says
Yes we all walk that fine line together, Angel. I so feel you on this!
Oh, my……. I’m so self conscious, and have such negative self esteem that because I don’t like (let alone, love) myself I’m convinced that others certainly don’t either. I over analyze everything, and fear hidden agendas or meanings are behind all things. I live in fear and paranoia of not being liked by people, and of those people convincing others to not like me. I’m desperate for co worker’s to include me and to want to be friends. I want, crave and need friends who like me, who acknowledge how hard I try, who have my back and who will not unfriend me.
Lisa-Jo Baker says
Oh Tracy I know EXACTLY what you mean – I may have even written a chapter or two about it in this book because I’ve wrestled through that so much myself!
When I think about friendships, I feel uncertain. I have friends who I enjoy going to lunch with, the movies or shopping with. I don’t have friends that I can call up to pour out my heart to, to ask for prayer or ask for wisdom from. I don’t have genuine friendships. My heart’s cry is for friends and at the same time I’m terrified.
Thank you for sharing this isn’t just me struggling with this. I’m looking forward to your book.
Fear. Fear that if i reveal my deepest secrets and longings I will ne rejected or that my words wont be held in sacred trust. I want a deep friendship, one with whom I can pray with and know that she will always be there.
No envy or competition, just as is. A friendship which involves 3. I belive a friend is a very holy thing and should always be respected and cared for.
I can resonate with you, K
I hear you Maralee– yes yes yes – fear is a terrible friend, isn’t it? My first chapter in the book unpacks how much fear has tried to choke friendship out of me. I SO get this!
When I think about friendship I feel pretty identical to what you’ve described in this post. However, I do have complicated, yet beautiful relationships with friends and sisters in all stages of life, and I’m so excited about your book.
Hey Monica — yea I think we’re all a combination of all the feelings when it comes to friendship, aren’t we. Praying the book encourages!
Carla Mahle says
When I think of friendship I feel known – what I value, what I enjoy, what I struggle with, etc. On the flip-side, I feel needed – someone needs me to know them and hold in esteem what they value, enjoy, struggle with, etc. To find this friendship, it takes trust, honesty and bravery to put yourself out there.
Oh I LOVE this Carla!!
Happy, for the most part. Lisa said it first, however – a bag of mixed emotions. Nervous about trusting, but you have to trust. And we have to realise just because a dearly loved friend is so much wealthier in material goods it should not detract from your friendship, which is truly a pearl beyond price.
Yes, it always requires courage to trust, to love and not to compare. I’m still learning that lesson.
When I think about friendship, I feel vulnerable and turn my guards on! I can totally relate Lisa. I know a lot of people but cant really say that about friends. I am rethinking friendship and making a conscious effort to let friends in. Thanks!
Brave you Toyin to even admit that out loud! I so hear you on this. And letting our guards down is the only way to go deep into friendship.
We live in a day that friendship prerequisites require you to keep up with the latest and greatest cell phone technology. Must have the most updated phone to communicate with. For if you don’t, you are potentially left out of text groups and Facebook circles, etc. Friendships go by the wayside so easily. Lost to faster paced technology that an outdated flip phone can not keep up with! I feel …. well … I long for my phone to ring with the “voice” of cheer that friendships used to bring! 🙂
Hey there Ann, yes I think a revolution of open front doors and dropping by without calling first would be good for the soul and our friendships! I’m with you!
Cheated. I struggle with relationships. I have been treated poorly for the tiniest issues. And I have forgiven the most awful offenses. . .and struggle with the insecurity they create. Still, I am a friend to any and all. . .yet I feel I can’t fully depend on people to deliver. The one good thing about all of this is my dependence on Jesus. And His faithfulness. Were it not for Jesus I don’t know where I’d be. But God. 🙂
I wish you were my neighbor – smile. We could cry and even laugh about this, together. You have brought tears to my eyes – I relate.
Awe Thanks Deborah!!! Hugs!!!!
I can relate to that! I really think the lost lonely feeling of being without friends has made me very sensitive to others. I am very loyal and dedicated and most important confidential and not critical. But I am now so blessed with several ‘sisters’ that we email and text or hearts out, we are heard and we pray. It’s such an incredulous blessed feeling! I am so unworthy!
Similar to Eunice above, I feel cheated. I have always struggled with female friendships and being misunderstood with only the absolute best intentions. At 54 years old, I have been a Christian my entire life and have been living for the Lord since birth. Having said that, I have been betrayed by literally every friend I have ever had. Severely betrayed. My greatest attribute is kindness and hospitality. I am craving connection and constantly invite women over for classes, fellowship, dinners, etc, and they always say they love it and have a wonderful time, however, no one ever reciprocates or is ever available for to do anything with me. I have tried every week for over 9 months to get someone to attend a movie with me, but to virtually no avail. I am literally tired and sad because of it. As a single woman of God, involved in ministry, with adult children living for the Lord, married and outside of the area, it is so lonely. I have found women, especially Christian women, to be so judgmental and critical before they even get to know someone. The ONLY good thing to come of this is my relationship with Jesus has always prospered, as I know He is the ONLY One I can rely on. It has made my heart excessively tender for the forgotten in life. I literally cry about this every, single day of my life. My children have witnessed such betrayal that they really do not have close Christian friends either.
Me too! I pray we find real relationship and friendship; the kind Jesus wants us to have.
Oh Eunice — as you can tell by the comments below you definitely struck a nerve here that we all feel. And at the end of the day I’m with you — the only friend who GUARANTEED He would never unfriend us is Jesus himself and I can just weep with the gratitude of that!
Michele Morin says
Because of time, and the needs of my family, and the demands of ministry and writing and . . .
I know that I keep people at arm’s length just because I know that I can’t invest the time to be what they are looking for in a friend.
Lois Flowers says
Michele, I was reading all these wonderful comments and getting more and more … tired. Which is my gut response to Lisa’s question: Friendship makes me feel tired. I love my friends dearly and am blessed to know them, but right now, that’s where I am. Then I saw your familiar face and read your comment and suddenly felt … less tired! It just helps to know someone else is sort of in the same boat (or season, or whatever). 🙂
Michele Morin says
Thank you for letting me know your response, because, honestly, I felt a twinge of guilt for even sharing such a — negative? selfish? response. I’m with you — it’s good to know there’s someone else occupying the same awkward phase.
I hear that — being too busy to make the time necessary to sit and soak in a friendship — that’s a big one to overcome. I may have written a lot about that in the book – I struggle with it too 🙂
Blessed… Accepted… Insecure… Overwhelmed… Protected… Vulnerable… Unworthy… Cherished… Empowered… LOVED…
With all the mixed emotions, friendship is truly one of the GREATEST gifts in this life-journey. ALL relationships are intertwined with “friendship”. I couldn’t do life without “friendship”…
~Friendship with my Sisterhood – which includes all 5 of my actual sisters, as well as the multitude of beautiful women I’ve adopted into my “sisterhood”.
~Friendship with my amazing (saintly) parents… 6 daughters is A LOT, you guys.
~Friendship with my husband of 20 years, who puts up with all.the.things.
~Friendship with my amazingly perfect Autistic son – who floods my heart on the daily, and teaches me more than I could ever teach him.
~Friendship with my Homeschool Mamas, these brave women are my mentors.
~”Virtual” friendship with priceless people I’ve never had the pleasure to tangibly meet, yet our bond is fierce & unbreakable.
But ABOVE ALL OTHER friendships in this Blessed life of mine, is my friendship with my Father God!!!
My life-line. My go-to. The One Friend who always forgives, always loves, always understands, always comforts, always heals, always listens, and always hears….
The CREATOR of “Friendship”. The Teacher of how to be a true friend… ❤❤
Michelle – this blessed me so so much to read. I’m just soaking in your words.
Yes this blesses me as well.
…a deep longing. It would be nice to be someone else, like one of the women in the smiling pictures. But, I then I resort to, “That’s okay, I’m accustomed to being a loner. It’s safer.” I wonder if I even know how to love. I love God and my grown children – that’s real, but my world of love is confined – fearful outside the circle. I am thinking on Pam’s comment, “Encouraged to embrace community rather than isolation, courage instead of fear, life instead of death.” It’s giving me something to ruminate – maybe a place to dip my tentative toe – smile. Leaving this reply is risky.
The same thought came to me: longing. It is hard to make and sustain friendships in the fast pace of life today. But it is encouraging that so many of us are longing for deep friendships … maybe we can find each other in our local communities!
Yes friendship is so risky, isn’t it. And longing – what a great way to describe it. I think we have a Savior who is longing right back at us.
I truly have no female friends except for my sister and mother. I had a very good male friend at one time, but found out he was telling people things that I supposedly said about them, which weren’t true, and these people were believing him. Needless to say, we’re no longer friends. That has given me trust issues with other people, so I stick to my family, whom I feel I can trust.
I am sorry. You have gifts and a heart that others would cherish. I’m grateful your sister and your mother are by your side. I look forward to your heart being healed. Jesus is so very kind to us and I’m praying for you now.
Thank you, Deborah. I’m praying that God will heal the hearts of those that find it necessary to hurt others because obviously, they are hurting inside themselves.
Kim yes, don’t let those lies into your head. Keep opening your heart out to Jesus to lead you into green pastures and safe people. I do believe they’re out there.
I’m believing as well, Lisa-Jo
When I think of friendship I often feel terribly alone. I have had very deep friendships through the years that are a part of some of my best memories. Unfortunately, an auto accident in 1993 uncovered a condition I was born with which has rendered me disabled with dilapating pain. At first my friends remained very close. As the years have gone by their lives being so much more active than mine, created an ever increasing separation to the point that I no longer hear from them unless I call or text or leave a Facebook comment. I have not been to lunch, gone shopping or phyically chatted with another lady friend in over 15 years. I am blessed to have my husband, truly my best friend and a daughter that is a precious gift. My daughter is a very busy wife and mother to 7 children…home schooling 5 of them. Because she lives over 2000 miles away, she calls me every week to share something of great interest in their household, much to my delight. Every once-in-awhile we have found an hour or more has past as we have laughed, cried and shared about each of our live’s experiences. We often use emailing or texting for quick messages which are like a warm ray of sunshine suddenly crossing my face. I have heard it said that if you have one close friend during your lifetime, you are richly blessed. With God’s help I have come to realize I am very blessed to have Him, my husband and my daughter as wonderful gifts of friendship.
I feel like I already know you in a small way. What a beautiful woman. My husband and I are grateful beyond description that our children are also our beloved friends in the warm and wonderful way you describe your daughter. It’s a gift we don’t take lightly. You truly are richly blessed. It may sound trite, but would you give your daughter a phone kiss from me and tell her, the love between you has touched me deeply.
(My husband lost his friends when his genetic disease took hold.)
God’s Blessings and love to you and your family.
My daughter has an autoimmune disorder that keeps her sick most of the time and she has experienced her friends pulling away from her too. It’s really sad that people are so selfish these days.
Well when I think about my special ‘sister’ friends I feel so blessed! I can hardly believe I have been so abundantly blessed with these lovely sisters who will be my friends for life. Who will not let me down nor forsake me. After my school days and teenage years of very few friends and my best friends discarding me when they didn’t need me or they weren’t after my brother anymore, school girls running away literally as soon as they saw me. …. well I learned that Jesus is the only Friend I can rely on. He’s always with me when any friend fails me. He’s now given me a lovely little group of sister friends who I can share my heart with and they with me. I feel so blessed in Jesus! I so can relate to those feeling you wrote about but I go to Jesus instead of searching out to see what others think. Thanks for your writings. They so often hit the nail on the head.
Those kind of friends — GOLD, pure gold.
Phyllis Reklis says
When I think about friendship, I feel blessed to be “known” so well by a few longtime friends. For in being known, one feels loved. I also think of the angst and fretting that is part of establishing friendships. I also think of the loneliness of being the friend that does most of the reaching out or initiating at times~ sometimes seasons!
But I persist because as you said, there is nothing like women in your life…
Co Lawalata says
When I think about friendship, now living for 14 years in belgium I ‘m blessed with friendship that didn’t come easely.
These women are treasures to me, and I love them.
When I think about friendships I feel…a bag of emotions. There are days where I feel blessed to know and have certain people in my life…however, there are days where the weight of emotions I carry, when relationships slam into a wall, are so heavy I fall to the ground under the weight of that bag. I know God’s desire for me/us is the former not the latter…JESUS is all about relationship! We are to be about relationships…first and foremost with our Heavenly Father (Father, Son & Holy Spirit), then with one another! When we are hurt or rejected by someone…the pain is real! When we are accepted and loved by someone…the joy is real! When friendships fall apart…I hold onto the hand of my most important friend ever…JESUS! When I am blessed with friendships that mirror the example of Jesus’ unconditional love…I am truly blessed!
YES I so get this Cindy. I get this so much I wrote a chapter about what it means to lay down the baggage of other people that we carry around with us. It’s hard so hard. But possible.
Thankful on one hand and longing for deeper connection and conversation on the other. Looking forward to your book…thanks for sharing 🙂
I feel loved, accepted and nurtured. At age 66 I am blessed to have wonderful women of all ages in my life and i am comfortable with myself both spiritually and emotionally-this is the gift of aging! I only wish I could gave gotten to this place at a younger age.
Oh this is so so encouraging and wonderful to hear.
Yes, been there.
Right now, I actually feel awfully lonely. I moved to a new city in November and really haven’t made any friends.
<3 I know how that feels. I've moved recently too, and the loneliness can really sink deep!
Praying you will be able to make new close friends soon, that God will show you which relationships to pursue. He is with you (and I) at this time too, even and especially when it doesn't feel like it.
Jillian Harrmann says
When I think of friendship I feel sad and loved. I am sad because I have lost so many friends, whom I gave my heart to, that weren’t really my friends. They were just being friendly to me to get what they wanted. I feel loved because the friends I do have now, are true friends! Love between true friends is unexplainable but undeniable at the same time. They are FAMILY!
Congrats on the wonderful news, I’m so happy for you.Thank-you so much for the kind offer.
When it comes to true friends, trust, and blessed come to mind. I know I can confide in them, and that they have my best interest at heart (mutually). My mother’s friendship is the one I miss the most but so thankful for the memories we shared.
have a blessed day all,
When I think about friendship, I feel like I am not a very good friend, myself. That the women I am friends with are more genuine than I am. I want to be more genuine, but it feels like the harder I try, the more awkward or forced I come across.
This could all be in my head though.
Polly Schneider says
When I think of friendships I feel at a loss because I don’t have a close friend to talk to about things. I do have my two daughters but I don’t want to burden them with too much. Bless their hearts, I know they love me so much and I love them, but a close friend would be a blessing if I could find. I know it’s partly my fault because I need to reach out more.
. . . as though I may never have the level of friendship in my life that I pray for – mentoring, exhorting, encouraging, goofing off, praying together, enjoying one another’s families, etc because it has been so long since I’ve had that kind of friendship.
Anxious. I’m still navigating new and old friendships from our move 9 months ago.
I so long for deep, meaningful, authentic friendships, but it’s been so difficult for me to reach out, trust, be vulnerable and transparent. I have social anxiety and am a recovering “shy” introvert. I have had great friendships, but they are so hard to come by and maintain for me. I’ve been burned so many times in my life with female friendships but I also know I haven’t been the most “available” friend either. Still praying for a small group of women I can be myself with and do life with. Thank you for this ministry and this book. I will be ordering it when its available.
Kristen Strong says
What I love about YOU writing this book is that you practice what you preach. You are the real deal, a true-blue friend. Praying now that this book’s beautiful message gives countless women a real sense of peace in who they are as well as the confidence to step out into those meaningful friendships the Lord has in mind for them.
So much love, dear LJ!
Blessed, excited, thoughtful, grateful, bittersweet, anticipatory.
Rebecca L Jones says
I tried to not worry about putting myself out there, but I knew I could help someone. I think we know most people we don’t really know and are not likely to meet or be close to, and yet Jesus called people His ffriends, but He does expect them to behave, watch their words and stop trying to compete. He has enough love to go around. ( I’m glad I’m not the only one rehashing conversations, I’ve to quit. )
Scared. I’m afraid of not being a good enough friend, of letting them down.
Renee Thompson says
When I think about friendship, I feel loved, accepted, and confident. I am so very thankful for the friends that God has placed in my life. I am blessed.
When I think of friendship – I run the other way!!
Lonely Mom says
When I think about friendship, I feel bitter. I believed I had grown a close circle of friends until our youngest (special needs) daughter was taken from us and placed for adoption. I walked away with 3 “friends” remaining; of those, one loves me but still supports the CAS decision. We have moved twice since that time, and I have been utterly unable to form the kind of friendship where someone comes over for tea or calls just because. Although we have been blessed in many ways and our community and church members support us, I don’t understand why God has allowed my heart to be shattered and left behind such little support. I am actually beginning to believe that after so many years of my phone not ringing, maybe I don’t even need friends. But I *want* them.
Exhausted! I love those few friends of mine (the ones that are truly probably the real friends) who are low maintenance. We do for each other equally, and we are honest, loving and it’s easy! But then there are the other friends who you have to worry about what you wear, say, do, etc. the ones you can’t be yourself around….so exhausting.
If I open up and tell them what I really feel, they’ll question my faith as if I don’t already know to pray first. As a leader, my friends are the leaders of my church as well, and we are all hiding the fact that leadership is hard. We front that all is well when in reality the blind is leading the blind. As friends, we should be able to open up and say the truth that hides inside our hearts that we need more of Jesus and less of the distractions of putting up a front of a fake friendship to make it all seem that we’re good when it’s all a lie. We’re dying but can’t be real enough to share because we’re the leaders who have it all under control. We can’t be real friends because the world expects us to be the perfect set of leaders.
WENDY MACDONALD says
BLESSINGS TO YOU MY SISTER IN THE LORD. I AM LOOKING FORWARD TO READING THE CHAPTERS OF YOUR NEW BOOK. THANK YOU FOR THINKING OF US. I AM A 63 YEAR OLD CHRISTIAN LADY WHO LIVES IN A NURSING HOME AND IN A WHEELCHAIR. I CANNOT WALK, I HAVE PARKINSON’S DISEASE, FIBROMYLGIA, HEPATITIS C, AND ARTHRITIS IN MY HANDS. I LIVE INN A PLACE WHERE THERE IS DAILY SUFFERING AND DEATH ALL AROUND. BUT THE GLORY OF GOD SHINES. GOD ALWAYS ANSWERS PRAYER FOR HIS GLORY. OUT OF ALL THE FRIENDSHIPS IN MY LIFE, OTHER THAN MY SPIRITUAL MOTHER, ARE MY FRIENDS HERE THAT I HAVE MADE HERE IN THE NURSING HOME. I HAVE LEARNED TO CRY WITH THEM IN THEIR PAIN, I HAVE LEARNED TO LOVE THE UNLOVEABLE, I HAVE LEARNED TO BE FRIENDS WITH THOSE WHOM CHRIST WEEPS WITH. I WILL NEVER REGRET THE POSITION I AM IN BECAUSE I HAVE LEARNED ALOT ABOUT FRIENDSHIP AND LEARNED ALOT ABOUT WHO I AM AND I HAVE LEARNED ALOT ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE. I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO BUY YOUR BOOK BECAUSE I AM ONLY ON DISABILITY BENEFITS AND ONLY HAVE ENOUGH TO COVER FOR MY RENT. I BELIEVE THE CHAPTERS THAT I WILL BE BLESSED TO READ WILL BE WHAT GOD WANTS ME TO HAVE. YOU ARE A FRIEND NOW , TO ME LISA, BECAUSE I HAVE OPENED UP MY HEART TO YOU. MY PRAYER FOR YOU IS THAT THE LORD WILL BLESS YOU BACK 100 FOLD, AND CONTINUE TO BLESS THE WORK OF YOUR HANDS. WITH LOVE, SHALOM, WENDY MACDONALD
Cannot wait to read the sample and eventually your book. Making and keeping friendships takes a lot of effort and time than it used to be. Now many of my friendships are formed first by what we have in common with one another at the time or what season we are in our lives. Sports mom, coworkers, single, married status, family situations, crisis and when that is over the friendship slowly dies unless we have really gotten to know each other. What I call “the core” of who we are if that ever gets seen. I have many friends but my core friendships are a much smaller number. So my goal this year is to reach more and look for those (sisters in the Lord and non) who want the same and encourage others to do the same.
I feel cherished, loved and needed by the friends who value me. I feel hurt by the ones who have mistreated me. I know that, through it all, God’s love, through His son, Jesus, is the only relationship that will truly sustain me and never forsake me. Good friendships are a reflection of Christ’s love here on earth.
I feel inadequate, and like a phony. I wonder if I am sincere enough, friendly enough, fun enough, worthy enough. I am easily hurt and feel rejected quite often. I wrestle with my introverted personality and my desire to be alone sometimes and yet I want to be included with the plans my friends make and so I push myself to be with them then wish I was home when I go out and can never seem to carry on a good conversation. And I have to deal with them not understanding my introversion. Ugh! Friendship is so hard and I am not always in the mood to work at it so I don’t understand why people want to be friends with me.
“Favs”. There are five of us that share life together. The matriarch (76 years young and 20-30 years older then the rest of us) of the group named us her “Favs”. It stuck. We learn, laugh, shed tears and lean on one another. The most important part of our friendship is we pray together. Love it. Love them. I am blessed.
. . . Betrayed
Beth Williams says
Congratulations on your book!!! You go girl!!! Friendships are beautiful. It is so wonderful to know you have people you can call or text and “vent” with. I have a good friend who went through “aging parent” drama with me for about 1.5 years. We could relate as no one else could. I thank God daily for her. Love my church family and the friends I have made there. God is so awesome to have allowed me such great friendships!
“When I think about friendships, I feel…” — Responsible. Underneath all the obvious feelings of sisterhood, joy, support — there lives this feeling of responsibility. — (I’ve rewritten the same sentence many times now, looking for words to explain that…) I come from a family of dysfunction, where I’ve never felt enough. Enough for their time, their love, their attention, their priority. — Unfortunately, even at 45, I’m still that young girl who feels responsible for the acceptance of others. (Hence, I understand your over-thinking tendencies). But, the Lord’s done such a sweet work in my heart–showing me I’m worthy to know the freedom of acceptance without the burden of responsibility. (Perhaps that makes sense to someone besides me. ?? 🙂 ) —- Looks like a great book, Lisa-Jo. Look forward to reading it. ((hug))
Families are so important in how we think and feel about ourselves; and never feeling like “enough” of anything ~ is a very sad place to be stuck. I am rejoicing with you that you are having the LORD’s working to help you with freedom from such devastation and I pray that you will be able to stay out of the pit of not being “enough.” I often feel like I am not good enough for anything either, and have missed what the LORD has for me, all very painful. I know HE doesn’t want us feeling like this, so I hope and pray I can come to the place of HIS freedom as well.
“When I feel about friendship . . . ” I feel lonely because even though I have lived here for 15 years I have still no friends, not even a casual friend that I can just go and have
coffee with. That certainly makes me feel left out and uninvited. You’ll have to understand the dynamics of this community as to why I have no friend relationships. However, where I grew up and lived for most of my life, I have several good friends, and when we get together it feel like I have never left at all. So I am eagerly waiting for this book.
sustained, encouraged, opportunites await: to serve, to share, to grown together
*grow, although there IS some laughing and “groaning” together. 🙂
Thank you for sharing and am so sorry for all these horrendous struggles with friendships. I am doing some research just for personal insight concerning a situation with my granddaughter. Would you be willing, (and any of the others who wrote in who have gone through similar major traumas in friendships) to answer this question, if you know the answer, did your Mother leave you as a baby/young child to go to work all day and most days of the week? I will never use your name, again, just for my personal “wondering.”
Hey there — what an interesting research project. And I should add that while there have been friendship downs in my life (as with most women I imagine) I am so grateful to have deep, rich, safe friendships that I trust. And I loved watching those in my own mom’s life too.
Lisa Jo and all who have felt these similar difficulties, I honestly would never have thought that all these feelings and situations were possible. I believe that there has been something going on in our culture during your generation that has produced this extreme and seemingly constant mental anguish in your hearts over “other women” acquaintances and relationships. I am from an older generation, (probably like your Mom’s generation or even beyond). And although, I have had plenty of ups and downs in acquaintances and friendships; and girlfriend let-downs; some betrayals and some friendships which have completely drifted away; some I didn’t care so much about and some I cared a lot about. But I have never experienced the overwhelming and persistent dramas within and without that you are explaining concerning other females. My heart goes out to you all. Whatever the cause, I know, as you are finding and expressing: that you know that our God has something much better for you and is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we can think or ask. And I pray that you will find the way out of this bondage as you follow Him. (Now… I do have a couple of areas of bondage that are probably in the ballpark of being as consuming as what you are expressing, but it isn’t about female acquaintances/friendships…just so you don’t think I am trying to proclaim being a super Christian, I certainly am not!) This all makes me to be more aware of being kind and attentive to ladies, since I have no idea what they may be going through. Thanks to all of you for sharing, I know it isn’t easy to do so.
I downloaded your free chapters of “Never Unfriended.” Thank you so much for the book. It’s a book I want to buy and let my friends borrow. Will it be available on this website?
God bless you!!
Hi there Linda — yes it will be available for sale on DaySpring.com as well as on Amazon– you can already pre-order it over there: https://www.amazon.com/Never-Unfriended-Finding-Keeping-Friendships/dp/1433643065
Thank you for this i really needed to read this. Friends to be kind and honest and open and understanding.
Marjorie Barrocks says
When I think of friendship, or see women out together it saddens me becati so long for that. It’s been a tough couple of years. I made the decision to cut of some Others it seems has. It me off as well. I felt as though I was doing all the work so I stopped. I feel depleted and unmotivated to try anymore. I read a bit of the excerpt and felt like I’m reading my story . Hope I’ll find some help, I really don’t want to end up old and lonely
Elizabeth Wesselhoff says
Incredibly blessed. Over the years I have been given some very incredible women to call friends but alas as blessed as I am and know I will still waiver between the doubt and truth. Especially in this day and age of social media and filters of every type. It is a daily struggle to teach myself I am my beloved and He is mine and to teach my children especially my girls how to be in friendships. Looking forward to reading your book.
Anyone else not receive the chapters after hitting subscribe? Done it several times with no luck 🙂
Never mind, used my other email address and it worked.
This link doesn’t work. I have tried several times several days no luck. What do I do??