I bet you thought I’d never get back to this study, right? I am so sorry. I really have dropped the ball. My life has taken yet another turn downward, and I’m busy keeping my head above water so that I can breathe. I am going to finish this book study. It just will be a few more weeks longer than I anticipated.
This chapter is so timely for me right now. My friends, both my in-real-life friends, and those that I have yet to meet face-to-face, are helping to keep me sane through this newest season of difficult change. Without these gals in my life, I am sure I would be a puddled mess on the floor, unable to rise up and face the daily challenges presented head on.
By yourself, you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope is not easily snapped. (Ecclesiastes 4:12 – The Message)
If you are like me, what you feel like you want to do in times of hard change is hibernate. We think that by being alone we are safe and keeping our burdens away from others. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is safety in numbers. When one of my friends is hurting, I hurt, and I want to do all I can to comfort and help them to see Jesus through the hard places. Why wouldn’t the same be true for you and me?
Change often brings places of emptiness that weren’t there before. We need help to navigate these new waters, keeping our heads in the upright position and remembering to breathe. Change is flat out lonely at times.
God uses our friends to heal the wounds brought on by change.
Friends make hard days more manageable because they walk the winding roads with you.
God wants us to have friends and fellow sojourners who see us as he does. So when we think we might not make it through, these encourager-warriors know the potential we have inside and urge us to carry on in God’s will for our lives. They not only urge us to thrive, they also take our hand and lead us toward a better way to do so. – Kristen Strong, Girl Meets Change
I don’t know about you, but when I’m going through hard change, I need to be reminded that God is for me, and that I will make it through. There is a special bond formed among a community that is grown from shared adversity. We were never meant to carry our burdens alone.
Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. (Galatians 6:2 – The Message)
When you sit in the middle of change, a friend is one who assures you, comforts you, and holds you.
They are worth opening your heart up for.
Kristen asks this question,
How can we open our hearts to spend time forming friendships so that in the process we are better equipped to handle change as we serve others?
The answer is simple.
Open up….Show up….Lift up
Open up your home to others. Invite others in and be willing to share your life with them.
Show up at places where there are other people. Where in your neighborhood do women gather? Coffee shops, malls, church, schools, parks? Perhaps you can get involved in a Bible study at church, or a play group, or gather a group of ladies and pray walk the mall with the intent to meet other women.
Lift up every friendship concern to the Lord. Be honest with the Lord about your stressful friendship seasons. Ask Him to help you to be a better friend, so that you can serve others well.
Gaining and keeping friends takes work. We must be intentional in our pursuit of Godly relationships and continually ask the Lord to help us in this area.
I am so thankful that God has brought so many beautiful and faithful woman around me to speak into my life in seasons of hard change.