Senior year of high school
I walked around the corner to see my very best friend surrounded by a bunch of laughing girls. At lunch, they’d been talking about a party one of the girls was having—a party to which everyone except me was invited. Hurt and angry, I wrote a letter about it to my closest friend. That was the letter she was holding up for all of the girls to read.
At the end of that day, after hours sobbing in bathroom stalls, I approached her. “I tried to be nice to you,” she spat at me. Then she confirmed every one of my insecurities and fears—detailing my flaws: I wore the wrong clothes. Listened to the wrong music. Liked the wrong kind of boys. Was in the wrong activities for the wrong reasons (to meet boys). Nobody wanted me around, and she’d tried to be nice to me as long as she could—but she was done. For our entire senior year of high school, these girls with great social influence very pointedly ignored me. I cried a lot.
Recently a friend asked me to share my “freedom story”—how I came to a place of freedom in Christ. Not my conversion story, not my moment of finding God, but what led me to a place of freedom. I was stumped. Not because I’m oh-so-holy, but because, well, I kind of didn’t understand the question.
I mean, I could go on for days about all of my issues, questions, doubts, struggles, and so on. But still, the question had me stumped because to me…
Jesus IS freedom.
I didn’t have to come to a place of understanding or work through deep issues to have this revealed to me.
When I began a true relationship with God as an adult, a huge part of the appeal was the instinctual, immediate understanding that God loved me. ME. Just the way I was. He didn’t care what clothes I wore or whether I was in the right clubs. He didn’t shun me because I was different than others. Instead, He made me in His image—therefore, there is nothing left to be ashamed of. I don’t have to work to try to fit in any longer. I fit because He said so. Because He loves me and called me. I accepted myself. I embraced my quirks and eccentricities—because, finally, I was free to be myself.When I said yes to Jesus, He said yes to me. And I believed Him. #freedom #jesussetmefree #sayyestogod #wehaveafriendinjesus Click To Tweet
By the time God became real to me, those girls in high school were the farthest thing from my mind. And yet, at times, I still feel that rejection and wonder if my friends are just pretending to like me.
In the years since then, I’ve accepted my part in that situation. Learned how to be genuine with others. Become a better friend. Made better friends—good, deep, true, loyal, genuinely loving friends. My life is good, and that hurt doesn’t have a hold on me any longer.
But lately, I’ve been thinking about how far God has brought me. I once struggled to find, make, and keep friends—but now I’m surrounded on all sides by loving and kind and generous sisters and friends. God placed me in this group of amazing women and stirred our collective desire to found a ministry centered on loving women as we strive to grow ever closer to God.
God turned my devastation into my delight.
Maybe you haven’t found women with whom you can completely let down your guard. Perhaps you feel that no one will ever truly “get” you. The hardest part about this ministry is that we’re working hard to bring people together—but we cannot guarantee anything. We can’t promise you’ll find good, deep, true friends here, nor can we control anyone else’s behavior and words.
But we can share our stories and let you know that it is possible to open yourself up again, to take that risk, even after friends have hurt you. There are others out there—possibly even in our Facebook group—who want the same things you do. These friendships can be exciting and invigorating and such a huge blessing—but here’s the real truth:Our focus has to be on God first. Because even the best of women and the best of intentions can fall short. But God never will. #friendship #sisterhood Click To Tweet
When He loves you, when He reveals who you are to Him and who He made you to be, you will find freedom like you never imagined—which, in turn, makes you free to love others in a way they never expected.
Yes, it is hard to trust people you don’t know.
But you can always trust in God to be faithful.
Sister, friends may be the desire of your heart, but like all things, it has to begin with Him. Ask Him to fulfill your longings to grow close to Him, because He is more than enough. He promises us new life, and in that abundance, you may find that He answers your prayers through friends He places in your life.