Why women choose loneliness over real friendship: Embracing our calling

As I get older, I experience more women with major walls up.  I even have my own walls I have developed over the years.

When I was in high school friendships were easy.  I would tell my girlfriends everything and bonds seemed to grow deep rather quickly.  It feels like this slowly changes the more you are exposed to hurts and fears through life.

The older I get, I realize those hurts and fears become barriers I carry around.  It seems “safe” to put everyone at arms length and not develop “real” relationship with anyone.  The enemy constantly feeds us these types of lies so we will walk alone in this life.

One lie is feeling the need to carry our own burdens.

Instead of sharing the real pains and struggles we experience, we often walk around with the facade of perfection. Meanwhile we yearn for a true, deep friendship with another women.

Recently, I asked a group women if they had a close girlfriend they could honestly share with when they are going through a very hard time in their lives.  Most of them, about 95% said “No”. From the outside, looking at each one of their lives, you would think they have many great friendships.  These women had various reasons for why they don’t have more meaningful friendships. Most of their reasoning was centered on Fear.
Fear of being judged.  Fear of being hurt.  Fear of loosing the friendship.  Fear of gossip.  Fear.

Almost everyone resorted to their husbands for friendship primarily.  I totally get this as I have been like that with mine many times. He truly is my best friend.  However, we can use them as a substitute for good friendships with other women when they are not meant to be.  They cannot relate to women’s issues the same as another woman.  We shouldn’t force our husbands to carry that role. It’s not in their genes.  They were not meant to be like women.  That is fine.

That is why God has blessed us with other women. On this earth, we have other women to build friendships with, relate to, pray with, and rejoice with.

God has made us woman incredibly relational.  It is just how we are.  From young ages to old,  introverts and extroverts,  we crave connection with other people. That is how God uses us to spread the gospel, to speak and encourage others and to be light in this world.  If we deny that, we deny part of our purpose here on Earth.

Some of my favorite quotes by Shauna Niequist, who constantly writes about pursuing real friendship are:

“When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship, we bring a little more of the divine into daily life.”

“Friendship is an opportunity to act on God’s behalf in the lives of the people who we’re close to, reminding each other who God is.”

I am an extrovert and have definitely had many great friendships in this life.  I’ve also had some very painful friendships. In these times, I tore down every wall and was fully vulnerable and still walked away hurt or lost the friendship.  Many times God brought reconciliation in His timing, but these type of experiences form the walls I’m tempted to put up against others.

I know God does not want that for me, so I have to mentally and physically push myself to be open  to pursue friendship in a deeper manner.  I now find myself praying differently. I pray that God would guide me in friendship. I pray that He would allow me to let go of the fear of judgement, fear of being hurt, fear of the friendship not lasting, or even fear that they don’t view me the same way I view them.

It is still very much a process for me, but there are a few women (let’s be real…you can’t go “there” with everyone, nor is that wise) I am going past the surface with.  We ask each other “real” questions.  We share our real pains and struggles.  We rejoice with each others successes in life.  We share about our pasts and how we were brought up.  We share our fears and our joys.  This is real friendship.  It is still very scary for me.  At the same time, I’m pushing to not be in bondage, choosing loneliness in this life. Instead, I am getting to know people on a real level.

Once I turned 30, I just didn’t have the patience anymore for the superficial.  I wanted to take off my mask, and I wanted to be close with others who can do the same.  It’s refreshing and freeing.  If other women aren’t willing to do that, I’m no longer offended. I just realize that is as far as I can go with them and we probably won’t have that deep bond that comes from sharing our “truths” with each other.  This is O.K.  Everyone doesn’t need to be there with us.  But I do encourage women to pursue a friend or two, having a real genuine connection.  Our vulnerability makes someone else feel it’s “safe” to share their vulnerability also.

Christ wants us to walk with each other in this life.  We live in a world of sin.  We have a real enemy and  are all attacked daily.  That is why we are encouraged to carry each others burdens. However, no one can carry your burdens if you don’t share them.

I have decided to trust God, above trusting people. 

People will fail you every time, but He will not.  Any friendship I have, I pray about.  I trust Him that He will guide me and show me what friendships to pursue.  I trust Him that He will show me when it may be time to back off or stop pushing for that type of relationship with an individual.  I trust that He will guide me on what to share in my friendships.

I don’t have to worry about all the “what if’s” when I give Him every relationship I have.  I can tell Him my fears and concerns and rest in knowing He will take care of me.  Change happened when I realized I am not a victim, I choose how lonely I want to be in this life.  I can choose to make effort in friendship to communicate or hang out with people, to ask those beyond the surface questions or I can keep everything surface and go through life alone.

So, friends please don’t choose perfection and loneliness.  Choose to Trust God, to share your truth, your highs and your lows and reap the amazing blessing of a real friendship with another individual.  Someone is just waiting for you to take the first step.  It truly is your choice how you want to live this life.

Be the kind of friend you are hoping for.

 

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Why women choose loneliness over friendship

 

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What do you think?

64 Comments:
April 21, 2017

I really loved your perspective on this!

April 21, 2017

Thank you so much!

April 21, 2017

What a great post, so honest. I think we’re all searching for deep authentic friendships. Nothing better than healthy life-giving relationships to help us through life!

April 21, 2017

Yes! We all definitely need that in our lives!

April 21, 2017

So good! Love this … fellowship is so important to lift each other up!

April 21, 2017

I couldn’t agree more! Thanks!

April 21, 2017

I see myself in this article so much. I feel like many of the friendships I do try to pursue always fall flat and it gets so frustrating.

April 21, 2017

It can be frustrating but keep pushing! You are the exact friendship someone else needs!

April 21, 2017

What a fresh perspective, one to which I can really relate to.

April 21, 2017

I’m so glad! Thanks for reading!

April 21, 2017

Great post. So interesting!! I share everything with my husband – so thankful for him! And, the only other person I feel that close to is my mother-in-law – she’s the best!! 🙂

April 21, 2017

That’s so nice that you have her too!

April 21, 2017

These words are truth! It is a daily desision to make as well- trusting others instead of living in fear.

April 21, 2017

Yes, it really is.. it’s a challenge for us all.

Love this!! For its transparency, truth, and encouragement. Having true divine friendships are not easy, but worth all the effort. Learning to be okay with the fact that you cannot have truly deep friendships with everyone helps as well.

April 21, 2017

Yes girl! Thank you for the encouragement! So grateful for the few I have as well!

April 21, 2017

Thank you so much for this wonderful post! This really gives me some perspective. It is a challenge to maintain friendships once you are married and have kids but it’s so nice to have a few friends to confide in. I am also a mom of boys (4) and I enioy reading your blog!

April 21, 2017

Thank you!! Yes this is very true. Wow! 4 boys you deserve a medal too! LOL

April 21, 2017

This spoke to me on a personal level. Although the husband aspect doesn’t apply to me, as I’m not married, the rest of it does. I do hold people at an arm’s length. And I agree with you. It’s definitely from fear. As I’m growing older and wiser, I have began to appreciate the “quantity over quality” philosophy when it comes to friend. I don’t need to have a lot of friends, but I need a few true friends to help me get through this crazy life!

April 21, 2017

Yes, friends are literally a life line God gives us to get through some crazy stuff!

April 21, 2017

yes! always trust in God. When I am feeling like my friendships aren’t be reciprocated I always turn to him for strength and courage to be a good friend anyways. sometimes easier said than done! 😉

xx
Stephanie
http://www.vimandvigor.blog

April 21, 2017

Yes! I am the same way! Agreed!

April 21, 2017

Wow! I love this, as I’m also learning to let people into my life. When I moved from my hometown 9 years ago, I never imagined how difficult it would be to make new friends as an adult. I’ve met plenty of acquantices where we’d share good conversation, but never someone that I could get “deeper” with. I’m happy to say that with God’s help I was able to open up and let someone into my life. The moment I stopped listening to the lies of the enemy, was the very moment I met this wonderful woman. We are still building our friendship, but I find myself being volnerable and real with her in a way I haven’t been with other women in a very long time. It feels good!

April 21, 2017

AWw thank so much for sharing! That is amazing! Way to go! I pray that friendship continues to blossom into something beautiful!

April 21, 2017

This is so good friend. I can really relate as I was in this situation after we moved away from the home we’ve always known two years ago. I had better friends online than in real life because it was hard to put myself out there and be that real with someone new. I am so thankful that that I now have a few great iron sharpens iron friends out here and I truly thank the Lord because we are not meant to experience this life alone!

April 22, 2017

Thanks so much! YES! It is so important to pursue these type of friendships! Thanks for reading!

April 21, 2017

Good reminder. Sometimes I forget to look at the blessings in friendship the Lord has provided me.

April 22, 2017

YES! We all can fail to count our blessings

April 21, 2017

Thank you so much for this! It was incredibly eye-opening. I never really thought about how I do put up so many walls when it comes to friendship. I’ve also relied on my husband to give me that friendship that I really need from another woman. It’s definitely something I need to lift up to God in prayer. It’s so true that we women really do need deep friendships and we can’t do this life all on our own!

April 22, 2017

Yes prayer is so essential in all of this! Thank you so much for reading!

April 22, 2017

I’m reading an excellent book on this subject right now called, “Never Unfriended.” This is so important for women to realize.

April 22, 2017

I will have to check that out! Sounds great!

April 22, 2017

So beautifully written and such a great perspective. Friendships based on trust, love & empathy is amazing and I wish for every women to have. No one should have to live in fear and the worry of judgement. Great read! ❤️

April 22, 2017

Yes I agree! They are such a blessing if you do the work! Thank you!

April 22, 2017

Thanks for sharing this.that’s totally me.

April 22, 2017

Thanks for reading!

April 22, 2017

Great post as always, Jehava! Thank you for sharing this! “When we do the hard, intimate work of friendship, we bring a little more of the divine into daily life.” This is the quote that really resonates with me. True friendship is hard, intimate work. It’s inviting people in and trusting them with all our mess. Not just going to dinner with a group of girls (although it includes that) and not walking away when you’re disappointed (although sometimes it can be healthy to end a relationship). It’s getting down in the trenches when need be. It’s celebrating when need be. It’s speaking the truth in love even when it’s not the comfortable thing, but because it is for your friend’s good. It’s hearing the uncomfortable truth in love because we trust that our friend has our best interest at heart.

Solid gold. That’s what deep friendships are. Life giving and real glimpses of God’s grace to us.

I hope you have a great weekend!

April 22, 2017

YES!! You said it all so perfectly and I couldn’t agree more! Thanks so much for sharing your perspective and reading the post!

April 23, 2017

Friendships are so important! Even as an extrovert I still struggle with being able to open up and share when times are tough. Even though I know my friends will support me.

April 23, 2017

Yes! I am exactly the same way.

April 23, 2017

What a great read! The older I get, the more I crave real companionship with other woman. It can be difficult, though. We are always so scared to bare our souls with one another. But if we truly went all in, we would certainly learn so much from those around us.
Thanks for a very insightful post.

April 24, 2017

YES! Real growth and bonding comes when you can just be vulnerable. Many times if you go there, someone else will too!

April 24, 2017

My friend and I were just having this conversation in the car the other day, we’re both very similar in that we’ve recently had to remove a lot of people from our lives to keep our sanity in tact and we were talking about how difficult it is to meet new people and make friends, I mean how do you even approach that! Most of my friends are people I’ve known since school – though funnily enough we weren’t friends then and became close years late – but I always have an in, I know very few people I’ve just met randomly.

April 24, 2017

Yes, I have met many of my friends from our church, various play groups for my kids, and some from college etc. too! Sometimes it is good to remove some draining relationships from your life but, at this point I’m focusing on deepening the good ones I have!

April 24, 2017

These relationships are great… but they cannot be forced and they take time. No one wants to hear incessant complaining, so it makes sense to be a little self-depricating but to also be positive. I think the truest friends are the ones that can come over without any plans and you all have a great time doing nothing.

April 24, 2017

Yes…it is so important to have a balance in friendships.. being there for each other in the good and the bad!

April 24, 2017

Oh gosh, making true friends has been so much harder for me in my adult years. I miss how easy it was in school and college! With kids, job and marriage I feel stretched very thin. This gives me something to think about.

April 24, 2017

Yes it is hard but,it’s so important to make that time in our lives as well.

April 24, 2017

Great post! I love this. I write about women and friendships often because I think we see it as a luxury and not a need but we do truly need each other.

April 24, 2017

Thank you so much!

April 24, 2017

This is so swell written and I completely relate. I have two kids, am 31 and really trying to strengthen my relationships with my girlfriends across the board. It makes such a difference to know you have good friends who have your back! This is a time in my life I need it more than ever! Thank you for posting this and for making take some time to reflect!

April 24, 2017

Thank you so much!! Yes it is so important for sure! I hope your friendships continue to grow.

April 24, 2017

I absolutely adore this. I’m lucky to have an awesome tribe of women in my life!

April 24, 2017

Thank you so much!

April 24, 2017

So much truth! It is so challengingly to find good friends as an adult. I managed to make two amazing friends in my adult life and we all work very hard to remain connected.

April 25, 2017

That is awesome! You are so blessed to have 2!

April 26, 2017

I am the total opposite!! When I was younger, I had very high walls and not many deep friendships. It has taken many years and God working on me and a very open husband to take down those walls and just be myself. It’s not always easy, but I find I am able to let go of most of my fear.

April 26, 2017

That is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

April 26, 2017

Your post inspired me to write about my own friendships. I’ve learned there are all different types of friends that come into our lives. I’ve been lucky in my adulthood to have some amazing friendships, but growing up I struggled with the trust you describe in your post. Great message!

April 26, 2017

Thanks so much for reading! Very true!

May 4, 2017

Retweeted and pinned! Thank you for sharing this beautiful picture of the reason God gave us healthy friendships to support one another. Such a beautiful piece!

May 4, 2017

I really appreciate it! Thanks so much!

May 9, 2017

Another amazing post written by you! thank you for sharing

May 9, 2017

Thanks so much!

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