Friendship… seems to be something that I have struggled with for my entire life.
Shocker, right? I know that we all must feel some kind of connection with what I am about to write. Or maybe I am just hoping that I am not alone in the way that I have felt.
As I think back to my school days those days have become distant memories, but there is one thing that has carried over into my adult life and that is how I have perceived friendships to be. When I was younger I would do just about anything to “fit in” and still fall short. I would put myself out there only to end up crying alone in my bedroom at night, squeezing my pillow as if it would protect me from what the next day may bring.
Girls just did not seem to like me very much….there I said it!
I could not figure out for the life of me, why? I tried each and every day to be friendly, polite, share my lunch, and to reach out to others that felt like me. But in the end, I was never truly “good enough.” I just did not measure up to so many and that puts a terrible complex on a young child. Granted I did wear cotton candy glasses from the 80’s and I did have thunder thighs at the bright age of 9, and because of that I was always picked last for the kickball team, but I was a good person that only wanted a true friend.
Most of my friends were boys.
That is just the plain truth! Boys did not talk bad about me, boys did not make fun of me or whisper when I walked by and I found that I had a lot more in common with boys. Girls were mean and just downright rude.
I loved all things video games and basketball and that was a shoe-in with most boys. From elementary school on up to high school, the same scenario occurred. I would have maybe one or two “girlfriends,” but I would soon find out that they only liked me because I was best friends with the boy they liked. So girls would pretend to like me just to get closer to my guy friends.
I was hurt, sad and alone…
I was caught up in a vicious cycle that truly made me question myself…
I would cringe at the site of myself in the mirror. I thought that there had to be something wrong with me.
I would literally go out of my way for people trying to do anything to appease them in hopes that they would end up wanting to be my friend. I tried everything! Up to the point of dying my beautiful strawberry blonde hair, bleach blonde. I wanted to change my outside appearance because I apparently was not appealing enough for anyone to notice me for who I was on the inside much less on the outside.
The sad part about this is that this cycle did not end once I hit adulthood, no, in fact, it actually got worse as I got older. Once again the “people pleasing” part of me came out and came out strong.
I would try to fit in here, there, and everywhere. I would stretch myself so thin, pleasing other people and their needs in hopes to gain one true friend.
BUT IT HAD TO END!
I had to come to the point to where I had to put a stop to the people pleasing. I was no longer going to put myself out there to be trampled on and nobody else was going to take advantage of me. I had to come to my knees and ask God for forgiveness and to forgive every single person that had made me feel this way.
I cried out to God…
God, you are enough and I am enough! You are all I need! I am good enough in your eyes, Lord! YOU KNOW MY NAME and YOU ARE MY FRIEND! Forgive me for not seeing myself the way that you see me. Forgive those that have taken my eyes off of you and blinded me with their hurtful behaviors. Help me to see me, the way you do!
I had to break the cycle! I had to lay every single hurt down at his feet. I knew that I was a good and loyal friend. I knew that the way I had been made had to have been for a purpose that is greater than myself. But I did not see it until I laid everything down.
THE OLD ME WAS GONE!
God has blessed me with some of the most wonderful friendships since then.
True friends...it is almost hard for me to say out loud, but I know within the depths of my soul that these ladies are “true friends” of mine. They show me each and every day what it means to have a Godly friend. They show me each and every day how much that they appreciate our friendship. They are always there when I need them, praying, helping, listening and following God’s lead.
That is what true friendship is all about!
You cheer each other on through life and each other’s accomplishments.
You support one another without jealousy.
You bring your friends closer to God and not farther away.
You do not change who you are when you are with your true friends, they accept you, for you.
You are open and honest with each other.
You do not judge one another…ever!
Some people may have an easier time keeping friendships throughout their lifetime. And some of us have to wait until we have reached our 30’s to find true relationships.
None-the-less, true friends are hard to come by.
So, if you are struggling today, know that you are not alone. Simply Pray for God to align you with the right relationships. He will grant you your hearts desires and it may completely surprise you about who you were meant to be friends with.
I know that I love my “TRIBE.”
They are worth far more than silver or gold…..
CHARACTERISTICS OF A TRUE FRIEND
1. THEY ARE LOYAL 2. THEY ARE HONEST 3. THEY ARE EMPATHETIC 4. THEY ARE SUPPORTERS 5. THEY CHEER YOU ON 6. THEY ARE DEPENDABLE 7. THEY ARE TRUSTWORTHY 8. THEY ARE NON-JUDGEMENTAL 9. THEY ARE SELF-CONFIDENT 10. THEY ARE HUMBLE 11. THEY ARE FULL OF JOY 12. THEY ARE VULNERABLE 13. THEY ARE CARING 14. THEY ARE LISTENERS 15. THEY WILL DROP EVERYTHING THEY ARE DOING TO HELP YOU 16. THEY LIKE YOU, FOR YOU 17. THEY DONT CHANGE THEIR PERSONALITY BASED ON WHO THEY ARE AROUND 18. THEY PRAY FOR YOU 19. THEY DO NOT BACK BITE OR BACK STAB 20. THEY ARE FUN TO BE AROUND
Do you possess these characteristics?
Are you a true friend?