Whether you grew up in church or you’re new to church, you’ve probably heard how important it is to be in community. My pastor always says, “show me your friends, I’ll show you your future.” The point being, we’re all influenced by the people around us, and we inevitably end up resembling those closest to us.
I wholeheartedly agree that, as Christ followers, we need close friends who also have their eyes fixed on Jesus. But, speaking from experience, making new friends as an adult can be really hard. In fact, it can seem near impossible sometimes! Everyone says you need close godly relationships, but no one tells you how to get them.
I remember my first few months at a new church. I would walk in, all smiles, and hope someone would realize I was new and needed a friend. I got several friendly hellos that made me feel welcome, but nothing deeper. After four lonely months of my same routine, I finally decided to do something drastic. Instead of waiting for someone to reach out to me, I would be the one to reach out.
I joined a small group of women who met weekly to talk about Jesus. They grew to be some of my closest friends, but it wasn’t instantaneous. I had to work at it! Something I learned from that group is that vulnerability breeds vulnerability. The women in the group didn’t clam up because there was an outsider among them. They were open and raw and genuine about what was going on in their lives, and it made me feel safe to share my life with them too.
As time went on, I gave them permission to speak into my life and say the hard things. Sometimes this meant hearing things I didn’t want to hear. But I always knew they weren’t saying it to hurt me. We kept each other accountable—asking questions that you shouldn’t ask in “polite” conversations—because we knew sin grows in the dark and we cared too much about each other to keep our relationship surface level. We were committed to pointing each other back to Jesus, and together, we learned to depend on Him more and more.
If you need more Christian friendships in your life, reach out to the women you met at retreat. Shared experiences can make it easier to connect. And if you don’t have a church home, find one. Ask God to place the right women in your path. Ask Him to help you open your heart to new people and give you a boldness to say the first hello.
Don’t be offended if not everyone wants to be your friend. In fact, I urge you to follow Jesus’ example. While He was kind and loving to everyone, He traveled around with a small group of men we know as the 12 apostles. Among them, Peter, James, and John made up His inner circle. Even still, His number one relationship was with His Heavenly Father. Strengthen your friendship with God as you work to build your inner circle, and once you have them, put in the work to keep them.
In His Love,
Changed Women's Ministry