Friday, May 31, 2013

Some Friends Would Be Nice

Every single, solitary person that I know of has been lonely at times. It doesn't matter if she has a whole list of acquaintances, a set of loving parents, or a troop of brothers and sisters to keep her company - there are always times when we feel perfectly and completely alone, forgotten and left out.

Quite a few girls have voiced this frustration within my hearing distance, so I know it's a big deal - but "frustration," really isn't the right word. It's hard.

Can I share what I've learned with you?

I'm a pastor's daughter from a very small church in a state that nearly nobody ever has to drive through on their way to a favorite vacation spot. (Get the picture?) Since about twelve years old, I've been feeling the sting of being "different." Different clothes, different standards, different beliefs, different ideas, different style...and I always felt very awkward with myself, knowing how I came across to people (on top of being extremely self-conscious.)

Even now, there's no such thing as calling up a friend my age to schedule a shopping trip on Saturday afternoon. There's no such thing as going out for coffee with "the girls" on Friday evening.  There's nobody my age in church.

Is this familiar to you? I'm sure some of my readers are nodding there heads and thinking "Yeah...I know all about this." Living for Christ can be hard sometimes.

But, girls, this isn't as bad as you think it is.

"What?" you say, "You just informed me that you have no friends at all. Your life sounds perfectly morbid and you're telling me it's something less than awful?"

Yes. I am.

Don't get me wrong, there've been crying times, aching-for-a-friend times, wishing times, oh-so-many praying times, a lot of hard times; but hard things mold character and the best part of having a broken heart, is that you get to have God fix it for you. His comfort makes it all completely worth it.

There are so many good things that we don't see through this.

Guess what. We're persecuted because we're a peculiar people.

 "Great," you think, "Just what I've always wanted to be." No. I mean, God has called you to Himself. That's why you're different. 1 Peter 2:9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light..."

You're partaking of the sufferings of Christ - aren't you glad? You're being treated the same way Christ was because you're His. If that doesn't make you excited...I don't know what will.

Loneliness is something I've tried to cover up; put in a closet somewhere, find a band-aid that would be strong enough to keep it buried forever - but it still, always, leaks out somehow. What I've found though, is that loneliness is something God can turn into beauty.

One day I was driving to town by myself. It was quiet in the van and the CD wouldn't work. I started to pray. I had been wishing for a friend to talk to that day; and I could've called someone, but hadn't.

"Lord," I said, "I don't know why I can't be with the people who really want me, but you do." I began to cry and felt such a comfort as God filled the aching spots with himself - yes. He's that real.

If I didn't have this battle, this hard, hard thing; would I know how much He loves me? If I never had to seek friendship, if I was never aching for someone my age to talk with, if I never felt completely alone, would I ever have sought His comfort, His healing, His friendship?

Would you?

When you get a glimpse of God's love - not just an idea, but a God-sent, personal, revelation  - you don't care if your ugly, if nobody will ever understand you, whether or not you ever get married, if you never have friends for the rest of your life, if your "style" will never be appreciated; because you've found everything you've ever needed. All you want to do is spend your life trying to give back that love to God.

I know. Because That was me; and it can be you, too.

Refuse self pity, and get busy with what God has given you. Don't pine away for friends, living in a dark closet of woe because you don't have any close by. Get out and feel the sunshine.

Make friends with your parents and brothers and sisters. Remember that the lady of 30 can laugh and talk just as well as the girls of 16 - and sometimes she finds herself in need of company, too!

Check out 2 Corinthians Chapter 4. You'll be encouraged. "For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;"

God has put you where you are for a reason; I know it's hard, and He does too. Be joyful that He has confidence that you can stand through this lonely time for Him. (He said he wouldn't give you more than you could take, didn't he? So He must be confident that you can overcome in this situation.)

Let Him wipe your tears and heal your heart. He has a plan for you and He knows what is best.

Forgive the past hurts, love what God has given you, and learn to lean on Jesus. Be content with Him. He's a friend that "sticketh closer than a brother."


Anonymous said...

Yes, I felt this same way a few years back. Back then, my relationship with God was quite weak.

I kept complaining to my mother about not having any friends, and she always said the same thing, "Go to God. He's your friend."

Finally, I decided that I should try to go back to God. I read my Bible and prayed for hours on end, desiring to know Christ for who He is.

I became so close to Christ, that I didn't really need any other friend. Those years of wishing for a friend are over. I found strength and guidance through Christ. He is just SO real to me. I can truly say that He is my best friend.

If I had that friend I had wanted so badly, would I even have wanted Christ then? I am so thankful that He gave me a longing to have a friend. He filled the empty space, and I am overflowing with joy and gladness that He is there. Always. Never a beginning, never an ending to His love He bestows upon me.


Violet said...


I just want to thank you so much for posting this ~ the Lord really needed me to remember this today!!! :) Like you and Kandice I have been incredibly lonely, I too have been in a tiny church with no others my age. But it is so true that while I became really quite depressed for a while the Lord seriously used that time to help me cling to Him and rely upon Him rather than others. And now I am so grateful for it!!!

Just this year, He has blessed me with so many godly friends that I could never have imagined having, and yet I am so glad that He ensured I went through a period of lonliness and really searching after Him before blessing me with such friends, as otherwise I think I would become too reliant upon them now. But to Him be the glory!!! I can now with confidence say that sooner or later my friends will let me down (friends, no matter how amazing, are sinners too!) but I have a heavenly Father who is the best friend anyone could imagine having!

So just want to seriously encourage anyone out there to keep looking to the Lord, as Anna has urged here in this post. He may bring friends into your life at some stage, but whether He chooses to or not, be assured that He is really the best friend you could have!

God bless, Anna, and thanks again for the lovely post! I'll be praying for you! :)

Your sister in Christ,

Hannah Megan Boyd said...

Hi, Anna!
I am also a PK. My parents plant house churches, which means that each church is about 50 people or under. In the future, that may change, but the biggest house church we have planted is right now at about 50 people attending. I LOVE planting house churches, but this also means that I have less peers of my own age. I am now a high-school graduate and I was home-schooled all twelve years. This also means that I have less friends of my own age. I know how you feel. But I just want you to know that you're not alone. I dress differently than my peers, I act differently, I invest my time into very different things then they do. I strive to be counterculture, and I assume that you do, too. But I found that during those times of feeling alone, The Lord was reaching for my heart and he wanted me to be HIS friend. I was searching for fulfilment from friendships with people instead of my friendship with GOD. I saw everybody else with their best friends and became jealous and hurt that I didn't have a peer I could lean on like they did. What i didn't see was that they found their validation and self worth based off of how many friends they had. We need to base our self worth off of how GOD sees us. God WANTS to be your best friend, Anna. He wants to fill that empty void in your heart. I know what it feels like to not have that best friend, or that large group of peers. But what God wants you to know during this time is that he wants you to lean on him and turn to him. It hurts him when he sees you longing for that friendship from people that just can't fill that void in your heart like he can. God wants to be your best friend, but you have to want to be his, too! You aren't alone. I don't actually know you in real life, but I'm here for you and so are your other blogging friends, I'm sure! But most importantly, God is there for you. Maybe your friendship with him isn't that great yet. In that case, build your relationship with him just like you would build a relationship with one of your peers. Set aside time to hang out with him. Talk with him often. Do you find that the longer you know someone, the stronger your friendship becomes? The same thing will happen with being a friend of God. Your relationship with him will get stronger as you spend more time with him.
Sorry for the lengthy comment. I just wanted you to know that I know how you feel! I was once in the SAME spot that you were in.

In His Service,
Hannah Boyd