Friend of the Friendless | by Julie

friends

I have no friends! Sure there are the moms at school that I chat with at our kids sporting events, the beautiful ladies I meet with at church for weekly Bible study and, of course, the virtual friends in the Facebook realm, but while I probably refer to most of these women as my “friends”, in all reality they are really just glorified acquaintances. I’ll see ya when I see ya people. Out of sight, out of mind people. You get the idea. If I suddenly vanished nobody would probably even notice, and if they did, it would probably be because they needed a babysitter or were soliciting for a fundraiser. I’m pretty sure none of my “friends” would be sending out a search party. . . lol . . . I’ll laugh to deflect the sheer patheticness of that statement.

Since childhood I’ve been aware of the God-placed space in my heart for companionship. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one.” Bible verse after Bible verse stresses the importance and power of fellowship with one another.

Not money, not food, not success, nor good looks can replace or compare to the gift of sharing your life with other people.

As a shy child, making friends never came easy for me and I kind of flitted around from group to group. I would pray for friends (still do) until I finally came into my own around my junior year in high school and began developing real, satisfying friendships on through college. But like most childhood friendships do, most of those relationships have long grown cold due to distance, marriage and time.

As a married mother of two I have ushered in a new season of my life. There are no more high school football games, youth group outings or college parties busting at the seams with single people connecting and sharing life in their abundance of free time. There are new responsibilities – work, parenting, managing a home – that leave little time to connect with and make friends.

As a young mom with young children it still seemed fairly easy to connect with other women. Moms were always looking for friends to have playdates with, and groups like MOPS and Mommy & Me abounded to provide moms a place to find support and friendship. And God blessed me; heard my prayers. During this period in my life I found myself surrounded by the best friends I have ever had. I finally felt completely fulfilled in my relationships with other women and it brought an invaluable richness and meaningfulness to my life. End of story, right? Wrong!

After developing, nurturing and enjoying these friendships for a few years, God had other plans. We moved. Three hours away. And like in my youth, although I still feel very connected to this group of ladies in my heart and love them dearly, geographical distance has taken its toll, and these friendships have fallen into that group of acquaintances, albeit my most prized acquaintances.

I was hopeful, though, excited, to add even more beautiful women to my circle. I jumped in with both feet, striking up conversations with the other moms at school, joining church small groups, local mom groups, etc. Fast forward six years, after a couple of dysfunctional, failed attempts, I still have no true friends.

Making new friends as a mom of school-age children has proven much more difficult. By this stage in life, it seems most women have an established group of friends and there aren’t any vacancies they’re looking to fill.

Maybe they just don’t have time. Maybe they just don’t have the energy to get someone new up to speed on their life. Maybe. . .Maybe. . .I don’t know. Even at church, bridging the gap between acquaintance and actual friend seems like an insurmountable task. I put forth the effort suggested to connect – joining groups, attending functions, volunteering, but still no dice.

Remember that episode of I Love Lucy where she thinks everyone has forgotten her birthday and feels like she hasn’t a friend in the world? She wanders off into the park and comes across the Friends of the Friendless and they immediately embrace her and rescue her from her aloneness. Not because she’s pretty. Not because she’s got a great sense of humor. Not because she has money. But simply because she needs a friend.

One of the members says, “I would like to tell you of something that happened to me. And the lesson I learned, and the meaning of true friendship. I didn’t have a friend in the world. I was just a bit of flotsam in the sea of life. A pitiful outcast, shunned by my fellow man. I was a mess. And then, one day they came along, these good people. . .unasked. The Friends of the Friendless. And they put their arm around my waist and they said, ‘We will be your friend, because you are friendless, and we are the Friends of the Friendless. And if you accept our friendship you will never again be friendless, for we are the Friends of the Friendless, and you will have friends.’ To this day I have never been friendless. I have friends. Friends in the time of joy; friends in the time of sorrow. Real friends. True friends. Friends.”

Wow! I want a friend like that. And then it dawned on me. I’m not friendless. I have a friend like that. We all have a friend like that.

Jesus came to be a friend of the friendless.

He was a friend to the sinful woman who washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. He was a friend to Zacchaeus, the corrupt tax collector. He was a friend to the promiscuous woman at the well. He was a friend to Thomas, the doubter, and Judas, the betrayer. He is a friend to all of us. He shares in our grief. He rejoices in our happiness. He loves us unconditionally for who we are, just because. He is the ultimate bestie. And because of Him we will never be alone. We will never be friendless.

Still, even God said in Genesis, “It is not good for man to be alone,” on this earth. I miss and desire friends to laugh with, friends to cry with, friends to support and encourage me on bad days and celebrate with me on good ones. . .So I’ll continue my quest for true friendship resting in the contentment and peace that I find in my Savior. Wouldn’t it be so much easier, though, if there was an e-Harmony or Christian Mingle for platonic friendships?!

MWF seeks loyal BFF. Enjoys chit chat, lunch dates and the occasional girl’s night out.
Must love laughing and be able to finish off a gallon of ice cream in one sitting.
Remembering my birthday is a plus!

So if you’re in the market for a best friend, I’m accepting applications!

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