In Episode Two we discuss friendship. It’s natural to have a different “set” of friends. You may have a group of friends you grew up with, a group of friends from college, a group of friends at church, at work, etc., etc. It is rare that we mix them up and that kind of naturally happens. You may also be an introvert and like spending your time alone and have more “acquaintances” than friends. That’s ok, we are all different. Regardless of your preference or how friendship has shown up in your life, we believe that God made us for community and wants us to be good stewards of his faith. Through friendship we find people who we can share and grow with. It creates a source of support and happiness that helps us through this journey we call life.
God wants us to find our “tribe” of friends to create authentic bonds with and to grow together in our faith.
So why is it sometimes hard to make these types of connections? Why do we silo our groups of friends? Why do we choose to isolate ourselves and why don’t we see God as a friend?
In this episode, we have a conversation with Alyssa Cummings and Melissa Adame who have been part of our sisterhood group for the last two years. Both let their guard down and have a real conversation on what friendship looks like for them and how God has helped them to break down some walls. We discuss what really keeps us from making friends, share our personal experiences on the lack of true community and how God is currently speaking to us in this season through our expression of sisterhood.
Summary by Jenn Jennings
Making friends is hard y'all and keeping friends is even harder. So, if this is how I am created to be - why do I not do it? Why am I not intentional about doing it? Why do I let the littlest excuse keep me from pursuing sisterhood? Can I just be honest with y'all? I think I am just so exhausted and tired from everything else. Life keeps happening and I feel like I don’t want to do anything that requires more effort than what I’m already doing.
This was my attitude for most of my adult life, It was until recently when God challenged me in this area. He put it in my heart to pursue sisterhood and to make it a priority. He knew what I was going through and knew I needed a circle of women to support me. I just wasn’t used to this, but I gave in and made this a priority in my life. One of the first steps was to start the ongoing study group. This was the start of something bigger. The study group not only allowed me to begin my healing but offered the women in the group the same blessing. Since taking the steps and being obedient to what God put on my heart, I have seen the results. The change in my life has led to this podcast and group. It’s pretty powerful. So many other women have benefitted from this, and it has been nothing short of miracles. God’s work is all over this. I want to encourage you to do the same by prioritizing friendships and pursuing God’s faith through friendship. I want to encourage you to consider sisterhood and to intentionally pursue it.
"God knows me well enough to know I needed this sisterhood and if you are reading this, it is likely that he is moving you in the same direction." - Jenn
We are guaranteed pain and suffering in this world. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable, however, in those times we should always bring it back to intimacy with Jesus first, but we should also rely on our circle of women to support us. It’s ok. Let’s be women of God that support one another and pray for one another. Let’s allow others to speak into our lives. Here are some recommended tasks to help you take the first steps.
Trust God’s timing.
Follow God’s lead.
Know that people are put in front of you for a reason. Stop and pay attention. Make the investment to find out the purpose of your relationship or interaction.
Stop and listen/be vulnerable in order to make friends.
Remember that the person in front of you is also a child of God, move in grace.
Friendship and Sisterhood provide the opportunity to learn something. Take those chances with vulnerability.
Be intentional about making friends, go to the places where you might meet like-minded women.
Follow Jesus’ example of being in community.
Episode Two Homework:
Evaluate your current friendships or lack thereof. Determine if you are being intentional with your friendships.
Schedule some girl time with your friends to reconnect.
Spend some quiet time with God and pray over your friends, friendships and ask for guidance on how to nurture your relationships and/or how to create new ones.
Invite a friend to church.
Share a scripture with a friend.
Create a prayer circle.
Continue to find your sisterhood!
Listen to Episode Two. :)
“God puts people in front of you for a reason. Slow down to learn why….” - Melissa
Luke 10:38-42 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.
Jesus is encouraging us to be present over perfect in this story. He does not want us to miss the relationship(s) that are happening all around us and most importantly - with Him. How often do we let our to-do lists stop us from grabbing coffee with a friend or starting that bible study? Throughout the New Testament, Jesus provides us a constant example of what it looks like to prioritize the things of God, even when society and our own expectations dictate otherwise. Time after time he chooses to halt his journey to love people, to teach, to point us toward God. As his followers, I pray we practice re-prioritizing our lives to do the same. Choose the coffee date over the dishes. Choose quiet time with Him over another episode. Choose God first daily and watch your life
begin to change.
A few favorite Scriptures on Friendship.
John 15:12-13 - My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Proverbs 27:9 - Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 - Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Romans 12:10 - Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Galatians 6:2 - Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.
5 Day Reading Plan - God puts people in your life for a reason. It is by purpose, not chance. While God places individuals in your life, so does the enemy. Therefore, it’s important to be wary of who you allow access to in your life. People matter and people need other people. In his latest plan, David Villa discusses how to distinguish between the two, and provide access to only those who want us to succeed. Start the Reading Lesson Plan here.
Present Over Perfect - we read this book together as a group and it was the best reminder to slow down and be still. Order the book by Shauna Niequist here.
When we reflect on our lives, they are measured not by our incomes or good works, but by our relationships and friendships. This is true for everyone. We are after all children of the Triune God who has always existed as a unity of three persons, and in a move that remains stunning, he calls us 'friends.' In The Company We Keep, author Jonathan Holmes discusses the important relationship of friendship and Biblical friendship in particular. Find the book here.