Why your friendships aren't about you

Community. Tribe. Our People.

We hear these words a lot, and for those of us who have felt alone, worthless, and unseen - they pierce the heart like no other.

I remember being in Middle School and feeling that gut-wrenching pit of loneliness. Of not fitting in, not being enough or wanted.

Those feelings followed me all the way into adulthood.

I carried my hurt feelings, and they only grew worse. Adult friendships were even harder than I could have imagined, and healthy ones were basically unheard of.

I didn't grow up with healthy friendships, and I had no idea what they were.

I wanted friendships that were life-giving and authentic, but I didn't know how to have them, or better yet, how to find them.

How did I miss learning about this as a child? How could I be an adult and not know how to have healthy friendships? It’s because I had friendships and relationships all wrong.

God - being the good Father that He is -  wanted me to understand, love and cherish relationships.

And it would all start with Him.

There was a constant void, no matter what I did, and I realized that relationships weren't going to fill it.

He wanted me to understand the healthy tension of solely relying on Him for everything, while loving to be in relationship with people, because He created relationship.  He began to do a work - ripping up all the old and dead roots, scraping out the junk, and planting good seeds.

I went through a time in which I learned that I needed to rely completely on Him. I didn't have any friends, and I felt incredibly alone. I now look back, and know that I needed that time. I prayed and prayed for friends. I prayed for community and people to really do life with. I prayed for people who my children could look up to and could call family.

It seemed as if God wasn't hearing my prayers.

But really, I just wasn't seeing what He was showing me.

I wrestled with Him on this.

"Jesus, why am I so lonely?"

He answered -

He wants us to know Him as our first and best friend.

My identity was rooted in everything but Him. I was obsessed with the idea of friendships that would cure my heart, and that just wasn't it. He wants us to allow Him to love us as His beloved, His daughter, His friend.

Real, authentic friendships take hard work.

I did not like this one. I wanted it to be easy, just like most things. Why couldn’t it be simple?

The truth is that friendships aren't magically healthy and thriving in one day. They take time and care and love and work. It takes intentionality to truly love someone well.

Real friendships aren't microwavable.

We tend to want instant, but the reality is that deep friendships cannot develop overnight.

I began to understand what His heart was for relationships. It wasn't about what I could or couldn't get from friends.

It wasn't about how they were supposed to make me feel.

It wasn't about not having to feel lonely.

Friendship is an overflow of His love for us, for His glory.

God’s heartbeat is for us to be in relationship with one another, so that we can encourage each other and walk out our destinies together.

 

Let us not go into friendships and relationships with expectations of what we should get, but instead with the desire to bring Glory to the Kingdom of God.

For these relationships are not for our own reward, but they are an overflow of God’s love towards us.

Alexandra Hoover

Alexandra–writer, teacher, and speaker—is a wife and a mother to three incredible children. She has a heart for reaching out to women who have either forgotten or have never known God’s love for them and to women who feel like they’re too far gone. Her passion is to share stories about how her own struggles have led her to see just how beautiful and redemptive the power of the Cross really is. At her core, Alex desires nothing more than to empower women to walk with Jesus and to encourage women in the truth of who they are, in and through Christ Jesus.

Alex lives to share about God’s continuous faithfulness in her life, always proclaiming that the promise He holds for His daughters is abundant life, through it all. She spends her days loving on her family, cultivating friendships, and working and serving at her local church. Follow along with Alex on Instagram!

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