Thursday, April 11, 2019

Thankful Thursdays: Friendships, Healing and Hope

It’s Thursday and I’m thankful for friendships, healing and hope.

God has brought wonderful people in my life over the past decade who have become dear friends, mentors and prayer warriors for me. Through the ministry of my church home this past decade of membership, He’s restored me in every aspect of the word. But it hasn’t always been this easy for me.

I’m going to be a bit more open with this blog post in hopes of helping those who may need to hear what I have to say.

I struggled with friendships for most of my younger years. I was a shy and chubby child and though people could be nice to me, they also could be mean because of how I looked. I know what it’s like to be judged negatively based on appearance even before you say a word not just because of appearance but race too. There are people in this sin-ridden world who will not like you based solely on what category they think you fit in be it size, weight, race…the list goes on. But as an adult, I found hope and healing.

Growing up, it seemed like everyone had a best friend except me. Now, I don’t know how this works for guys but for girls, having a circle of close friends and a few best friends is crucial. I’d say it is part of our social development and a benchmark that we all want. I had friends but they were all in their own inner circles. So I got left out a lot but it was not their fault because they were just hanging out with the people who they felt close to. However, that pain created a void in my heart and I wondered if I would ever have a true best friend or an inner circle.

So with each new school year, I was on the lookout. Would we have a new student who wanted to be my best friend? Would things change? Would I be included in the closely bonded social circles that I envied?

But with each passing year, things remained the same. People liked me but I hadn’t managed to gain that close inner circle and the few times when I thought I did in high school and college, those friendships fell apart.

Looking back, I think that God played a role in having those friendships fail because He wanted me to seek Him first and be friends with Him and His Son (Jesus Christ) first because honestly, the truest friend that you and I will ever have is Jesus. He’s the ONLY friend who will never fail you, talk about you behind your back, make fun of you or hurt you. Best of all, once you’re friends with Jesus Christ, you’re friends for LIFE — not just during this temporary life here on Earth but for Heaven and throughout eternity. Jesus Christ is the Ultimate Best Friend and while it’s still nice to have best friends here on Earth, if you don’t have that but you have Jesus, you truly do have all that you need.


Now for the lessons I learned…

If you didn’t grow up with close friends, it’s not too late. You can still pray to God to bring positive, life-affirming people into your life who love Him and love you! The best advice I would give the younger me who was feeling left out socially, is to pray about your problems and ask God to bless you with good people who want to be your friend.

It didn’t dawn on me to pray to God about my heart’s desire for healthy, happy, genuine and close friendships until after my college years. I guess God was waiting for me to ask Him because that’s when He really started showering down the blessings of genuine friendships on me. He led me to a church home filled with members who embrace me, love me, pray for me and support me. He led me to a Christian writers’ organization filled with people who care about me, relate to me, encourage me in my journey as a writer and pray for me. God also brought kind people into my life through Christian, Bible-based ministries on social media.

So my point is, whether your problems are with friendships or romantic relationships or anything, go to God first. He is waiting for you to share the desires of your heart with Him and He is more than ready to bless you beyond your wildest dreams. Talk to Jesus like you would talk to the best friend that you want because He is your very best friend! If you’re lonely, pray about it then ask God for wisdom of who to reach out to. You’re never the only one who is going through something. Sometimes, even the people who you see surrounded by friends are on the inside, lonely.

Also, be kind. We all have issues. We’re all going through something. You never know the battle that someone is facing. So please, be kind to everyone, even if you don’t want to be his or her best friend. If you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, like me then you know that it’s important to love God with all your heart, soul and mind AND to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30-31). You are supposed to show care and concern for ALL humans and you’re supposed to point them to Jesus who is more than their friend, but the solution to ALL of their problems in life. Remember, He is our Savior.


My closing thoughts

So again, it’s Thursday and I’m thankful for friendships, healing and hope.

I pray that you will seek God first for everything in life, especially in your choices of friends. I pray that He will heal your heart and restore your hope in Him. Remember, with God, ALL things are possible (Matthew 19:26) and with Him, you are NEVER alone


God loves YOU with ALL of His divine heart and He thinks that you are worth dying for, that’s why He sent His Son Jesus Christ to save your life (John 3:16). Always remember how much you’re loved, treasured and valued by Him.

May God bless you and keep you.

Love,

Alexis A. Goring
Founder of “God is Love” blog

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