Cultivating friendship takes work. Amen.
For two years now, we’ve called a new town “home.” The start of that season was rocky in terms of developing relationships with other women – especially coming from such a devoted, small group of friends two hours away.
But slowly, I started saying “yes” more than “no” to a new community, letting them into my stories and dreams and insecurities. And honestly, the lines around our friendships are more blurred than ever, crossing boundaries of work and church and people who we just can’t stand not to be around.
Here’s an excerpt:
Self-protection and self-monitoring can be comfortable patterns that seem like wisdom, when turning inward can actually perpetuate the selfishness of insecurity—which is exactly why this passage in James intrigues me:
“But the wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness” (James 3:17–18, NLT, emphasis mine).
Wisdom of the Lord means being willing to yield to others. I don’t think James means becoming passive doormats, but rather making ourselves available to be influenced by others, serving them and being transformed by God in the process. Living here for two years, I can name a small handful of women I trust, who affirm my identity in Christ and challenge my fleshly version of wisdom. But I still need to peel back the layers of self-protection and rely on his Spirit within me to resist any lingering fear or apprehension—for the sake of authentic friendship, his glory, and my good.
Maybe you can relate? For me, this is ongoing – one big, unfolding lesson of vulnerability and joy. Again, you can find the whole blog post here.