I am a friendly person. I have friends. I am a friend. In fact, I have friends who have been my friends for going on 40 years! In other words, I have friends who have stuck like glue to the fabric of my life. And I have new friends. I've made new friends in just recent months, for instance. And I have friends I've never even met, thanks to you folks :)
But I've never, in all my 20+ years of speaking to women's groups, girls' groups and senior adult groups, spoken on friendship. Not once. Notta.
And now one of those good, longtime friends has invited me to her church to speak at a women's event on friendship, more specifically, making strong connections with other women. And then a MOPS group called and wants me to speak on friendship in January. And I was reminded Monday as I left our own MOPS group, after folding up tablecloths and putting away flower-topped pens, that they would like for me to speak on friendship at the next meeting...in less than two weeks.
So in recent days I have pulled from the shelf every book I have on friendship and looked up everything I know to on line. I've scoured my Bible concordance for every use of the words friend, friends, and friendship, and looked up every. single. one. of. those. verses. And wrote many of them down on my blooming index cards so I could stick them into my new "friendship" scripture meditation album.
And then I spent an inordinate amount of time decorating that album with pretty scrapbook paper. ...Because that was easier than doing the research.
More importantly, of course, I've been begging God to give me something fresh, something compelling, something significant to say about gal to gal connections. And He has smiled at me and told me to dig a little harder and in due time He will. Or so that's how His answer has seemed to resonate with me.
Bottom line: I'm struggling here.
It's one of those subjects where there's so much to say that you have a hard time finding the most essential nugget, dusting it off and polishing it up just so, and then framing it with the most flattering backdrop so that it shines and receives the consideration it deserves. Or at least you hope it deserves.
Can you tell my self-confidence is waning here?
So I've decided to do what I generally do when I start feeling a little overwhelmed. I've decided to pass the buck. Well, not completely, I can't expect you to write my message for me...then it wouldn't be mine. And I do believe God has one for me. In fact, He clearly gave me the direction yesterday. But I'd love a little input from you.
As long as you have a friend or two that is.
Would you help a struggling writer/speaker out here a little by answering at least one of the following questions? You don't have to sit here on my blog so long that you answer all three, unless you'd like to. But I'd be overwhelmed with gratitude if you'd just take a moment to answer one.
However, I would appreciate it if you'd be so bold and open as to answer one sort of qualifying question for me before you get to the friendship questions. And if you need to respond anonymously, that's fine. And hey, one answer or the other doesn't disqualify your answers from being important to me. I just need to know your frame of reference before I consider your answer to the other questions.
So here's the "qualifying question" I need everyone to answer before you respond to one or more of the others:
- Are you a follower of Jesus Christ, a Christian? Yes or no is all I need here.
- When you consider the girlfriend(s) with whom you most enjoy spending time, what one quality about that friendship most draws you to it?
- Do you have a friend with whom you pray regularly or have in the past regularly prayed? What did or does prayer do to that friendship?
- Do you currently have a friend with whom you talk about personal matters from both ends, in a healthy, godly and respectful way? How did you get to that point in your relationship and how long did that take?
- Do you have a friend who consistently points you toward godliness and toward God, and for whom you could say you do the same? In other words, a mutual relationship that intentionally directs one another toward God? What is it about that relationship that accomplishes that "directionality?"
- Are you lacking a good, strong, intimate friendship right now? Why has it been or is it difficult to find and/or develop that kind of relationship?
Ok. I realize those are not the friendship quiz questions you'd probably find in Glamour magazine. They're pretty deep, huh? So you're going to have to think about this a few minutes. But you know what? God's gotten me to thinking about these things lately, so I figure it would do you good to do the same.
And I think we'll all enjoy reading the comments too. And I promise to take what you give me and write some extremely compelling and insightful posts from all that information in the future.
Ok. I don't know how compelling and insightful they'll be, but I'll give it a good ol' Girl Scout try!
Thanks so much. Smooches and kisses and hugs. XXXOOOXXX!!!
Desperate, purely desperate....