You may have a fabulous dream house, adorable kids, and a loving husband. You maybe esteemed and honored in the church where you attend. Your older kids are successful on their ball teams and make high grades in school.
In our overly stressed, under nourished culture, a dear friend is to be highly prized. Proverbs 12:25 says, “An anxious heart weighs a man down but a kind work cheers him up.” I have experienced four crisis times where friends made all the difference.
- Kid trouble: I talked to an older friend who reassured me my kids are just going through a phase.
- Moving Blues: a card waiting for me at my new residence reminded me I didn’t have to live in the same town to continue our friendship.
- My 911 friend: I could call her when I had teenage children problems. Need I say more?
- My Identity crisis: I had a sister in Christ remind me that the world says you must “do something” but Christ says we must “be” something. That simple statement really freed me.
A good friend is worth more than $2,000 gift certificate to Ann Taylor, a trip to Hawaii, and a postgraduate degree. She will help you navigate through the canyons of modern life without falling off the cliff.
How do you find this treasure: I have asked myself this for years as I have moved over twenty times and often find myself starting from square one…? I discovered some suggestions that helped me meet new friends and ramp up some casual relationships into dear friends.
- Look for friends in all age groups. Some of the dearest friends I’ve ever had are at least twenty years older than me. The stability of another generation offers a comfort not found in friends that are struggling with problems in our own peer group. I remember my mother-in-law always there for me. Left with three little children 3 &1/2 and under while my husband traveled, I often had too much imagination left on my brain during the day—– and imagination turned to worry and anxiety during the night. A quick call and a confident answer from my mother-in-law .put me back on the happy mommy track. A good perspective from an older woman is the best vitamin a young mother can have. I still miss her after all these years but her advice and staunch belief in Jesus Christ is burned into my heart.
- Look for fun friends. Recently after a writers’ conference, I spent a few moments with a greeting card writer. What started out with a casual conversation evolved into a laugh fest. We both have a little A.D.D. and told funny stories on ourselves. We must have laughed for twenty minutes straight. I want to continue that friendship! Another friend and I were at a conference and started telling stories about our families. We were having such a good time at lunch that people kept stopping by our table and asking if they could join us. Scripture is right on when it says in Proverbs 17:22, “A merry heart doeth good like medicine.”
- Look for friend who have the same heart for ministry that you do. It’s exciting to discover that someone else shares the same burden that you do for a certain population or cause. At a recent conference a woman who writes about the martyred church found a kindred spirit who was tracking with her. She didn’t need to explain her passion, her new friend got it.
- Look for consistency. Friends who keep you even when you move around a lot like I do (over twenty times) show commitment. Hang onto them!
- Look for friends in unusual places. Because I have moved a lot, I have made friends with some of our realtor. They know the community and are usually outgoing and friendly I’ve also found friends at Starbucks, and bookstores.
- Be friendly and approachable. Once, my husband confronted me about my depressed countenance. He told me my attitude scared away potential friends. Wow, that hurt. I wanted to tell him I’d be happier if I had some close friends. Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way.I had to do a quick attitude adjustment. Pity parties are fun but you are the hostess and the only guest. Last time I checked a party is fun and involves several people. As hard as it is to dig yourself out of the pit and pretend you are happy, it is more fruitful. If your goal is to have good friends, you may need to have a serious talk with yourself. I did and it paid off.
- Be assertive: If you see someone you click with, give them a call. If they turn you down, don’t take it too seriously. Give it a couple more tries before you move on.
- Look for places to meet new people.
- Bookstores: they have reading groups
- Starbucks, on a regular basis.
- I had Knitting Clubs from a knitting store
- PTO and school volunteer opportunities
- Gyms: I’ve met very friendly gals at Curves
- Neighborhood associations: maybe you can do the block party this year
Making friends takes tenacity and determination in this era of over-scheduled families. But what is more important, having a clean house, seeing everyone one of your child’s ball games l (I know, this is a shocking statement), having a toned body from daily workouts, having a fabulous career or having a few good friends. Short of your relationship with God, and your family, true friends will get you through life with joy and fun. And, isn’t that what the modern woman is missing?