Recently, I was asked to deliver a presentation for the Women in our Parish regarding adult female friendship and the importance of female friendship in a woman’s life.
But before I go any further in this post I must explain a few things about myself.
In no particular order: I’m a wife, a mother, an Oma, and a lover of God. I’m a blogger, a crocheter, and I am an encourager – a real people cheerleader. (GO PEOPLE!)
And I’m also a reader, who especially enjoys reading to the littles out-loud!
However, one thing I am NOT is an experienced presenter.
Imagine my predicament when, after taking this matter to prayer, the Holy Spirit insisted I was being “called” to honor the request being offered to me.
Yes, indeed, God does have a sense of humor!
Gratefully, He also has a whole lot of wisdom too and provided the much needed courage I would rely upon throughout my preparation, which remained with me until the final presentation was given. (GO GOD!! )
Here’s how He did it: He reminded me of the tools He already implanted within me to make good on what I was being asked to do! He had already planted a love for reading, researching, and writing to pull out a bucket load of wisdom from three beloved books; then guided me in weaving it all together to be read aloud in my best blogging-voice possible! (GO HOLY SPIRIT!)
The three resource books were: I’ll be there but I’ll be wearing sweatpants written by Amy Weatherly & Jess Johnston, Univited written by brilliant author Lysa Terkeurst and last but CERTAINLY not least, the number one book of all time, The Bible, written by the hand of God.
And trust me, I needed those books because truthfully….I don’t have a whole lot of personal experience with female friendships of my own.
But well, that’s a whole other story…
If you were to get to know me further (and I really hope you will want to) you would discover there isn’t anything that I truly believe in more – other than God, my Catholic Faith, and Family – except for the importance of female friendship in a woman’s life.
Men may not get it, but that’s because it is a
Amy & Jess write beautifully about finding unfiltered, real-life friendships in this often crazy chaotic world. And Lysa Terkeurst writes authentically about when you feel less than, left-out and lonely. And I was honored to quote much of their shared wisdom throughout the two presentations.
But, I’m not going to share a whole lot about what was said in the course of those presentations; instead I would love to share how wonderfully God delivered my own personal reminder that the spectacular can happen, if we simply place our trust in Him.
I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto thee, according to thy Word.Luke 1:38
When I prayed to Him and asked, “Lord, how ARE we going to write this handbook???” Without hesitation He took me straight to His Book and showed me the four types of friends we shall find.
The Four Types of Friends
Sirach 6: 6-17
Let those that are at peace with you be many, but let your advisers be one in a thousand.
When you gain a friend, gain him through testing, and do not trust him hastily.
- For there is a friend who is such at his own convenience but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.
- And there is a friend who changes into an enemy and will disclose a quarrel to your disgrace.
- And there is a friend who is a table companion but will not stand by your in your day of trouble. In prosperity he will make himself your equal, and be bold with your servants; but if you are brought low, he will turn against you, and will hide himself from your presence. Keep yourself far from your enemies and be on guard toward your friends.
- A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter: he that has found one has found a treasure. There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend, and no scales can measure his excellence. A faithful friend is an elixir of life; and those who fear the Lord will find him. Whoever fears the Lord directs his friendship aright, for as he is, so is his neighbor also.
If you’re anything like I was you might next be wondering,
“Wow! That’s great! But (now) how DO we test a friend?” (*Remember Sirach 6:7??)
God, of course, provided that answer too! (GO GOD!)
Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong but rejoices in the right.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13: 4-7
1. Patient – A true friend understands you’re no more perfect than they are. They are patient and encourage you in the growth process. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Ephesians 4:2
2. Kind – A true friend is kind and caring. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:32
3. Trust – A true friend is both trusting and trustworthy. They tell the truth. They keep your secrets and don’t tell you the secrets of others. A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. Proverbs 11:13
4. Generous – A true friend gives when and where they can. (ACTS 2:45.)
5. Humble – A true friend is not boastful or jealous. They celebrate your success and cheer your efforts. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Philippians 2:3
6. Cheerful – A true friend is positive, upbeat, and pleasant to be around. A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. Proverbs 17:22
7. Compassionate – A true friend listens and is understanding when you struggle and genuinely want to help where they can. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. Luke 6:36
8. Forgiving – A true friend quickly forgives and is not easily offended. Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends. Proverbs 17:9
9. Integrity – A good friend does what is right and good and encourages others to do the same. The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray. Proverbs 12:26
10. Hope – A true friend maintains hope and belief for the future of their friendships and their friends. They encourage their friends by sharing hope with them.
11. Perseverance – A true friend never gives up. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1 Corinthians 13:7
12. Love – A true friend always wants what is best, believes what is best, does what is best. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. 1 John 4:11
I was so grateful and truly blessed to have spent two evenings gathering with these beautiful women of faith, learning how to belong to each other – like really, really, belong. Developing friendships that are not on a stage on which you must perform, and aren’t a popularity contest, but instead invite you into their life – sometimes mess and all.
hugs n’ blessings to all those brave women showing up #asis!
*Dont’ forget: BE SURE to read the 3 books I listed. I’ll for sure be cheering you on, as you do!