When I met Annie Downs I loved her instantly. She's witty, charming and so very kind. As life has changed for me recently and my time has been sliced to virtually non-existent, I am bringing in some of my friends to co-labor with me in the life of singleness. I will still do some of our months. But there are so many talented people out there that are single and have amazing lives to share that I am thrilled to give them a place for their voice to be heard. Please enjoy my friend Annie this month. And check out her blog as well at annieblogs.com You will grow to love her this month as I am sure. And I am so grateful that she is a part of my community of friendships. I treasure her. You're going to too...
After two years of living in Nashville, God’s generosity in friendships is one of the things for which I am most thankful. Being single isn’t always easy, but being single in a community definitely absorbs some of the weight of that loneliness.
But just like our spring flowers and newly planted gardens, we have to cultivate and maintain those friendships.
I am quick to label someone a friend. We’ve met once? We’re friends. You send me a kind email because you enjoyed a post on my blog? We’re friends. I’ve cried my eyes out in your living room because a boy broke my heart? We’re friends [and you deserve a medal of honor].
I am learning, though, that the label “friend” really should be earned, not freely given. When we meet, we are not quite friends. When we cultivate our friendship and allow it to grow, that is where friendship is born.
I find that there are a few key ways to build friendships. First of all, give it time. The more time you know someone, the more experiences you have with them, the more stories you share. Whereas I would like to consider you my BFF if we’ve had one solid conversation, wisdom says that one conversation does not a friendship build. That conversation, plus a group outing to dinner the next week, plus sitting together at church- there are the building blocks of friendship.
Be patient. The best friendships seem to be those that are steady and slow to build. Time is on your side.
Honesty is key. Be real. Be you. Don’t hide your true self in hopes of persuading someone to like you. Because if you put time into the friendship as well, at some point they will see the real you. So you might as well be real from the start.
But be wise. Not everyone you meet deserves you. You have more to offer than you probably realize. Prayerfully entering friendships and asking God for wisdom is a majorly good idea.
My Nashville community taught me very quickly that solidifying friendships includes time, honesty, and wisdom. And though these three things aren’t always easy, my people are absolutely worth it.