Do you ever have those days when nothing seems to go right?
Maybe your morning started out with such promise but quickly dissolved when you spilled coffee all over your lap.
… or when you were running right on time for work only to discover that you had locked your keys in your car.
… or when your people all collectively decided to do things today to make you come completely unglued.
I’ve been there. And I’m excited to tell you about a resource written by women who have been there, too. Proverbs 31 Ministries just released our devotion book, Encouragement for Today, to speak into the hard places in life. Here’s a sneak peek of one of my devotions in the book:
When Friendship Is Tough
Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. (1 Peter 3:8)
One of the wisest pieces of advice on friendship I ever got was from one of my daughters. She was in middle school at the time. You know, that awkward place where insecurities run rampant, hormones rage, and your best friend one day becomes your worst enemy the next? So lovely.
She got in the car one day with tears filling her eyes. She waited until we pulled out of the school parking lot to let all her hurt leak down her cheeks.
“Rough day?” I asked.
“Awful,” she replied.
I turned down the radio, waited until we were at a red light, and reached for her hand. “Wanna talk about it?”
“Nope,” she whispered as she turned her face away from me toward the window. The rest of the night she sulked around the house. And no matter how many times I tried to get her to talk, this normally very talkative child wouldn’t open up.
The next morning, I was surprised when she bounded down the stairs with a smile on her face.
“Well hey! You sure look happy this morning,” I said as I lifted up quick thank-you prayers to God for whatever had brought back the sunshine to my girl’s life.
“Mom,” she said with great authority, “I’ve decided something about friends. They all have good stuff and bad stuff. Things you like and things that really annoy you. So, you just have to decide if you can handle their package deal.”
How wise. How true.
Friends are a package deal. And sadly, not all friendships will stand the test of time. Some friendships are for a season. But other times, we have to be willing to deal with the messy stuff to fight for our friendships.
Recently, I had something hard happen with a friend I dearly love and greatly respect. A misunderstanding. Hurt feelings. Frustration. Part of me wanted to distance myself because it was hard to sift through the pain. But as I prayed through it, I had to remind myself this person is a package deal. Part of what makes her a great friend I love to be around is her tenacity and passion to accomplish tasks with excellence. But because she is so task oriented, she is less relationally sensitive.
And if I’m honest with myself, I can see that I’m a package deal too. With good stuff … and annoying stuff.
She has issues. I have issues.
We’re both messy people, willing to work on our not-so-fun stuff, fully aware we’re going to hit some muddy little potholes along our friendship path.
But we’ve decided the package deal is worth it.
Dear Lord, thank You for my friendships. I know some will last a lifetime, and some will fade after a season. Please help me be completely humble and gentle, patient, bearing with my friends in love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Friends are a package deal. Not all friendships will stand the test of time. Some friendships are for a season; others we have to be willing to fight for.
What friendship have you let go of because it got messy? What do you think about fighting for this friendship and reestablishing it?
Consider one of your friends. How might you invest humility, gentleness, and patience in her or him today?
Ephesians 4:2–3; Colossians 3:13
Today, I’m giving away 5 copies of Encouragement for Today to a few randomly chosen commenters!
Just answer the “respond” question from the devotion above for your opportunity to win.
I need to let my friend Lauren know that even though we are miles away, I want our friendship to be stronger. Whether we start writing letters again, like we did in high school, or pick a day of the week, where we take special time for a phone call. I need to let her know she is needed in my life, even though in the midst of our busy schedules, it might not seem like it. She is important to me and her friendship is a priority.
Today, I’m going to listen. I have several friends who have close family members battling serious illness. I’m going to listen, find what they need from me and show love to them. Most of all I’m going to pray for them today … not for my needs and wants.
I have a dear friend of 20 years. I understand the package deal. We have been through everything together. In recent years she has come back to the Lord. We always pray for each other.
I have a new friend and new in his walk with God. So many times I’ve been less than patient. I try to tell him what I think is right. I need to listen more, only offer advice if asked and see him as a child of God. Maybe I can remember to show him how Jesus would be.
I need to act Christ-like toward my friend even when she doesn’t seem to return it. I need to remember that my kindness, humility, and love can draw her nearer to the Lord. I need to remember all the wonderful things about her and not dwell on the things that hurt me. I like that friends are a package deal…just like I am!
Impeccable timing. Thank you with all of my poked, prodded, and pricked heart.
Well she always calls me first. I love hearing and talking to her but I don’t make time to call her. I need to make more of an effort to be a better friend at calling and “making plans” to get together. I love her and she has been a wonderful friend. I would be heart broken if I ever hurt her because I was lazy or busy. Thank you for this great reminder to be the best friend we can be.
Such wisdom from your daughter. Amazing.
I’m excited to get the new devotional. I love the variety of the P31 writers.
I am going to remember what you said about being a “package deal” the next time I hang out with my dear friend.
I have a friend who I always have to instigate if we hear from each other. Sometimes I want to give up but know that is just the way she is
I’m going to send a card to my friend letting her now I appreciate her and love that we are friends through it all even with our mud puddles. 🙂
Wow, Praying for you’re Daughter right now and Friends and Family hon! We Always have to Love are Children’s and Help them, God Bless Moms and Children’s Always! Thanks so much Sharing this.
In His Service, YSIC \o/
My next door neighbor comes to mind… Our friendship has been through some major ups and downs. When we first became friends we spent a lot of time together, taking walks together, talking back and forth via texts late at night while watching the same show. Then she asked me if I could be her daycare provider for her two year old and infant and our relationship changed… I started feeling overwhelmed, stressed, stuck, and grossly underpaid but it was a fine line between doing a favor and being employed by her and our friendship suffered greatly. We also had a few run-ins over items she borrowed and returned broken and her constantly asking to borrow big ticket items. Do I let her borrow them? Am I being selfish if I don’t? But given her track record I’m not sure I can afford to replace the item… It also felt like there was a whole lot of give on my part and nothing returned. My emotional friend bank was drained… Over time out friendship has fallen apart and although we are literally feet apart, we barely talk anymore. I need to change that – at least make an effort to change it. Invite her for walks, dinner, maybe give her thoughtful gifts like baked goods or notes on Facebook to let her know I’m thinking about her… I miss how our friendship used to be. I’m hoping the season for our friendship can be renewed but I think it will always be slightly jaded and that hurts my heart. 🙁
I have a precious friend who, our friendship is in a messy place and I’ve prayed that I can no longer fix it, God has to. I have been praying for God to revive it, make it what He would have it to be. I have seen that over the 2 years I’ve known this friend, every place she has positively impacted my life, I’ve also seen God’s hand. But she has her own stresses with extended family at this time as well. That being said, I pray about how I can be a better friend to her, what I can do to show her how much I do cherish her and our friendship. One of those ways that has meant the most to her has been to show interest and care concerning what she is dealing with at this time. It shows love and support for her. It shows I think more about just myself, but I’m also thinking about her. A second important factor has been to chat more face to face. I’m bad abt hiding behind the safety of emails. It has blown up in my face before bc usually if I need to come unglued, I do that thru emails. It shows respect for our friendship, a willingness to build it up, and respect for the friend- including respecting boundaries, if I speak with her face to face. That also helps build respect rather than barriers.
Needed to read this. I’m so guilty of letting friendships go due to fear of rejection. Just reading this helped me realize that misunderstandings may happen, but it’s ok. Yay “packaged” friendships!
I have a friend that was there for me at a hard time in my life. We had lost contact with each other and once I found out how to get a hold of her I tried reconnecting with her. She never reciprocated so I quit trying. After reading your devotional, I think it is time for me to reach out to Holli again. Thank you!
I really needed to be reminded of this right now. Sadly, what I think I’m experiencing with some friendships is I’ve decided I can deal with their package…but they can’t handle mine. I’m not sure if that means I need to evaluate myself or my choices in friends. 😉
Going through something like this now with a friend of many years. Tried and tried to work it out but had to distance myself. If has been wrought with negativity and so many differences on beliefs and God. Much bitterness and rage that started to infiltrate my family. This has been difficult but I made sure she knows how much I love her and always here for her but have to draw the line when God comes first. Cant compromise to side with someone and lie.Which was made clear to me thst was what she wanted. Its hard and its sad.Praying it through.
I have a friend who is quite needy. I have to remember to have patience and to take the time to meet with her, even if I think I am too busy – this is more important.
I loved today’s devotion…. I also believe that this not only applies to your friends but to family members as well.
If this is any indication of the other topics in your new daily devotional book I sure look forward to having a copy. I believe when we have that daily devotion then we continue to process and reflect and in that our relationship with Christ grows.
This is a good topic. My “friend” is also my sister. I lost my husband almost 19 months ago. She did not care for him, which was hard for me because I love both of them.
I know we’re all entitled to our own opinion but don’t believe it comes at the cost of hurting the other person. She made a comment that devestated me. I let it get to me for a long time. I finally knew I had to address. After going and talking with her about ti we gave each other the opportunity to express their opinions and valued what each had to say. And we prayed about it and left it with Jesus. I feel better about it.
I look forward to seeing what the other topics are in your new devotional.
I definitely need to take your daughter’s wisdom and apply is to a particular friendship. I need to learn to have patients, love, and understanding through the “bad stuff.” It’s easy to love someone through the good, but it takes a real friend to love you through the bad. I have to work on letting Him shine through me and guide my actions rather than my emotions.
I have a friend that is going through a very difficult time as a result of some very poor decisions on her part. I am trying to be uplifting and patient with her and working hard to help her turn her life around. This often tests my patience but I know that this is what God wants me to do and I refuse to let the devil win this friend of mine over!
This devotion really hit me because I have (or had) a very close friend who seems to be avoiding me for a few months after a very messy argument. One thing I will take away from this is the fact that I need to represent Jesus in how I react to her avoidance even if I have tried all efforts to reconcile. I can’t rely on my feelings or emotions, but I need to rely on the patience and humility that Jesus so lovingly had. And it might be a seasonal friendship, but I still need to live as Jesus lived. Really good devotion. I’m going to share this with my 11 year old (soon-to-be 12) niece who is living with my husband and I. I think it will help her tremendously.
So thankful for friends.
Out of the mouth of babes comes such truth…….my prayer…..that I love and accept the package deal always.
Today I will look at my friend as a package deal. She has a heart of gold, would give you the shirt off of her back. Any petty annoyances I can overlook. And her need to be the mother hen, well, that comes with the package. I’ll show her! I’ll show her Jesus’ love. I’ll show her the grace and mercy Jesus has shown me when I want to be in control. I’ll just love her like He does and see her from His perspective.
Your words are so true. Thank you. I loved the concept of relationships being a package and we have to accept accept the whole package. Very helpful even with husbands and children.
I have a new friend, who also works closely with me in my classroom. There are a few hard things we have gone through, especially this week. I have wondered how to approach the issues, especially if they continue. This was very good for me today, reminding me that one of the reasons I accepted this work arrangement was to be a friend to her. She has been a great help, and has filled in, in ‘my gaps’. I have enjoyed getting to know her, and this has reminded me to continue to show her grace, gentleness and compassion. She is a package deal, and I want to see the good stuff and encourage others to see the good stuff about her…. As I accept all her great qualities, the ‘bad stuff’ will diminish and will be easier to handle. My prayer is that our friendship with grow as we work along side of each other. That I will let go of frustrations, and seek peace and compassion, showing the love of Christ to my new friend.
I have worked on trying to reestablish a relationship that didn’t stand the test of time before. Praying for God’s renewing of our friendship and peace and strength to release the hurt.
Just by making a phone call!
Sometimes I think the very best thing I can do for a friend is simply listen. I have two close friends that I have a very deep ‘sister I’m Christ’ relationship with. Sometimes we get so caught up in giving our input that we don’t open ourselves completely to just listen, process and let things settle. I’ve found the most helpful I can be is by listening, giving my mind time to process, and later responding… Usually by sharing some awesome advice from Lysa via her blog, scripture I come across in the few days following the conversation, something I hear in a sermon, etc. God has never failed me with giving me words to help out a friend in a time of need (whether it be a time of need with a specific problem or just a time where they needed a reminder that they are loved– by me, but more importantly by Him– which is ALL the time:). I would love to have this devotional to help me (and my friends because I will undoubtedly share in times of need!) grow closer to Jesus and become a better disciple! Prayers for you and your team to continue to create beautiful resources for us all to grow!
I have let a friendship slide recently. I need to speak to her and apologize for that. Life gets busy, but having my friend around helps us to be able to manage it better. As a human being humble can be difficult! Praise God he is willing to guide us!
I’ve learned that having a great friendship is like having a great marriage, it doesn’t happen by osmosis, it takes hard work. And being willing to give more than you think is your ‘fair share’.
Today I want to take time o thank God or all my friends. I am a teacher and during the summer I get o see and talk to my friends a lot but I feel when school start I get caught up in work and my family. I want to take today to drop notes to my friends and say I am here and miss you! I want to be a good listener to what they are saying, god has given my amazing friends who support me and I want to be a support and encouragement to them, too.
your devotion for today was so true, some friends can stand the test of time & others can’t. If you feel better without them around, then you know you’re better off dropping that friend
wow loved this blog post.. I just recconeccted with a friend. we stopped talking almost 2 years ago. It was HARD! But since recconecting with her our friendship is better than ever! She has changed so much! Our friendship before was not a healthy one! But i belive this one will be! and be better than ever!
I am going to listen to my friend as she transitions from a mom of 1 to a mom of 2. Instead of talking and telling her what I did – I am going to listen to her and just let her express her feelings.
My friend Linda and I have been friends for years. Recently her husband was diagnosed with cancer. At first we talked about how they both were doing. Than we hadn’t spoken for a bit. The other day I had her on my mind. I emailed her. She responded by saying she saw on my facebook page I seemed to be going through something and she didn’t want to add any more burdens onto me. I emailed her back that that is what friends are for. She then emailed back what had been going on. I love the fact that she thinks about how to protect me sometimes from more stress, but what she really doesn’t understand is just how much I am putting that stress into God’s hands. I believe it is time to take a car ride over and surprise her with a visit. I can offer so much more to her with a face to face visit.
My neighbor friend for many many years has distance herself from me, and probably with good reasons in her eyes. I know that I hurt her feelings and have reached out with apologies and sorry cards, but to no avail. This message really touched me, perhaps I will share this devotion with her and trust God to use this to restore our friendship. We have so many good memories while our kids grew up, and I foolishly voiced my opinion when I felt hurt about something that she did or didn’t do. I have been asking God to restore our friendship, perhaps this is the way he will do it. Thanks so much Lysa.
Love this devotion. I need to put more effort into my friendships. I get all these great ideas on how to reach out and love on my friends. But, I rarely follow through. I plan on doing something this week to do just that, follow through.
Thank you for this thought….”friendship is a package deal.” I need to reach out!
Middle school is such a difficult time for kids – but isn’t “difficult” when God is most abundantly present to us. How amazing and wonderful that your daughter was so tuned in to His wisdom for her life at that moment. And that she was able to share it in such a powerful way. Thank you for the always-needed reminder that our children have much to teach us if we are only willing to hear them :)!
My long time friend from Primary school made a comment that upset me this summer and I distanced myself from her. Unfortunately another friend has been encouraging that distance to grow more. I’ll start with prayer and I’m choosing forgiveness rather than reacting with bitterness or more distance. My plan is to extend a dinner invitation. 🙂
I have a friend that I have been friends with since high school ,we live now in different states I think I will send her a card just to let her know I thought her today.
My friends are so busy (singles, stay-at home Moms, married, etc) I get discouraged when we can’t find time to hang out, but when we do it is wonderful.
Understanding that times of life can change how a friendship looks for a time but that it is worth waiting our that season until a new season begins. We have had this with several friendships, busy families, kids in different schools and sports…. Understanding this has helped us keep some very dear friendships.
I am copying this devotion and placing it near my daughter’s bed as I think it is a great reminder to be understanding of friends, even when they are frustrating.
I like to think that I know best for my friends what they should be doing. God has shown me that just because He has called me to something doesn’t mean He has called my friend to the same calling. It’s time for me to embrace the fact that God made the body of Christ the way He did so we can function best together, complimenting one another. I cannot force my calling on my friend!
My friend Kym and I have a strained relationship. Our husbands are friends and like to drink. It has been a hard couple of years.
There was a friend that was a big part of my life when I needed it most. We have not been in contact and I stopped trying to connect with her. I am going to pray for her and let her know how important she is to me and to thank her for being a good friend when i needed it most.
I’ve had many seasonal friends and a few lifetime ones. I still lift up my past friendships in prayer, they were an important part of my life even though we have drifted apart.
We all need better or worse friendships.
I have a friend who I seem to dismiss easily when I can’t deal with her drama. I need to be more compassionate with her. Thank you for the lovely reminder of our package deals. I am a package deal and I needed to be reminded of that too!
I have a friend coming to visit from out of town. She has been a great friend, and I love her; sometimes though, she can be very unaware of me and my feelings. I have had a rough week this week, and I need to be careful not to come unglued if she gets a little on my nerves this weekend. I need to show her grace and be sensitive to her needs even when she doesn’t seem to give a thought about mine.
Sounds like a great devotional book! would love a copy… thank you for all your hard work!
I like that wisdom on Friendship. I will work on letting them be themselves and pray for them. I will focus on God and let God fill me and not put the pressure on my friends and love ones. Have God acceptance and not people acceptance.
Today I will listen in love.
I need to give my friend grace. She is in a place in her journey that I’ve been. I’ve thankfully been able to work through a lot of where I was. It’s hard to see her doing the same things.
I have been struggling with this. Needed to hear it. How might I show my friend patience? Grace. Simply grace. God showed and shows me so much grace……why should I not show it to others? I imagine I need it as much as my friend does!!
I am going to remember that they might be reacting in the moment and I have to think about what else is going on to make her act this way.
What a great message. I love how this helps us to look outward and upward instead of focusing just inward on ourselves.
Prayer is still the best way to help ourselves and our friends…simple, humble, genuine, heartfelt PRAYER!
Today I am praying for Gods wisdom to know the difference between a friendship that is worth the effort or was it a friendship just for a season when mt boys were young- teenagers years are difficult to navigate ….. Amen
I have a longtime friend who is making some not so Godly choices that I have made in my life. I am praying that she makes good choices & doesn’t just base her choices on feelings instead really evaluate what is important in her life. I am praying that I will not judge her & be there to support her.
After hitting rock bottom this year, due to poor choices that I made – God showed me grace, compassion and love. I have drawn closer to him and in doing so, this has caused me to reevaluate friendships in my life that are not Christ centered. Friendships have such an influential impact in your life. This devotional reminded me that it is also okay to accept that the ones who do not want to follow Jesus, were only meant to be in my life for a season. However, the friendships that are willing to walk along side Christ with me, would be able to weather the storm that is life using biblical instruction, prayer, and love. Those are the friendships, the sisters in Christ, that are worth fighting for and will have the best influence.
I think accepting people for who they are is all many people want or need. We don’t have to always agree and we don’t need to be carbon copies of each other to get along. I am a very different person than many of my good friends…but we enjoy being together and laugh until we cry because we have a pretty good grasp on what makes the others tick. I ALSO know…without question and through experience…that these women, who are so different from me, will move mountains to help me in a crisis or through a dark time. Accepting them, when I might not agree with their words or behaviors, is a small price to pay for that knowledge.
I really appreciate this post. I think those life long friendships are like anchors keeping you grounded. With those friends you can’t pretend or act – you have to just be. Also Zi have a lifelong friend and I’ve found one of the secrets is being willing to be on the giving end and the receiving end at different times.
I have never in my life connected with someone without meeting them like I do you, Lysa.I feel as if every word of yours I read, is describing my life. Thanks to the Lord for connecting us!
Today I am going to pray for a friend who I know is struggling in her marriage and hopefully be able to give her wise counsel when asked. Thanks for the give away!!
Donna & I have renewed a friendship. We were best buddies from kindergarten on but lost track of each other after H.S. graduation. We are 50 years old now & our lives are so different. I feel God is moving me to make our friendship stronger & closer. I am praying the Holy Spirit gives me strength to not judge & accept the “whole package”.
Thank you for writing the article. God bless your daughter & her teen wisdom. : )
I met a new mama a few weeks ago, we provided her family meals. Their family is unchurched. Yesterday her hubby left out on a ship for 30 days, so today I am going to visit her and bring her a book and see what else she needs.
Thanks for your thoughts today. Sometimes I have expectations from my friends that they don’t meet and I’m disappointed. I’m sure that they have expectations, too. This was such a timely devotion. As I pray and show love with no strings attached, I can pour love into my friendships.
Thank you for the reminder on friendships. I needed to be reminded that we all are a beautiful mess and to fight for those relationships that are from God.
Sometimes it is SO HARD to love people, even those you consider friends. Your daughter is wise in saying what she did about people have their goods and bads… as we all do. This has been such an encouragement as well. A great reminder that we should still love on the “bad days”. A friend of mine has hit a rough spot lately… and I will admit that I have not been the best of friends lately because I have let circumstances affect my attitude and how I’ve shown love and patience. Praying we can patiently walk through our rough places together, showing love and patience to one another!!
This week I need to remember that I’m the one having a no good, very bad week not her or anyone else. I wish I could sleep in late like her but I don’t wish to lose my job, and wreck my pick up like her. So when I get aggravated about my lack of sleep and her abundance of sleep just stop and count my blessings, her included.
When I read this I immediately thought of a friend I have had from church for over 10 years. We have a lot of things in common…we go on weekend scrapbook retreats and love to shop and decorate the same and decorate a Ladies Prayer Breakfast table together. She is a graphic artist and will do anything for me or the church needed. However, my friends don’t care for her. She can be very annoying in many things she does and says. She considered me her best friend. I have distanced myself from her and rarely talk to her anymore. I feel its either all or nothing. However I feel guilt about this all the time. I think God put me in her life for a reason and I should stay there no matter what other people think….but sometimes itbis hard because I don’t agree with a lot of things she does either. Anyway, I hope God helps me figure it out. Thank you for your inspiration! I will be getting this book.And incidently had decided to give my friend the book Unglued after I read it!
I will practice unconditional love. The way my Father loves on me when I am difficult, moody or in a good place, I want to be a steady source they can count on. I will be intentional about showing love and concern and remember that I want and need the same intentional friendship.
Thank you for your ministry… Your words on friendship is a great reminder!
I think often that my friends need to be patient with me, more than me being patient with them! The package deal may not be so easy for them. When life happens, I know that they need space. I am NOT the only person in their life. Continuing to pray for and with them is important.
I have moved the we Times in the last six years due to my husband’s job. With each move I’ve found it more and more difficult to make new friends and maintain old friendships. I think of one friend who I dearly miss. We often said we were each other’s only Christian friend at that time. We were honest with each other in love. To invest humility, gentleness and patience in her and others, I must first check my attitude and opinions at the door and use God’s Word in helping her. The words can’t come from me because I am flawed, but from God through me. I think this would be a coffee shop conversation that could last well into lunch!
Three times in six years. Silly auto correct!
Awesome words today! Much needed reminder!
Awesome words today! Much needed reminder! Thank you for sharing
I’m actually thinking of my high school age daughter today in light of your post. She is dealing with a very frustrating situation with one of her non-christian friends who refused to take her advice regarding a boyfriend relationship. On the way to school, she poured out her frustration to me ending with the comment “She’s just so immature!”.
I had to remind her that what her friend needs right now is a lot of grace and for my daughter to be consistent in her message and witness. Because she was raised in a Christian home and accepted Christ at a young age, it’s hard for her to understand the ‘culture’ that many of her friends come from. And since mercy is not her gift, that makes it doubly hard for her to find grace for others when she thinks they are acting foolishly. Hard lessons to learn at age 16. Additionally, letting her hurt pride get in the way when her advice was rejected wasn’t on her radar, but it’s sure on her mind now as she considers the consequences of allowing it to fester and damage their friendship.
Thanks for the opportunity to share this story. I’ll be sharing the devotion with my girl when she gets home today. God’s timing is always perfect!
I have a friend who went through an ugly divorce this last year. Now she is living it up – leaving the kids with her mom and partying the weekend away, girls trips/vacations, just a complete 180 from where she was, where I still am. I struggle with this new person, this party girl. I need to try to be more understanding, patient, and maybe work harder to keep in contact instead of stopping contact when it becomes so hard.
Sweet Julie, I have been right where you are! It is so hard to see a dear friend going down that path and making choices you fear will hurt her in the long run. I allowed that distance to take over, and lost a friend. A decision I still regret. Someday the partying and “good times” will likely catch up with her and she will need a friend like you to love on her and shower her with grace. Have a blessed weekend!
Today, with one of my friends, I can take the time to listen. I can be patient when I feel she is not seeing a situation clearly and just pray for her and the situation instead of having to put my two cents in!
Love this new devotional! We were at a conference last Saturday and this was a large topic! This helped with driving my point that some use the excuse that friendships are for a season which can be the case but sometimes it is easier to quit than to work through the messy stuff as you mention. Don’t be too quick to quit!
My little girl is getting married today. Family is coming from all over to share in this time with us. My daughters have all grown up & they are now my friends too. I’ve always listened to what’s going on in their lives, even when I wished I didn’t have to know certain things, lol. But this weekend will be filled with high emotions. Excitement, joy, anxiety … love. I’ll have to be patient, praying constantly, nurturing & relaxed. I’m going to have a good time regardless of how many people & demands become present. I’m going to take snapshots with my heart of all the moments that will happen. One daughter rolling her eyes at her sister, one daughter not getting the jokes, one daughter trying to keep everyone organized, one daughter saying the wrong thing to make us all laugh & correcting her. Grandchildren dressed so handsome or pretty. 3 of them in the wedding party. I’m so blessed, I will stay prayed up for them all, I will be patient, loving, nurturing & flexible. I will be there for them all.
Not today! She’s getting married this weekend. Family starts to show up today. Lol.
I’ve had a few bumps along the road with a new friend, but we both agreed to be less offended and more sensitive to the other and God has really blessed us. The best I can do is realize that we all have good parts and not so good parts and if someone is willing to accept all of me, I can certainly do the same. Thanks for a great devotional.
Oh Lysa: God has used you again to speak into my heart. I have been questioning the quality of the friends I currently have in my life. YUP, all 3 of them. I have been wondering if I truly hold a place in their heart or life or if it’s just a natural occurrence with no real “intentionality” to make it grow. I pride myself in being a very relational person and absolutely love to have friends in my life however, I often find myself in this spot questioning how true these relationships really are. Thank you for the reminder that we are “all” package deals and we need to pass the test of time. Have a blessed day!
I have a friend whom I love dearly – but sometimes it just feels one sided. Then I get frustrated and feel like I am tired of putting in all the effort. Your post reminds me of all the good things, all the effort I’ve out into it and all the ways I feel like god placed this friend in my life for a special reason. It encourages me to not give up – and to love her for her package deal. The other thing God is bringing to me about the friendship today is that it’s not all about me- I need to be present to what’s going on with her – when I feel put off or ignored it may simply mean I need to invest more time because she has something going on.
I need to just pray for all if those friends today… Whether they will be with me for a lifetime or a season, they deserve and need prayers!
This spoke right to a tender part of my heart where I have felt God pressing on me recently. Today iss the day I finally write that difficult letter to apoologize and attempt to reconnect with a friend. Thank you for this!
Thank you for your sweet words of wisdom. Made me realize that I should try to be a better friend.
Wow, how profound. There are a couple friendships I have let slip away and didn’t even fight for. One in particular comes to mind. It was a very close friendship that I believe had just run its course. But in the end, I still question if it could of been salvaged. It has been quite a few years and still I think about my friend. Maybe I haven’t totally let go but I know that she has. It has actually made my guard myself when making new friends. The hurt was very painful and I felt like I had given her that power to hurt me by becoming so close with her. But then isn’t that what friendship is about? Yes we all have messes, but I think we choose what messes we will tolerate and what messes we just wont condone. In the end, we just need to call upon Jesus and ask “Lord, what would you like me to do in the friendship and how will you use me?”
Your post touched my heart today. I would hope that I can be an example to one of my friends and help them along life’s journey. We are “Package Deals” and I hope I can see and admire my friends packages.
First, I am going to pray for my friend, Susan. Then pray about our friendship. I think I’ll stick an encouraging card in the mail and thank her for caring about me with all my faults and imperfections!!
Thanks Lysa for this reminder of our friendships being “package deals.” I know, for me, the thing I need to allow to happen in my heart is for my love for this friend to help me overlook an offensive comment, knowing her heart…and not being chafed by her words.
I think I am the messy friend right now… I am excited about a new opportunity and my friends are dealing with the possibility of being left behind… I need to be gentle and patient… knowing they love me and not expecting them to be excited for me – yet! (Instead of being frustrated because they aren’t where I am!)
Today, I will reach out, once again, to a friend who doesn’t respond when I contact her. We were roommates in college, in each others wedding (she my matron of honor), yet something has caused a separation and I’m not sure what it is. Maybe this is one of those “seasonal” friendships that I need to let go of. I will pray that God will reveal my role in this friendship and see where it takes us from here.
Lysa, thank you for the great thoughts. Your daughter is very wise :o)!!
Thanks for this devo Lysa!! Look forward to a book full of ones that are just as powerful! As for the question…I could reach out to a friend with a call though my mind has been thinking I’ve called her numerous times, it’s her turn. God’s timing is perfect and His ways again amaze me.
Total side note, but just last night I was thinking of you – 3 years ago we were prepping for you to come to Iowa and share at Rise and Shine. I got to reflecting on all that has happened to me personally and recalled your prayer about God messing with us. He’s still answering Lysa!! Which encourages me as I think about your last post asking for prayer. He will hear and He will answer. Blessings to you today!
My daughter definitely had one of those days yesterday. She went in to work, like she has for the past two years. At 4pm she got called to the bosses office, who let her know that the sub contracter’s contract had been bought out by someone else and she no longer had a job (he had just found out at 2pm that day). She had to get her stuff and leave – and even though her dad works for the company that she was sub contracting at, she wasn’t allowed back in to see him, as she was no longer an employee. She called me in tears and couldn’t believe she didn’t have a job – and today is her 21st birthday. Not a great way to start a birthday weekend that she had really been looking forward to!
Listen before I talk. Listen while she is talking. Take a deep breath and pray before I decide to talk.
Today I will give grace to my friend just like God has given me grace. God gives me what I do not deserve and can not earn. He forgives me. He loves me completely- just where I am, but also enough to not leave me there. I will choose with God’s help to give grace to my friend.
So thankful for forever friends…those who love me beyond my messes. Loved today’s encouragement! Grace and blessings!
Friendships are sometimes hard to keep up because of busyness. I have a friend that I haven’t spoken to for a couple of years. It’s time to contact, connect and restore. Thanks Lysa!
Continually, throughout my teen and adult years, many called me naive. Most of the time, I choose to see the best of someone, then I proceed to trust them implicitly-knowing nothing about them. When the inevitable disappointment comes, I will remember this advice, so that it doesn’t hurt quite so much getting back up. Jesus loves the friend no different than He loves me. Oh, how my sin had hurt him. Thank you.
Today I’m going to begin with prayer, asking my Father to help me stop the negative thoughts I’m having regarding my friend.
This was definitely meant for me today. I would be the task oriented friend and my friend is the procrastinator. We are total opposites and right now are going through a rough patch. I pray that I will be patient and be reminded that just because we have differing opinions on how and why things should be done doesn’t make way always the right way nor her way always the right way.
I have a friend who I care for so much. Her and her children have been in my life for about 5 years. She is a single Mother and struggles a lot, I try to be there for her but
I feel used. I really want to help others, I know it is GOD blessing them through me.
I read your comment’s on friends and see the truth in my mess. I do want to fight for this friendship. Thank you for this insight and your daughter’s also.
I will continue to help her financially and support her emotionally and pray that when she gets older she remembers how GOD helped her through me and becomes some one compassionate for other’s.
Thank you for the encouragement to reconnect with a friend that is hundreds of miles away, yet only a text or email away.
I have walked through a messy time in a friendship where I thought it really wasn’t worth it. Afte all, I have 5 children and a husband! I don’t need anything else draining my time, attention, and emotions. Well, that was 4 years ago and my girlfriend and I both persevered through much love and prayer. Just yesterday I got an awesome text from her telling of how God performed a miracle and healed her daughters heart on the operating table!!!!! That one text made all the pain we went through to mend our relationship worth it:) I would really like this devotional because when I am done she may like to borrow it.:)
Wow, I wish I would have been as wise as your daughter in middle school. I fear I lost lasting friendships due to messy stuff and never worked on them because it was…middle school. I can think right now of one friendship that I could work on and I think by sending encouragement is a key way to help a relationship. Whatever God speaks to you to encourage this person in must be important. Maybe they are hurting, or they need encouragement because of a struggle with a parent/sibling/child/other friend. Maybe they just need to know that someone is genuinely there for them. Whatever it is, words of encouragement can go a long way!
Thanks for this great devotional! Looking forward to picking up the book!
For the past few months I have been irritated with one of mt dearest friends. She has done nothing wrong , she is the same person she has always been. So I go through the list in my head… why do I feel this way, what is wrong with me, why am I so critical? I would never want to hurt her feelings, so I am praying that I can accept and love her as I used to and pray she will always do the same for me. Just because I move on to another place spiritually or emotionally, I never want to move on from the people I love.
To invest humility, gentleness, and patience in on of my friends today would be to ask them how their day was and really listen. Or text them later in the day and wish them a good day or have lunch with them if our schedules line up. Pray for them and smile at them when I see them.
I always try to remember that Jesus loves those friends just as much as he loves me and try to love them like Jesus does and see something positive about the relationship instead of the negative or bad things.
Thanks for the reminder that our friendships are a are a package deal. I have a friend with whom I wonder WHY I continue to bother. She means well, but she has an edge about her and says things that don’t uplift or encourage me as a mother. Yet, despite conversations which leave me completely drained, she’s always had a great time and wants to see me again and hang out with both of our children. This has shown me that perhaps I need to pray over this friendship and ask God where He is leading in regards to it. I know she is not a Bible-believing Christian, so perhaps he wants to use me to show her his love. In any case, I’m certain that there is a reason for this friendship — even if it is a difficult one for me to maintain.
Thanks I needed this today. I have been sad about a distance between a friend and I. She just has so much more going on in her life then she did a year ago. It may be time for me to let to and know she was just there for a season. Best of all I know how to pray about it, instead of feeling sad.
I would try to be slow to respond, quick to listen and offer encouragement…and try and not judge, as I sometimes am quick to do! Thank you for this today.
This is so true not just for friends, but also for family members. As human beings we are all a mess, but thankfully God came to rescue us with His never stopping, never giving-up, un-breaking, always and forever love.
By listening and allowing my friend the space to be vulnerable. I forget myself how nice it is to have someone just listen and not immediately offer advice…and not run away, too. Listen, smile and just recognize her spirit in the moment.
I so needed this today. I have been struggling with the idea of writing a letter to my best friend from childhood to tell her I was tired of her behavior and that I didnt think I could continue to be her friend. Lysa, thank you for helping me to remember that I need to take the good with the bad in friendships. I certainly know that my end of friendships is not always good.
I have read this before and it holds true every time I read it. Every time I do, it is when I need to hear it!
I had a really good friend. Looking back, I know now that it was what we needed at that time. I was really hurt by the one sided friendship. I had to ask for forgiveness from her because that is who she is, she does not put herself out there. I needed more than that. The friendship was for a season. It’s weird to think of a friendship for a season but it does make sense. It may be hurtful, sad & unbelievable but that’s ok. God has brought a few people into my life that has given me more then the one good friendship that I had. 🙂 thank you Lord Jesus!!
I love the devotion for today. Your daughter’s thoughts on friends are so true. I have a good friend that I have seen turn away from other friends and family (I know my time will come when she will probably do the same with me) I take what she says or does, talk with her, hope that I may be a witness to her, and pray for her.
I would love to have this devotional for both myself and to share with my daughter. May God bless you.
Everyone is so busy these days. I had 2 friends that I thought would be lifetime friends,but that changed. I cherish my friends I do have,because friends don’t grow on trees. I think about my friends often.I also think that friends come in to your life for a special season and then when that season is over they are gone and no more contact from that friend.Because this happened to me and it is really sad.. I love to have friends and I love friendships..I am praying for a new friend to move in next door to me.
Giving grace to a friend that has hurt me – looking to the Lord for his example of grace shown to me so that I can model that behavior in how I respond in grace to my friend.
Wow – what a great word? I struggle with just having friends in general – kind of shy person and relationships are way out of my comfort zone. But I have finally come to realize that all of my relationships – kids, parents and friend require ongoing investments. Trying to listen more and engage regularly. I have traveled many places growing up as a military kid and every place holds treasured people. Many only for a season. At this stage I’m relatively settled in an incredible church body with some awesome ladies in my support system and I’m learning to not shut myself away but reach out even when I don’t feel like it. Thank you for the package reminder. People are definitely worth the effort.
Thanks so much for this reminder, Lisa! It’s so hard to offer grace when you are going through some real trials and think your friends should be there for you. I’ve had to sift through some hurt feelings in the last few months as we’ve dealt with unexpected hospitalizations and a fire, leaving me feeling like some of our friends really didn’t do much to show their support and love to us. I try to remind myself that I’m probably more self-absorbed than I realize and that it’s trials like these that can help me to reach out and be a better friend to others in the future.
Thank you for your post. I have a friend that I need to try and reconnect with again, and after reading this, I am certain that God wants me to fight for this friendship.
I will send her a text to encourage her today while she works.
Thank you for the timely devotional-I do have a acquaintance or two that I’ve backed away from because, with one, because of her eating habits-I am not strong enough to consistantly say “no thank you” and another because there are some things about her walk that really make me sad. People don’t realize that the commandment “Thou shall not kill” has more to do with character assassination then with actually murder. Some of the women I do socialize with have a real problem in this area. My prayer is that I will become stronger in MY walk so that I could be a positive example and also that I would have more compassion for the “bad stuff” as much as I rejoice in the “good stuff”. Honestly, due to my home life as a child with a very unpredictable father who dealt with alcohol and depression problems and then being in a marriage where I didn’t want people to know the things that were going on, I never really learned how to build and nurture friendships. SO even though I have a lot of acquaintances I can honestly say I have no close friendships. This makes me really sad! I am grateful that I am married to my best friend now but it would be nice to have a woman friend that I felt was more then an acquaintance.
Receiving this book would mean so much to me. Thank you for the chance to receive it. Thank you for this blog, a place I find encouragement daily.
My best friend is my husband and I can insert all (humility, gentleness, and patience) in my relationship with. He does so with me. I just need to ground myself with my Father and then I can have some perspective for the rest of my day. Thank you for your devos and thoughts, Lysa. Always helps us grow closer to God.
I once had a very best friend named Stacey. We were always together. She was so much fun. I really don’t know what she saw in me, but anyway we were really close for years. The last time together was when she got married and I went to stay with her just to help her with the wedding and get ready for honeymoon. It was beautiful.
Years later I myself had my own family and things went bad. For some reason which to this day I don’t understand, she disowned me. I have tried reaching out to her, but no reply. I would give anything to have my best friend back. I’ve missed out on knowing how her life is going and I wish her the best. Maybe one day God will let us run into each other again. She was a very special friend. I would love to be able to tell her that.
The best way I might invest humility, gentleness, and patience into my friends lives: to pray over myself & the package I bring to the table. I find that when I focus on who I am in Christ … it is much easier to love the whole package that comes with each of my friends. (Love ya, girlfriend!!)
WOW, WOW, SO MUCH WISDOM!!! FRIENDS ARE A PACKAGE DEAL, SO TRUE!! THANKS FOR SOOO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR DAUGHTER’S TESTIMONY.
I have a friend who is struggling with aging parents being across the country. Looking for ways to encourage her today… perhaps a special delivery while she works this evening.
Praying for some answers on a tough situation with a friend…grace and peace…
I’ve had the same best friend for 30 years. Our friendship began in first grade, but over life’s changes (such as marriage, kids, and family drama) we have drifted apart. I think as my family has grown closer to Jesus, hers has grown apart, so I distanced myself because it was easier to do that than fight for our friendship. Today, I need to pray for her family and myself to be a more supportive friend. And I need to humblily apologize for walking away instead of encouraging our friendship. I can’t change her or her life, but I can change mine because Jesus makes anything possible!!!
Great post! And I think one of the ways to show humility to a friend is apologize and not withdraw from the relationship and pursue when you’ve hurt them.
I tend to be task oriented so I need to just take the necessary time to interact and connect more with my friends. The package idea also relates to marriage!
This post could not have come at a more perfect time! I have a friend who has been a particular challenge in my life, and I received an email from her this morning that immediately triggered the thought, “Oh well, she’s up to her old tricks again!” After reading this post, I will take a deep breath, step back from the situation, pray for her, and pray for myself – that I might be kind, that I might be able to handle this situation in a way that honors God, and that I might be wise(r) in regard to the friendship in general.
I need to work on being a better listener. I seem to talk too much- interrupt what they are saying to say, or give them the feeling at least, that my similar experience was even worse than what they are going through. Even when my circumstance either now or in the past is/was more demanding, I need to listen to them so they know I care, and not make them feel like their trial is less than mine and they don’t have a reason to be distressed. I also need to remind them of what I learned, and that someday they will be able to look back and see how God was able to grow me and use the trial for good.
I know your question is directly about friends, but the friend I’m thinking of is my husband. That word you used, “gentleness”, is a quality I must be intentional about when it comes to our relationship. I have such high expectations (often unspoken) and when I get let down, I am sometimes unnecessarily harsh with my husband. I will be prayerful about using gentleness in my relations with my husband today. Thank you for that reminder.
To listen with grace and to pray for them in the really hard times. Just to be there when they need you.
Great thoughts in your post today! I need to get over my fear of rejection and reach out to friends once more. Enjoy your words of wisdom and would love to win a copy of the new devotional book.
By listening to the wisdom in Proverbs 10; Verse 19: Too much talk leads to sin, Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.
This was such a great devotional today. Friends are package deals. I yearned for a “best” friend for many years growing up in a military family and always having to move around the world. Later in life I found that friend and we have been such for 25 years. We are two totally different people, but I think that because we accept each other for who we are, it has allowed us to remain friends for so many years.
I will respond to my friends with the same attitude that Jesus told us to…..forgive as He has forgiven me! I am not perfect, therefore I cannot expect anyone else around me to be either…we all have our issues and days! LOL Lord bless everyone I come in contact with today…let them realize when they look at me, that I have been in Your presence and let Your love shine through my eyes to all!
Throughout ours lives, young and old we meet people along the way as acquaintances, friends, a spouse an ex-spouse or maybe a enemy. With each encounter whether good or bad we learn something from that other person and sometimes the lessons or the mistakes are those which we wish to erase and other times they help us grow into a better, stronger person. This is life’s journey and though sometimes the road is treacherous to pass and we don’t understand why often times it is taking us to our next destination full of rewards.
Make some time for some girl fun!
Thank you Lysa for your message on ‘FRIENDSHIP’ today! It was so simply, touching and nicely stated. We all can surely learn a ‘thing or 2’ from our younger, sometimes wiser ladies! I have an 8yr old, who no doubt, continues to teach me a few new things everyday. I am so grateful for her innocence and beauty. Henceforth, her young advice and your email have reminded me of various friendships I’ve had and how they’ve (either) continued or faded away. No matter the status or situation of these ‘friendships’, I’m very grateful for all of them. All of ‘my friends’ have helped me to grow. The experiences with them (ALL) have made for a lifetime of ENCOURAGEMENT and surely made me the person that I am today! Thank you for the pleasant reminder! 🙂
Today, I can invest gentleness into the usual conversation where my sweet friend waffles over a big decision and I just listen – not judge her inability to decide, or try to “help her along” toward a decision, or even offer her advice – just listen.
I love these sorts of posts that help us to grow our hearts – especially in relationship with others! Thank you Lysa!
I have a new friend who is struggling in her marriage. I feel for her, but my marriage is great at this season. I can’t relate. But I know I can empathize with her, I can express my sadness for what she is going through, and I can listen and pray.
Thanks Lysa, I always want to be teachable, and you helped me walk through the situation to have the best response to a hurting friend!
I wish I had found your website sooner. I work with a jail ministry and I talked about Unglued last night. The girls are making so many changes in their perspectives as we share with them, and we love seeing their growth as God works in their lives. I would love to share the devotions book with them as they are truly open to realizing that the “full package” does not just pertain to what they are experiencing. Relationships in our lives and our relationship with God complete our package.
How easy it is to take our pain out on those who love us most. Thanks for reminding me that I need to work to repair a friendship that had been strong for many years. I blamed my dear friend and her husband for something that happened and even though we have talked and tried to go on, the distance is still there. With Gods help, I will be able to change things and feel close to my dear friend I have missed for the last 3 years. Thank you for the reminder that we are a package deal.
I think invest is definitely the right word. Friendships are investments. Investments of time, energy, and resources. Sometimes the return is immediate and sometimes it takes more time. For me, to invest humility, gentleness, and patience with my friend means sometimes I have to lay aside my wants and invest in her needs for today. There are days when I might just want to go shopping and have fun, but her need that day may be to talk on a deep level about her struggles and I need to be willing to listen and shop another day. There are a lot more days in the year when we will both enjoy that shopping trip! Thanks for the reminder. I needed that today!
I let a friendship go for wrong reasons. I recently reached out to her — via text and asked if she would forgive me. She said she would of course. I actually cried because I felt I didn’t deserve it. Since then, however, I have not reached out much more. I should actually call her – apologize more in person and renew our friendship. Thanks Lysa for everything!!!
I was just discussing this with two friends last night. I have a life-long friend (seriously–life long) and we’ve just stopped talking. Truthfully it was mostly me who broke off communication, but I really miss her in my life. I prayed about it and felt God telling me not to give up on this friendship. I thought about this and realize that there are good and bad, happy and sad times in any friendship. And then after reading your blog today, Lysa, I know I need to reach out more to my friend. I will. Thanks, Lysa!
I cannot tell you how much I love getting your emails every day. (And from Proverbs 31 too!) They are so uplifting and encouraging. It helps me to feel I’m not alone when I come “unglued” as a busy mom of two young boys. A huge THANK YOU, doesn’t seem enough. Please keep them coming. Some day I will hug you in person or in Heaven and pray the Lord will show you just how much of a blessing you have been in my life and the millions of other women out there too!
I have a question though. What do you do when the “friendship” is a relative that you feel is a person who drains you and uses you and is not good for you? I can’t walk away, but she continually hurts me with her looks, comments, actions and doesn’t seem to notice when she does them to me. We are very different. (I feel like we would not “hang out” if she wasn’t married to my husband’s brother.) I am praying for her and for me to love her because honestly, I can’t right now. Any verses or advice AND PRAYER is greatly appreciated.
Today, I need to be more patient, kind and forgiving. I know things that have hurt me were not intentional, but it is not easy “not to feel pain and to let go of that hurt”. I pray to be able to forgive and be forgiven just like God forgives me.
I’m more of an introvert….I love my quiet time and spending time with my family. I have friends but not a “BFF” that I could call at anytime and I’ve always desired that. I’m realizing that I need to BE a friend first to have a friend and that means spending more time with them. And that means really listening to them and making a point to remember the things that are important to them. I really need this encouragement for myself…and maybe that will lead me to find my BFF. 🙂
Right here with you Kathy 🙂
These are hard concepts to grasp! I love that it was sparked from the mouth of a babe! The wisdom of God flows right through our children sometimes. I am thankful! I have learned these lessons in part through walking difficult seasons and now feel free to love without expectation of another. It’s beautiful until my flesh creeps in on a “crowded, worn, too much on me” day, then I need this liberating reminder. Thank you for the encouragement.
Friends give each other space and grace. This is especially true when the need to “talk about” something comes up. We wait for the “right time.”
My best friend is my mom. I know she is going through a rough time right now taking care of my dad (who is 93 years old). I let her “vent” when she needs to and I always try to make her laugh. Today, I’m going to be there when she needs me and will do my best to make her feel all my love.
Today, I can invest humility, gentleness, and patience with my friend by not letting the little things bother me or get to me. I have to try to remember that the small stuff probably won’t be important 5 years from now.
By being a better listener and not being judgemental and remembering that I might not see her problem in the same way that she does..
This is a very timely devotion for me. Right now I am working to reestablish a friendship that became messy. I am trying to look at the positives instead of the negatives. I am focusing on forgiveness. God is working to restore that which was lost and it will take effort from both of us as well!
I need to reach out to a life long friend and ministry partner today. She was hurt by me earlier this week when I questioned a decision she had made in our young girls’ ministry. It hurts me that this would offend her, but I need to push through the pain and reach out. Thank you for this encouragement today:)
I love your insight on this! and I really want tghis book!! 🙂
This was so needed this particular week–love how God sends us the word that we need just at the right time! I will invest humility, gentleness, and patience in this friend by remembering that much of the time she is coming from a place of hurt and insecurity and I have been and am no different. I will ignore things that needle at my own nerves, as they don’t really matter and just exaserbate the problem on my end at times. I will pray for her and ask God to show me the ways in which I can best encourage her when she is going through something–rather than just following the path that I think is best.
With have 4 boys under 10 years of age, I have a hectic schedule and sometimes little time to reflect on my friendships and where I stand in them. What have I contributed to the friendship/relationship? I always have good intentions, but don’t always follow through. Its the little things that can make a world of difference. I commit myself today to reconnect with friends that live in different states, even if it is a simple prayer that I send them via email or text to show how much they are loved by their friend/sister.
I really enjoyed this simple reminder of investing in a friendship! A few months back, my best childhood friend died after battling cancer. I had thought of her on & off through the years, but everyday life got in the way, as we went in our seperate ways after High School. Marriages, kids, living towns apart, etc. We eventually got reacquainted on Facebook. It was great seeing pictures of her kids & grand kids!! I tried to make plans to see each other again, but she never seemed too anxious to do that. I regret not pursuing it hard enough! When I heard she passed away from cancer, I was terribly sorry, that I didn’t try harder!! I wish I had known she was so sick! I think now, that’s why she kept putting our reunion off! I learned a valuable lesson about reestablishing those sweet friendships, no matter what! Please take the time to think about the friends who meant so much, & reach out to them!! I miss you; Debbie Booth Short!!
I could be a better friend by extending more grace and remembering my own imperfections.
Great wisdom, thanks for sharing that.
Thank you for this entry. I am indeed struggling with this exact topic. As a move through a season of positive change and intense self-growth, I am reflecting on the people in my life. This gives me some areas for thought.
Today I am remembering a friend who was a friend for a season. It was difficult but worth it. She died a year ago. Her birthday would have been September 25th. I received a Facebook reminder this week and all those feelings came rushing back. All the things we did together and how worth it. Thank you for your message, we all different but everyone needs friends. Gods blessings.
I am so sorry, praying for comfort and peace for you.
I really enjoyed this simple reminder of investing in a friendship! A few months back, my best childhood friend died after battling cancer. I had thought of her on & off through the years, but everyday life got in the way, as we went in our seperate ways after High School. Marriages, kids, living towns apart, etc. We eventually got reacquainted on Facebook. It was great seeing pictures of her kids & grand kids!! I tried to make plans to see each other again, but she never seemed too anxious to do that. I regret not pursuing it hard enough! When I heard she passed away from cancer, I was terribly sorry, that I didn’t try harder!! I wish I had known she was so sick! I think now, that’s why she kept putting our reunion off! I learned a valuable lesson about reestablishing those sweet friendships, no matter what!! I miss you; Debbie Booth Short!!
I had that same experience of my childhood playmate dying. Her family did not even tell me she was sick. I guess they had their hands full. I would run into her at the grocery store and always meant to go see her at her home but never did. I miss her. Dear Shirley, you and I were the only girls in a neighborhood of all boys and you were like a sister to me until we grew up and moved away. I do miss you and hate it that you are gone from this earth.
Those things in life…like relationships can get messy and complicated…I love the visual of “the package deal”! So many of my friendships when I first entered were exciting to “unwrap” as I excitedly got to know them on a different level…but then I struck on some of the bumps in the road and didn’t know how to handle the pain and slowly backed away…missing those friends….thanks for your visual encouragement…praying about the next right step towards renewing those friendships.
being a good listener is so important….but also to be honest when it is important….we can go on and on about things we should have let go of…which is tricky. loving heartfelt conversations are my favorite times with my friends and family. we dont get near enough of those moments. i love to stop and pray with friends in those rough moments. i feel his presence when my spirit is open.
Today I will be more compassionate an patient with a friend that I many times do not agree with the way she “lives”….she has had many hardships that I try to remember and maybe what I REALLY need to do is remember that her “stuff” is really no different than my own “stuff”. I need to be her friend and judge less….especially since I have not walked in her “life” shoes! Thanks for the reminder to pray more and judge less….it is what I hope MY friends will do for me!
THAT IS A WONDERFUL DEVOTION TO NIBBLE ON THIS WEEKEND. I have faced just that this week and God stepped in the tell me to hold on. Sometimes we are the only Jesus people get and He dealt with much worse sandpaper people than this. No one we know will be stoning us, selling us for money and left to hang on a cross. And boy am I thankful for that!! I am like you friend, task oriented and not always as relational as I should be because the task is in my vision of sight. I am bold in my words and sometimes people aren’t all giddy to hear me. lol So I come just as imperfect as everyone else. Just another God is reminding me He is watching, guiding and loving even when I am all human. Thanks for letting God speak through you to show me that I am getting it, even if on a small scale.
Thank you for this insightful devotion. I have a good friend who love greatly, but she is very challenging. She tends to play herself as the victim and is very overdramatic. If you don’t text her or reply back right away when she sends you something, she will get upset and think you’re mad at her, but yet, there have been several times I’ve sent her emails/text and I don’t hear a word back. It can be so difficult to be loving and patient and lately I had been wondering if it’s worth keeping our friendship intact. Your devotion made me think about all the things I love about her and cherish and about my failings too and I know that despite everything, I would miss not having her around. Thank you for helping me remember what is important. Obviously God knew that I needed this reminder today. Thanks and God bless.
Today I can exercise humility, love and encouragement to my friends by learning to be a better friend myself. I relate and quite like that task oriented friend you mentioned. However, today I plan to seek God on how I can better serve my friends by giving them my full attention when I am with them. Sometimes it has been hard to stay full attentive and focused when having a conversation with a couple of friends I am thinking of because in my head I am so focused on getting something done. I choose to stay fully focused and present and offer the gift of that in my friendships. Also taking the wise words found in James to be slow to speak and quick to listen is something I have applied but plan to do even more. Great article!!!
Thank you for this today! This was God sent as I have a long time friend who has had so many issues lately and I needed this reminder that we all have them! Thanks for the chance to win this great book!
What an awesome devotion for today! Friendships can be such a blessing and they can also be a challenge when things get “messy” as Lysa puts it. I am encouraged that we are all “packages” and we need to extend Grace! Thank you for the words of wisdom!
The one friend that came to mind when reading your blog today would be my cousin Beth. We have been on and off again friends our whole life. The last time she decided not to be my friend, I said I was finished, done!! Since then we have started talking some again, but I have been “safe” around her. I know I am not perfect and I’m sure that there are things about me that she has trouble with as I do with her. I can be more attentive to the details of her and our friendship!! Apologize when I know I’ve done something, be there for her when she just needs to talk, encourage her when she is feeling down, and just be a better friend!! She is worth not giving up on!! I am so Thankful that God never gave up on me and that He is the Best Friend I’ll ever have!!
By accepting HER attempts at reconciliation, despite pain of the past
All relationships are package deals. There is positive and negative. We treat those closest to us the best or the worse depending on our stress level. I have “chased” after a friend or two and God gently kept us at a distance. There are definitely friends for a reason or a season and those that hang in there for the full season of our lifetimes are truly rare treasures.
I love the comment about friends being a package deal! I have been praying about feeling alone and not having a dear friend close by me…my two dearest friends live 700 miles away and time/distance is an issue! The greatest gift of having them in my life is that we pick up where we left as if time hadn’t passed us by but when you need that physical and emotional pick up they aren’t right by your side! We all have endless flaws to pray on within ourselves but sometimes it is easier to see the flaws of others rather than our own but our flaws are part of our package deal!! Blessings for your writing and devotions…they are inspirational and thoughtful!
I struggle with gentleness, especially with those closest to me. I’m a fighter and expect that same tough mind from those around me. I think a change in focus will help put me in my place. Today, I will turn my eyes towards the truth of my sad state without the love, sacrifice & acceptance of Jesus. As I see my true state of weakness without Him, I hope to show gentleness and be more patient with the weaknesses of my friends and family.
Physical distance is hard on my longtime relationship with Julie in Colorado while I’m in Illinois. I’ve let it slide a bit tood much…I need to make her a special card and do a catch up. She is a wonderful gal with a full plate.
What a timely email about friendships. I never imagined at this stage in my life to be having friend troubles. Thank you for giving me much to think about – are these meant to be lifelong friendships or only for a season. My prayer today is for God to show me how to give grace in these troubled friendships, not judgment.
This is so very true and important to remember with all relationships.
Years ago, I had to give up a friend who asked too much of me and it was the right choice. She was never there for me but wanted to consume all my free time with her problems. Now we are just beginning to talk again on facebook but I am very careful not to get sucked in and have her dependent on me again.
Another friend recently hurt my feelings badly. I was crying and called her for support because I had just heard another dear friend is dying. She said she was eating breakfast and could not talk! I was so hurt that her breakfast was more important than my pain at that moment. She later told me that she did not feel that she was in a place where she could help me at that time. Yes, she is a package deal. We admit our hurts to each other and let them go.
I will remember her heart – that I know anything that is done or said that causes me hurt or irritation is not intentional on her part.
I try to remember we are all in different places in our journey. What seems easy for me may be difficult for someone else. Andrea
For me- I need to try and be part of the solution instead of avoiding tough situation with my friends. It’s easy to be supportive when their kids behave, husband is a nice guy or they see things just like I do.
I love your daughters look on friends
So true and will remember that
Also your thoughts to remember ourselves
Our friends take our whole package why shouldn’t we take theirs
Someone also told me once to remember that the way they are acting that day probably has nothing to do with you but something going on in their life
I’m really struggling with some people I have respected, loved and looked up to for many years. I am praying for them as well as myself that we would all be sensitive to what God’s will is.
I can pray for our relationship with her out loud. So she can hear that I’m trusting God to work out the messy parts and that I’m willing to keep trying.
Today I can be gentle and patient with a friend by listening to her struggle without pushing my opinion on her but simply listening!
Thank you Lysa! Always so encouraging, wise & funny!
Thank you for the words on friendships. I have had friends for a season and friends for a life time. The friends that are for a season brought me great joy and through some really messy puddles… I’m thankful for those seasonal friends:} but I am so thankful and blessed to have friends for a life time as well. I couldn’t no wouldn’t want to go through my daily activities with out them! so Thank you for the reminder that my friends are a package deal!
I can see the areas where she compliments me and then do the same for her. We usually buy something for someone else we’d like ourselves but won’t spend the money on ourselves. The same can be said of compliments.
I will take time to truly listen to their opinions. Even if I am not in agreement, I will let them know their views are important to me. I will remember that friendship is a blessing from God and not worth losing due to insignificant issues. I will embrace our differences and acknowledge that God has placed us together to lean on each other and enjoy our journey together.
Love this! I tend to want to have perfect friendships. We chat and have fun. I want people to see me in a calm, put-together way. I find that when I in low place I retreat from my relationships when really I should be doing the opposite. But also I get frustrated when people don’t share their true self with me. What do I expect when I don’t share of myself. I pray for my willingness to be vulnerable so I can better support my relationships.
I can send a “just because” card and not expecting a response, but sending Just because and that’s how Jesus would want me to live.
So humbled by my friends and family …thank each of you for accepting This total package. I do love and appreciate each of you …this reminder…we All fall short…but Jesus is our strong foundation!
I lead an online Bible study (on Facebook) and we are constantly encouraging each other, especially when we’re in those “messy” places. I’ve also sent a card or a personal FB message to a friend who is having some issues, along with a scripture verse, to help make her day a little less hectic.
Really appreciate the encouragement today. Especially when I think about the package that I often offer to my friends. I am extreemly grateful for the grace they show me when I show a “unglued” moment.
I love this message about friendship, it is so true and something I want to pass on to my daughter when she needs it! I can show gentleness to a friend today by listening and not judging or simply be more willing to giving a helping hand when they need one. Thank You make me realize I have have not always been there and been the best friend I should have been in the past.
I can invest humility in friends by asking them what they are the most thankful for right now and sharing what I’m most thankful for too….then affirming that every good and perfect gift comes from our heavenly Father 🙂
I have two really close friends, and even though we’re in completely different seasons of our lives we can always count on each other to listen. Recently, another my friend’s, we’ll call her K, sister got really upset with my other friend, H. This caused K, for a season, to not see H so her sister would start seeing a psychologist. This was really hard on all of, but I love how each of us is confident in the others’ love. I can invest humility, gentleness and patience through prayer, and maybe even a call telling them how much I love them and their heart for perseverance.
Not only do I consider these two girls my friends, but my husband and I really enjoy being friends as well. Lately, my husband has really been struggling with some areas of his life. It’s not only been hard on him, but me as well. I can invest humility, gentleness and patience in him by not focusing on what he’s “done to me” or the sin, but the fact that God is still God and He brings so much freedom. I can encourage instead of put down. Even though I’m still waiting for God to do His thing I can choose to praise Him.
Thinking about this, most of my “messy” friendships are the ones where our faith walks are different. Whether it is a difference in the finer points of Christian theology or an absolute opposite belief in God. It’s hard not to sink to their level when they become argumentative and condescending. What I have to do in these situations is remain gentle in spirit and pray for them to be the same and for the Lord to open their eyes of their heart, or perhaps mine, to see what the truth is.
Love the concept of the package deal. I think more time listening and being quiet. Allowing her to be a package deal and acknowledging I am a package deal too.
I have friends all over being a military spouse. I have lifetime friends and just one for that season. I have recently had a friend who changed drastically and we just reunited. This hit home because we are all package deals. I need to accept her flaws (my perception) and get to know her all over again. There was a reason I called her friend in the first place.
I feel blessed already to have received this email!
the words shared are spot on, I know that I am a package deal I have been lately a very moody person and hope that my friends can accept that. love them each and everyone!
For the friend who is on my heart today, I will pray that God will help me to stop focusing on what bothers me and instead look beyond her actions and see what she is going through.
I have a friend for a season that I do miss terribly thank you for this devotion will try to work through and make it a friend for life 🙂
Looking back, there are a few friendships that I miss, but that I know were unhealthy and the package deal wasn’t something I could live with. At a certain point, rather than become a fair weather friend, I had to walk away. I think that allowed me to grow personally and spiritually because it can be really hard to walk away from something so familiar – especially when the good is great – it just wasn’t enough to smooth out the not so good aspects.
Wow! I needed that devotion today – as it is my last day at work due to department reorganization/consolidation. As I prepare for life-changing events (hubby’s retirement & our subsequent move to another state), I needed this reminder to stay close to the wonderful friends I’ve made here – a quick call or text may be just the thing.
Thank you Lisa for this timely devotional.
Thank you for this teaching and reminder. I have a long distance friend that I email and often don’t get responses. Although it makes me feel rejected, wonder if I said something wrong, ask does she care? I give grace and make myself a reminder to contact her regularly with encouragement. No condemning messages. Then a surprise encouragement comes from her and I can smile. When we do infrequently get together, she always apologizes. I tell her no apology is needed. And we talk together as if no time as passed! I thank God for this friendship He has given me.
Right now I am just standing in the gap, praying for a dear friend who has had a storm of death and illness in her immediate family. I would love to “do” something for her, to meet any physical needs, to comfort or just be there for her. But sometimes, when the pain is so great, people will refuse these attempts at comfort. So, instead of trying to “do” something for her, my job right now is to lift her in prayer through the day, to thank God for the ways He is carrying her through this, and how, somehow, He will bring good.
I struggle with feelings of inadequacy and have shied away from close friendships. Through your article, I am encouraged to open myself up for the opportunity of friendship in hopes that I might be accepted as a “package deal”.
In response to your question, I have learned to accept my individual family members as a “package deal”. It was one of the greatest lessons I have ever learned. However, I still find myself expecting a lot out of fellow Christians and can be quick to judge. I appreciate the reminder in your article that is based on the verse from Peter, that not all of us are perfect, not even myself, but that we are still worthy of love and compassion.
I will pray for her, pray for guidance for me, and seek scripture to help me be the person I need to be for her. Friendships are so hard for me…
I will try to be patient with my friend who is somewhat self-centered. I know that she is like this, and will remember that she is a package deal. Thanks,
I’ve definitely had seasons where friends come and go. In high school I had two awesome girlfriend’s that I would hang out with. We did everything together, until the two of them started hanging out more and more. I became the third wheel quite quickly. And before I knew it, we were fighting and name calling. It was horrible. So horrible our moms were involved and yelling at each other on the phone. From that day forward I had so much trouble making friends. I let that past friendship bother me for years and it affected the other friendships I had made. I had an awesome friend in college for a few years. We did everything together, but I had some issues still that I hadn’t dealt with. And soon we weren’t getting along either. She was an extremely busy gal and I didn’t have a whole lot of friends. I wanted all of her time. It wasn’t until I joined a program called Celebrate Recovery where I could really dig into my past and learn about myself. My friends didn’t cause all the damage, but it was me, too! One of the many things God taught me through this program is that I learned that I had too high of expectations for my friendships. None of them seemed to be able to meet my needs. I was selfish. It was at CR that I could learn to let go of that and make healthier friendships. Not only that, but I went back to those friends in high school and made amends and asked for forgiveness as well as the girlfriend I had in college! Today, none of us are close friends, but we are able to talk and love each other as Jesus loves his own children. God is amazing when we let go and let Him do his thing in each of our hearts!
I just read the blog about friendship. I never thought of it that way – friendship is a package deal. Lisa’s story about her middle school daughter really hit home. I have a middle school daughter also who has taught me about friendship. She changed schools this year going from a Christian to a public school. She has friends from our church who go to that public school. My daughter thought that these girls would be there for her as she changed schools but that wasnt really the case. She felt really alone that first day of school. It was a blessing in diguise though as she has been forced to make new friends. She was very disappointed with her old friends but has been glad to make the new ones. She continues to want to get together with those “older friends” and one on one they are great. Recently she wanted to take one of the girls out shopping with her and myself. Much to my suprise she spent her own Target gift cards on her friend and bought her a sweatshirt and tank. If it was up to me i would have said no she hurt you but thankfully she didnt even ask me since it was her money to spend. Sometimes friends hurt us unintentionally and we have to decide if we are going to carry a grudge or not. My daughter taught me a good lesson that day.
Sisters. Sisters can be friends too, but they also, are a “package deal.” Because we are family, it’s easier to be less aware of feelings. This message was so needed in my day. I thank you. Today, I have purposed to be more patient when my sister is critical of the way I raise my children; I am going to have compassion on her when she hurts, knowing that deep down she is just lonely. Yes, there are things that frusterate me about her, but I would never trade that for not having her in my life. I need her and she needs me so I’ll take the “package deal” with joy as The Lord teaches me more about myself in the process. Thanks….
I need to let go of the jealousy that her family is more financially successful than mine.
Wow! Our Lord is so incredibly faithful – and in our face when we most need it!! I have a friend getting married on Sunday who has only been engaged for two weeks. She’s the friend you described in your devotional. Incredibly task oriented and relationally insensitive, and she’s hurt my feelings deeply a few times since the engagement. I have to remember she’s a package deal, just like your daughter so wisely realized. She’s in a crazy place right now, and even if my attempts to support and encourage her aren’t received with any semblance of gratitude, I have to consider the big picture. She is deserving of grace and patience as much as I’d hope she’d reciprocate for me. I can invest humility, gentleness, and patience in her today by being all three of those things myself. Thanks for sharing this devotional, Lysa.
Good Morning, Lysa! Thank you as always for posting on a great topic! I had a couple of friendships that I wish the outcome could have been different, but I learned from them. I have gained more knowledge about being a great friend to someone and about recognizing my shortcomings when not being such a good friend. I have learned there are times to just listen…there are times to give them space…but just to be there for them when you are needed. I have also gained to the strength to walk away when it is an unhealthy friendship. Thank you again for sharing your gained wisdom, I will definitely pass it on:O)
I have a big group of girl friends that i am lucky enough to have had in my life since high school. We have had many ups and downs through the years. Last year I went through a very low and sad time in my life when my husband of 11 years suddenly decided he didn’t want to be married anymore. It was an awful year for me and my two little boys but slowly we have made it through the darkest part (I hope!) and are begining to see the light again. We have all three grown so much in our faith through this time. Some of my high school girlfriends were there every step of the way and others backed away. It made my pain even worse to feel a little like the outcast. The first to go through divorce and the last to ever expect or want to be in a position like that. I love my friends and I can see now that some of them just didn’t know how to help me during that time. I am so thankful to have each of them in my lives even though I know that they each hold different “tools” in their tool boxes of life. 🙂
I have a friend, a friend I love dearly, who has made a string of bad decisions that have left her in an incredibly difficult spot. I get frustrated, because I don’t see that she sees where she’s gone wrong, and therefore continues to make questionable decisions. It would be easier for me to take a few steps back, and distance myself from this situation, but I will instead try to have patience with her and continue to encourage her and pray for her. She needs more love right now than ever. This was perfect for me to read today and I’m so excited about this book!
My sister: My sister has fought so many battles. With us witness to almost all of them and time and time again warning her as we see her nearing another fight. Frustrations and pain have led me to distance myself as it was “easier” than the worry and heart ache as something else terrible loomed for her. But as I too fight my own battles; though very different; I can relate when I feel that no one is there for me. To remind me to be faithful and to lean on God. She needs the love and support of her family to bring her back to the light of God. To his purpose. I am on my own journey as well but together we can make that trip. I have recently reconnected with her and encouraged her with praise for her newest choices. I have also remained open and honest with her but have lacked the usual criticism that I have no right to hand out. It is not for me to judge- but love and respect her for who I know she is and who she is capable of becoming.
Thank You for this message on friendship, like always it has come at a much needed time. We have some friends who have two beautiful little girls, and they are struggling with finances, new jobs, everything that comes from a move to a new place. When we met, they were so encouraged and on fire about God and what He had done for them with this move. 8 months later, we see their struggles and discouragement. My husband and I have been holding them up in prayer. I take the oldest girl every Thursday and we crochet and do crafts. When we are together and they share we just listen. I believe that that is the best thing to do, because whatever we say (from experience) I don’t think at this point they want to hear. PRAYER is powerful, and we know that, God’s word is true. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” Romans 8:28
Thanks again Lysa, Be blessed Anna
I pre ordered my book got it yesterday. I love it!!!
In conversations, be more willing to just listen and acknowledge her struggles than trying to come up with ideas or solutions to fix. Be honest about my own struggles, humble about where I fall short so that we can encourage each other.
I’ve been struggling with a friendship for years. All I can do is pray for her and let The Lord work through me, giving me patience and love for her. This devotional sounds so encouraging and I would love to have it!
It is good to know that friendships can have a “season” and are not just lost friendships without a purpose. I can now look at those friendships and be thankful they were for a season and a blessing in my life rather than a lost friendship.
Oh this is so true. I have learned this now that I turned the jubilee age of 50. Wish I had known it so much earlier. I have been so fortunate to have had a multitude of friends and still have many but our seasons change and sometimes so do our friends. Each one is so special to me and handpicked by God for just the right season or seasons. I have received much grace and learned to give it too. I am so thankful to Him and to you for sharing this in your ministry blog. God’s gift of friendship is so huge and each one helps bring out our true selves. Thanks for empowering women to come up higher to be all that God says we can be!
I am struggling with friendships right now. My husband and I went through a difficult time of losing a job and losing a house and I felt my friends disappeared. I am working through forgiving them and being reminded that they are a packaged deal and I am a packaged deal with us both having short comings… is a good place for my heart to rest for a minute. I need to get beyond myself and my pity party and look at where they might be needing me in their life.
As always, Lysa – you hit home! I have discovered we are all package deals. Just celebrated 43 years of marriage – and have learned in the process we both have good traits, and annoying traits. Your question – How might you invest humility, gentleness, and patience in her or him today? I think the best way is God’s way – show them LOVE – my just listening to them, holding them if necessary and if they want ME to say something, I will. But Loving them and accepting them through whatever is causing them turmoil is what I would do.
One of my best friends from high school is still such a blessing in my life, even though we are seniors in college now and live two hundred miles apart. We always drop what we are doing when we see each other’s name pop up on an incoming call. To show my love and appreciation for her, I think I’ll writer her a letter this weekend. We write letters to each other when we really have something weighing on our hearts. It’s such a personal way to communicate, and I am so thankful that I still have her in my life.
YES! We are certainly all “package deals.” Jesus encountered a lot of “package deals” but He treated them all with humility and kindness. On days when I interact with friends who have more “ample” packages than others, I try to remind myself that, the bigger the package, the more love and kindness they probably need. I also remind myself that MY package doesn’t exactly come wrapped in a pretty bow either. 🙂
I have a friend who has been dealing with something for awhile and whenever she needs a shoulder to cry on or an ear to listen, I’ve been there alot lately. We have known each other more than 20yrs. We have had our ups and downs and distances. I will love her forever.
This sounds a bit pathetic but i don’t really have many friends. I have one that i have made since my family moved and still in the getting to know stage. I was such a shy child and do to some unfortunate upbriging didnt have the most positive outlook or examples on healthy relationships. Praise God for sending my husband to me, showing me what a loving relationship is. He is teaching me how to trust others by example. I know i didnt really answer the question asked. But, I know have great friendships in the future, and some I have started with connecting on the online bible study #YesToGod.
This devo was in God’s perfect timing. After six weeks of hurt feelings, miscommunication and unwillingness to connect on both sides for different reasons we have finally started to clear the air and on my part I didn’t want to go in leading with my hurt flesh but with God leading and this devo fills me with peace that waiting was best. What I can do is reach out to her even when I feel like I am only one who does the reaching out, I can remember that she isn’t equipped with even one close friendship in her past to know how to “behave” and extend mercy and patience to her. In this case of friendship it is about following God’s leading because I know He placed her in my life for His purposes that I don’t always understand and may never will but when he is “pushing” me closer to her I have to obey and obey with love!
I always try to keep in mind that friends are going through things or dealing with life…sometimes privately and alone. and prayers diminish hurt feelings
I have a friend that I have known since 4th grade (we are both in our 50’s now).
Many things have separated us over the years, I believe God would like for me to invest in the relationship, but I am sorry to report that I have been reluctant to step out.
I’d like to tell you that after reading your precious words today, that I am filled with hopeful anticipation of what God will do… but alas, I am still reluctant.
I will continue to pray for God to help me get in line with HIs plan for my friend and I, I know that I will be happy I did , when I do!
Thank you so much for that! I had to let go of a few friendships a couple of years ago. Although it was hard, I knew that I had to. Learning that some friends are for a season is a hard thing, especially when you though the friendship would last a lifetime. God is faithful though, to bring in the right friends at the right time!
I love reading the devotionals you send! I thank God for them, as they are so timely! Awesome. Ahhh I have a few friends I would love to reconnect with sincerely, or even deepen our friendship and trust with. I really want The Lord to choose my friends and heal broken relationships in my life to the extent that God would have.
I love the encouragement that P31 ministries provides. I know this book has to be awesome. Thanks for this opportunity!
I love the encouragement that P31 ministries provides. I know this book has to be awesome. Thanks for this opportunity!
My best way to invest in my friend would be to listen! I am great at talking, but listening and really hearing can often be my true test.
The best way to invest in a friend is praying God will show me why He loves her. During those hard times, I may not want to love her or even see how to, but He commands us to love and seeing why He loves her will always help!
I have a friend who has distanced herself from me. I’m not sure why, but this friends has a hard time being honest when they are struggling or when things don’t go the way they had planned. She tends to distance herself when she doesn’t know how to be vulnerable about her struggle. I have been hurt and sad by this distance, but instead of focusing on how Im feeling, I need to offer her time, continue to pursue her even if its just a text or email saying that I love her and hope she’s having a great day, etc. I want my gentleness to be evident.
I wear my feelings on my sleeve that mixed with pride makes friendships hard sometimes. I pray the Lord will meet me at those tough places and give me the strength and grace to see things differently. Through my sweet saviors eyes.
In Jesus name, Amen
I am working on bringing God into her anxious space of moving to a different state. She is terribly worried and has the extra burden of caring for her mother without much assistance and now there is also a job issue. I am encouraging her to say the serenity prayer and praying for her as well. We don’t share the same level of belief but I am doing my best at encouraging her along the way.
I had a friendship that ended badly. Many years later, her name came to me. I wrote her a letter of apology and she called me a few weeks later. We got together for coffee one day and (thank God) started up again as friends like we never had our squabble. It’s been two years and I’m so thankful to God for bringing her back into my life.
Love the encouragement! Thanks so much!
My closest friends were from different groups (staff, volunteers, attenders) of my previous church. I made a huge mistake in my personal life. One that is eligible for God’s forgiveness & grace, but not tolerated by church people. I have struggled & still suffer many consequences. My church friends all left me. Some never bothered to talk to me about it at all, most took it upon themselves to make sure I understood I have no business being in church & shouldn’t bother seeking God anymore. I miss my friends, I would fight for their friendship back, for reconciliation, for fellowship, for learning about Christ together again – but I am a lost cause to them. They didn’t want to be part of my ‘whole package’.
This books seems like it would be such an inspiration. I have a couple of your other books and really enjoy them. Thank you for listening to God and doing what he has called you to do.
This book would be an encouragement to me. God uses you Lisa, I love to listen to any insight you have you may have on life. I am a wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend…and have many imperfections.
Just happened today–still love the friend so we both decided it is worth spending time to see if see can find common ground.
Wow. How true this is. I know that I am not without faults & am thankful that I have friends that love me…faults & all! The thing is, I love them with their faults. I have a friend going through a hard time being far away from her family. I have been praying for them while these times are tough & stressful. I keep reminding her that though she can’t be with them, there is still so much that she is doing & that they know her love & support. I let her know that though she is not sitting with them right now, she is calling to check on them, doing what she can to keep everyone informed. That she is sharing her love with the. I think that she needed that reminder.
A friend of mine had baby #4 a week ago. Although she and her husband were very excited for this baby, she was also a surprise! It was hard for her to break the news to me many months ago because I had just been through my second miscarriage. There have been no hard feelings between us, even though my heart hurt a little at someone else’s blessing. Anyway, I visited her a week ago in the hospital when the baby was born and went to see her today as well. Any new mom, no matter how many kids you’ve had, appreciate another adult around, someone to hold the baby and someone to play with your toddler at home for a little bit too!
Thank you for sharing a timely blog. My friend is going thru a troubling situation and I’m there to pray and listen.
I, too, am a “task oriented” person and have difficulty in relationships sometimes. I try (and hope my friends do the same) to see past the words and actions to understand the background, past experiences and present life circumstances that form the communications we have. Humility says, you have not been where I am and can’t know how I feel. Gentleness and patience might say, I want to know to understand.
Lost my besy friend recently over something stupid. She will not even open the door a crack for me to say sorry. Makes me appreciate others even more.
I will be a friend by listening to her trial for the 100th time because I know she needs to process it. It also gives me an opportunity to speak truth to the situation as the H. S. guides.
I love proverbs 31 ministries, this devotion hit home for me. My oldest and dearest friend and I had a disagreement years ago but in time God put us back together. We need each other and we laughed about both of us looking and wondering about the other and ever thinking that anything would cause us to lose the love we have for each other!!! through all that we continued praying for each and right when we needed each other the most our paths crossed again!! God is so Good all the time!!
Friendships are “easier” as I recognize I can’t fix ’em & God doesn’t want me to. I’m supposed to love ’em & keep pointing them to Jesus!
I think one of the hardest things is knowing the difference between friends that you need to let go of and friends you need to fight for. I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves at that cross roads. Knowing if we don’t reach out to this person we may never speak again. Sometimes it’s for the best…They are not a part of our future. Lord, grant us the wisdom to surround ourselves with people that draw us closer to you!
I think I have to remember that we’re all a “package deal”. But in this age of fast, quick and faster EVERYTHING, I think I must learn to slow down and sometimes give folks an old fashioned way of showing I care. Like dropping off a dozen muffins or writing a card. I know it would take more time and effort but it would be well worth the time.
Remember that just as she is a package deal, so am I. We both need to give and receive grace from one another.
I loved what you had to say about friendship . My best friend (n0w) and I have had a lot of ups and downs. We are as far apart as A is from Z in being different. So many things at the beginning of our friendship almost tore us apart. Her trying to understand me…..and me understanding her. I am proud to say that this month we have been best friends for 20 years. I am so glad I stuck with it and did not give up on our friendship…. I am so glad I embraced the “whole” package.
I love your ministry. I have so many of your books…each one has helped me along my life’s journey. Would love to win this one !
Today, because I cannot visit my friends, I am praying for them. We’ve moved 3 times in the ,last nine years, and it’s been difficult to separate and rebuild “new” friendships again without comparing them to the “old” friendships. In any case, I am thankful for the godly women who have encouraged and blessed me in the various stages of our adventure here on earth!
Just to try to be patient the way that God is with us every single minute of the day.
I can try to realize that I can’t save her, that that is Jesus’ job so then the pressure is off and I can offer grace instead.
I have a friend that I volunteer with and this afternoon I am teaching him a new process. I know that I have little patience today left within me so as I work with him I need to remember this is not about me and how fast I would learn it. I need to put his needs first and take why time he needs!
Respond: I’m thinking of my best friend, my husband. It’s the end of another busy work week, full of overtime and stress. I can help him unwind by taking care of the “little things” and making time for him to relax and catch up on play time with our two yo daughter. I’ll leave the honey do list alone…for at least the evening, and not push my agenda on him. Thanks for the opportunity to win the book, Lysa.
Pray for them. Offer to help however I can. Be there to listen
How true is that about friendship. Sometimes they can make or break a situation. It has been very beneficial to me to have so many strong Christian women I call friends!
Forgive as God has forgiven me. And pray, pray, pray for her.
Forgive the hurts that was placed in my heart by my friend even when forgiveness was never asked…
I needed to read this one. I think one of the ways we speak healing and rebuilding is to speak words of encouragement. Also to be willing to own my part in the brokenness and to confess sin if there is sin present. Humility and a willingness to stay with it, even when it is hard can smooth hurt feelings.
Great advice. I have been wanting to write to friends that I have not been in contact with and ask forgiveness for not being here if they needed me as well as make sure they know I care. In my head and heart it sounds easy and good, sitting down to do it seems overwhelming.
Sometimes you do have to know when it is time to step back, and when it is time to step forward. We all have hard days, and easy days… It’s easy to be there when it’s good! Just remember to be there for the hard…
Sometimes I think just a handwritten note in the mail with a prayer that God deliver it at just the right time to encourage someone is a perfect response. It focuses me to pray intensely for the that special friend while I write. Knowing that someone took the extra mile to send me something means a lot in this fast paced crazy world we live in.
I can offer my friend the same grace God gave me and accept her, package deal and all. Thank you so much proverbs 31 ministries, you’ve reignited my heart and I can feel the changes blossoming!
Thankful for the wisdom in p31… Thinking of our 4 little kids and grateful to share the “package deal” of friendship.
Love your blog
Love your encouragement and passion! Gearing up for our second women’s study from Lisa Terkeurst. Looking forward to it.
I need to spend some time reconnecting with some friends. With 2 under 4, one special needs, I haven’t been as present or available as I would like. Balance is elusive 🙂
A friend had a hurtful conversation with another friend and she shared it with me. I am treating my friend with gentleness and reminding her of all her great qualities and letting her realize this other “friend” isn’t acting very nicely
How might you invest humility, gentleness, and patience in her or him today?
Smile, hug, send a card, listen
I pray for this friend.
My best friend and I are always there for each other. Sometimes she has to remind me where I need to look for my answers and then there are times that I have to remind her. We are always there for each other whether it’s good or bad and even emergency room visits and hospital stays. Sometimes I just wish that I could bless her as much as she blesses me.
Unfortunately, there have been friends that I had to distance myself from, because their brand of Christianity was full of legalism and used as a weapon rather than to heal.
I am going to forgive a hurtful thing – no questions asked. We all have rough days and hoping she was just having a bad day!
My best friend ( my hubby) lol!! Is home all day and when I get home from watching my neice I get cranky if he has not done anything to help me out. So I could enter our home with a smile on my face and not complain about what the house looks like.
I have come to learn (the hard way) that empathy is best. It is humble and gentle and to be empathetic you have to listen.
The only thing i know to do for my friend is live her and pray for her. She isn’t a Christian and has lots of manic depressive and anger tendencies. I just have to listen, pray for her, love her, and remember she us a child of God.
I was just chatting with a friend today and she was bemoaning her body, her lack of physical activity, etc. They have had a rough few weeks and she’s been spending a lot of time in the Word instead of other things while her kids are in school each day. I just encouraged her to give herself grace, make good choices in the moment (and choosing to sit at His feet is the best!) and give grace for the rest.
By being a better listener and being more encouraging by giving more of Gods words.
I love this… I have a best friend that is more like a sister. Over the past four years our friendship has gone through so much. But even though we have struggled to remain close… God has always been the center of it. I am constantly asking God to help me show her grace and understanding. But because our friendship is worth fighting for we remain committed to loving each other…. More like sisters than just friends.
I think one of the way I can demonstrate patience is to give her grace when it takes awhile to get back to me. I know in the moment it gets a little frustrating when you’re wanting to talk or get together but life is busy sometimes, we all know that. So rather than take it personally, I can know that it isn’t intentional. By the way, this devotional sounds fabulous!
I can give without expecting anything in return. I can listen without expecting to be heard. I can be a safe place for her to be “real”. I can love without condition.
How do you end a friendship with a sibling? I have come to recognize that it served her purpose, but has hurt me emotionally forever, the constant rude remarks, criticism, and jabs at me..all under the disguise of loving me and wanting what is best for me? I have prayed and prayed for insight..for guidance. I think the I can love her, yet come to terms with not liking her…just limit my interaction with her. I do love my family, but not sure how to minimize the “friendship” in families. I guess this will be an ongoing process… I think this book would bring me comfort…thanks for the chance to win it! Julie
Always be a good listener, comforter and forgiver.
Love this post. I’ve learned some friendships are worth the fight. It also is God’s way to mature us.
I have two “friends” who are atheist, and have currently made it their personal mission to ridicule, chastise, bash make-fun of my faith, and tell me how idiotic I am to believe in it.
It’s several times a week that they do this, and I try so hard to be patient, gentle and kind, and in turn am mocked. There have been several times when I try to stand up for myself instead, and I become indignant and hard. I need to start praying for MY reactions to them. I need to NOT engage, but pray and trust Jesus. It’s easier to say/write it, than to live it. I feel like I have more unglued moments than I should…
Today, I need to pray that God gives me control of my own actions, and not to just react to them.
I can best help my friend by listening closely to her heart for the root cause of her emotions, using that info to encourage her with both grace AND truth, asking what she would like me to lift up to the Father for her, and refraining from making comparisons to my experiences or sharing my own stories (unless they are directly helpful or encouraging for my friend). Thanks for the daily encouragement and inspiration to continue providing that to others! 🙂
Through prayer, and genuine heart responses, not just want they want to hear, but what the Holy Spirit leads in each of us!
I need to remember we are all going through trials…I need to be there and listen…really listen.
I can mail my friend a lovely card, making sure to write an encouraging note inside.
I struggle with investing humility, grace and patience into some of my friendships, especially with those friends whose personalities are very different than mine. I tend to hold onto past hurts and harshly spoken words. When I find myself doing this I have to remind myself how often Jesus, as well as my own family and friends have forgiven me for all of the times I’ve spoken in anger, or just responded negatively because I was having a bad day. None of us never truly knows what is going on in someone else’s life so we owe them the same grace we ask for ourselves.
I just had to let go a friendship not too long ago. Unfortunately, her and her mother got me wrapped up in their family drama, to the point where soon they were all coming against me with verbal attacks. I had to be honest with them and let them know that I have boundaries and limits to how I will be treated as a person and a friend. While I know she was hurt by my decision, she also knew I was right. While I did take some time away from being so close to them, I have now just started to talk with her on friendly terms, but know that I can’t get too involved again for the sake of my own well being.
Good stuff. I have a friend who continues to live a scattered life, and not taking the steps I believe she cld take to honor her husband…I will keep on praying & honoring her in friendship! God is in charge!!!!
Being quick to listen and slow to speak. That is my goal in my marriage, kids and friends.
P31 god uses you all so dearly. I truly appreciate you being fulfilling soldiers. I do have friendships that I would love to re establish. Due to the business of both our lives we know we are always there for each other. Balance of everyday has put them on the back burner. I need to be more attentive and spend more time with them. Thank you for allowing me to realize some issues 🙂
I have been very focused on myself and my own problems. This reminds me to be available for others and not focus on my struggles. Im sure that I probably have made my friend feel that I have distanced myself or abandoned our friendship. I should do something to reaffirm my my commitment to our friendship. Thank you! I also am enjoying your book Unglued that a co worker let me borrow. 🙂
I would invest my time more. By either a phone call or visit. Not a text or email. Face to face time allows it to be more personal. Forgive the past and move on.
I can’t wait to read this devotional, thanks!
Encouraging words & a listening ear!!
I can’t wait to start reading this devo!!
First, I would like to say I absolutely love how God uses this ministry! It is such a blessing to be able to read such encouragement and inspiring words.
My friend (and co-worker), who is also a Christian, had suffered a terrible lost almost a year ago…Her first baby boy was stillborn at 22weeks. I did not know know her at that time, it happened last October and I began working here in February, how we became close friends. Well, I am now 24 weeks pregnant with my third baby boy. Upon discovering my pregnancy, though so excited, I was hesitant to tell her. I was even more hesitant to tell her it was another boy. I sometimes feel that it bothers her, and she tries to not let it show, but I couldn’t even imagine losing one of my boys so it’s hard to say I wouldn’t be the same. So I really try being very kind to her, even when I’m not exactly getting the same. (Through prayer, Christ has really helped me with this.) She has good days and bad days, like everyone, and so do I. I try being very suddel in what I say about my pregnancy and my children (and as a mommy, that is very hard!) and just try to let Christ lead me in this friendship. She is a wonderful strong woman and an awesome friend, and it’s a blessing to know her.
I have friend named Courtney and she has been their for me through everything even through a vet abusive relationship. She met this guy and he was great but eventually turned ugly he was very controlling so bad I told her to leave him just like she was their and told me to do when I was in that type of relationship it became so bad I distinced my self from her and about two years after we started talking and now we r inseparable again we talk every day about our lives and I think our relationship is stronger now than ever and she knows I hated seeing her in that relationship but we have worked through it. Also today I was sitting outside needin to escape from life and saw this post even if I don’t win this book I’m going to buy it because I feel like I’m drowning and need guidence
I would invest more time in prayer WITH her instead of just for her. Sometimes we need to hear the words spoken over us to be able to ‘tangibly’ feel the love and presence of the Holy Spirit in our relationship.
I need to remember that everyone has tough days. I have a friend who makes me feel like I’ve done something wrong or am bothering her if I call. I take things too personally. I need to have patience with her moods and realize that it probably has nothing to do with me. Instead I need to be there for her and whatever it is that she is going through.
I am that “task oriented” friend. I often pray mightily that I will remember to tone it down when I am with my more relationally-focused friends. And I pray even harder that I have the patience to bask in their relationally-focused presence.
I am a big fan of your blogs and books.I would love to get this book even if I don’t win a copy. I definitely need encourament day to day.I’m a preachers wife and sometimes get down.
I have a friend who is part of a group of girlfriends from high school that I am still close to. We all have stayed connected and make regular efforts to still get together, but this one friend is particularly loud and likes attention so when we are all together, the conversation generally drifts toward her and all the drama in her life. Well, this same friend recently found out her baby stopped developing at 11 weeks and she underwent a D and C this week. I generally don’t make extra efforts to contact her, I’m just ok to see her when our group gets together because the girl can wear ya out! Her losing her baby and going through that, though, has softened my heart and reminded me she deserves to have my support and true friendship, despite our personality differences. I can humble myself by asking God to help show me ways I can practice reaching out to her whereas before I may not have. I can be gentle by not participating in gossip about her. I can choose to accept her the way she is and offer her my true friendship.
As a friend I can sometimes lack empathy, especially if the issue they’ve gotten themselves in is due to poor choices. I need to show sympathy and love no matter what situation my friends are in.
I usually come unglued around the time my husband gets home from work. It’s the combination of feeling like I didn’t get enough done (I work at home and have an insane deadline now), realizing the house is a disaster because I was working all day, kids getting home from school (a teenager and a tweenager w/ lots of struggles) and realizing I haven’t got a clue what to make for dinner. Well, my hubby usually walks in in the middle of my chaos, and I’m probably not the best thing to come home to. He does love me in spite of my crazy though. I need to just give him a smile when he gets home. I think that would help both of us. I would love a copy of your devotional. Somehow you always say what I need to hear:0)
Give them grace. They are human after all.
Thanks for the change to win your new book.
Do you have spycam in my kitchen? Everything you post speaks to me.
Thanks Lysa, going to be more gentle and patient with my husband. We are relocating and it’s easy to let all the changes and stress come before us.
I have a friend that is getting a divorce and I really feel this book would help to encourage her!
Question:Consider one of your friends. How might you invest humility, gentleness, and patience in her or him today?
Answer: when I ask my husband not once, not twice or three times… BUT FOUR to get cream of potato soup and he still brings home cream of chicken… I will NOT, nor did I, become unglued! It is just soup after all. It ended up being the best chicken pot pie ever thanks to Lisa Terkuerst and Gods great grace! ( my husband thanks you both as well).
I am enjoying being able to recognize my faults and appreciate your wisdom in handling them. Imperfect progress, because I am trying not to be a freak-out woman
Love her through her trials
I think probably most simply, praying for my friendships is the best thing I can do right now. Some good relationships seem to be at a standstill and I’m not sure how to proceed. But prayer, that’s always a good thing, no matter what.
And I love the reminder that “I’m a package deal…she has issues, I have issues.” So true, so often we forget that we are just as messy as anyone else.
I think encouragement and prayer. It was hard at first thinking our friendship which had been very close had fallen by the wayside and not knowing why and no responses but finding out that what goes on “behind closed doors” isn’t always what you think can sometimes really shock you.
All of my friends have children. God did not bless us with children although we dearly wanted them. I sometimes get annoyed when texts are not replied to or when they seem to not have time to spend with me. It is during those times when I have to remind myself that my insecurities are showing and I need to back off and give my friends time to do what they need to do and when they have time they will get back to me.
What an amazing blog… My daughter will be reading this… And perfect time for me to nourish some friendships with their “packages” and how they deal with my “package “!!!
I have a dear friend who has poured so much into our friendship. Because I have a child and she has none, I feel I don’t have as much time to devote to her as she’d (or I’d) like. Sometimes it seems easier to let the friendship fade but this reminds me that she’s worth too much to let that happen!
Thank you for all the encouragement!! Love proverbs 31 ministries!!!
Prayer and encouragement. Being the friend I would like to have. Not holding grudges and being forgiving without second thought.
I have a friend I have distanced myself from because she has told so many lies. Just every day little stuff. It is really difficult for me because lying is lying no matter how small. I still chat with her but am learning to just accept that not everyone is as from the same mold and just love them anyways.
Remember that we are not perfect. We don’t always react like Christ but he has forgiven us even when we didn’t deserve it. The friend I’m thinking about needs to be given the same that Christ has given me and I need to ask God to give me the strength to show gentleness and humility even though I’m so hurt.
I love the idea of reminding myself that somedays I’m not very lovable also. I know I need to keep that thought at the forefront. Especially when you feel like someone is pushing your buttons.
I long deeply for a true sister in Christ that I can share my kids, my family, and even my fears with. I have lots of friends who have all seen to come and gone as we finished college, got married, and started our lives. What those relationships were missing is the glue Christ is. So…I wait patiently and pray for that friend to some day enter or re-enter my life!
I have a friend who doesn’t handle her circumstances well. Particularly her finances, her parenting, well, I can go on and on. She’s a Christian, but never really grew in her faith.. In fact, I’m not truly sure about her faith. I am frustrated at how she handles things- or her lack of handling anything. They’ve lost two homes, continue to have children, makes bad decisions after the next and then questions where God is. That is what frustrates me the most. I love her dearly, but I find it so hard to relate to her. I think I can only continue to pray for her and ask God to show me how to be a friend. I WANT to take over her decisions and just manage her life for her to get her family back on track, but she doesn’t need that, does she? She needs what we all need. She needs Jesus. He’s the only answer. He’s the only answer for me. The rest- the house, the money, its all rubbish compared to knowing God! Im going to pray she comes to know and love Jesus.
Your article was spot on for the week I just experienced. Tuesday was a very difficult day for me from start to finish. It was truly a “horrible no good very bad day”. I moved just over a year ago & have yet to find a friend here I can confide in – outside my boyfriend whose actions contributed to my bad day. I treasure the friendships I’ve made through life – 2 called today “sensing” I needed to talk. Thankful for the one who accepted my total package as I have theirs – and this applies to my boyfriend as well 😉
I had a friend that was a pastor’s wife and we had such fun together and prayed for eah other. I always tried my best to be there for her. One minutes she was saying she needed ‘Kendra time and some coffee’ and the next she never spoke to me again. I asked and asked if there was something I had done wrong or if I had offended ER in any way. She said ‘no, it was her and she needed to pull back to work on some things she was going through in te home.’ Yet I saw her take time robe with other women and do coffee and lunch and message them. It broke my heart. I was more than willing to apologize or look within if I had done something wrong. It really took its toll on me.
I have a friend who really tries my nerves because she always complains about the exact same things over and over and over but doesn’t do anything to change the situation. I am reminded that in a lot of ways, I am the same way in some aspects, praying for things to be different but not doing much of anything to make changes in myself, and yet I expect Jesus to accept me and understand my frustration in the circumstances and listen tenderly. I’m not always looking for an instant fix, but just someone to listen.
How true this rings for me. I’m thankful to my oldest friend that she understood this before I did because we probably wouldn’t still be friends. 19 years and counting!! There have been days when I was ready to say the heck with it, but I’m glad I didn’t. Friends are definitely a package deal. Thank you 🙂
This was very encouraging! Thank you
Be there for them in times or happiness, elation, sadness or tragedy……listen and let God’s love flow through me to them in whatever way God tells me. I LOVE your books…..you are an inspiration to me by showing me I can make it through the rough stuff and be better on the other side. Bless you!
this is so funny because last night I was doing my Angela Thomas Bible study. The day spoke of broken friendships. Expect nothing in return. Love as Christ loves us. Even in forgiveness, let bygones be bygones.
I need to remember not to GIVE up on certain friends. At times it’s hard not to. I want them to give as much effort as I do and sometimes they just aren’t capable. I really needed to hear this devotion today because these issues have been weighing on my heart lately! Thank you!
I am in the middle of the Unglued bible study and I have to say, during my time of unglued moments you have been a blessing to me. The book is so encouraging. Thank you Lysa
May God continue to bless others through you.
I think trying to understand that I don’t walk in the other person’s shoes and trying to understand when things don’t go my way. Truthfully, I’ve had one of those kids of days today and I know I’m a ”package deal too. So glad that my friend is still my friend at the end of the day!!
Sometimes friendships need the break to grow! I let a friendship atrophy because our messy bits made more messy bits. We kept hurting each other. Now that we have grown up some in the Lord we are great friends again. The Lord has healed our hearts, our messes and our friendship!
I have learned to listen more, be more patient and not be so judgemental with my friends. I am not perfect, neither are my friends.
Friendships are challenging sometimes, and I think sometimes we make false assumptions that create hurt feelings where none was intended. I’m often quick to assume that a friend is treating me badly intentionally, believe I’m being judged harshly, and most hurtful–that I’m being excluded and shunned. I’ve noticed that I have these thoughts and feelings when I’m too focused on *ME*. Just this week I’ve had a heart-to-heart talk with a dear friend who had been avoiding me. Our talk made it clear my assumptions were wrong; my friend was hurting and having a hard time coping. The perceived shunning wasn’t intentional at all. The saying is true: “hurting people hurt people.” We have to remember that everyone struggles and everyone has problems. More good advice: “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.”
My husband and I are in the process of a long distance relocation which is very stressful and a bit overwhelming. We have had to step away from it several times and remember who in control, who will get us through & most of all where our real focus should be. This is definitely a test of faith , humility , compassion and grace we are going through. Kind words when you really want to scream. Cry together because it is such an emotional and stressful time. Pray together because God is our source of strength and peace.
WOW! Did this come at a purposeful time! I have a few friends who I thought were true friends that have proven otherwise. I have been praying all week for God to bring Christian women into my life! Specifically, I’m praying for a friend that has treated me badly due to outside circumstances. It’s hard to keep things in perspective.
This is so great… my younger friend and I, we’re from different generations and sometimes I feel as if she is the one trying to be the “older” sister, and it was a long while before I realized that came out of her upbringing where her mother left her with 6 younger siblings to care for, along with a host of other issues. When I understood she really wanted to be loved and mentored, my heart softened towards her time and time again, and I adore her.
Now she is at the point where she has created a Facebook page for Deaf Women of Faith and is a strong follower of Christ… and asked me to come onboard with her. Instantly I thought of you two (Tysa and Renee) and how sweet I perceive your relationship to be and its influence on us through social media. Now that we have the chance to do that as Deaf women trying to share God’s love for women in our community, our friendship has deepened on yet another level.
I’d love your devotional for Megg and for myself. My children are grown and I’m nearly an empty nester; her two are in elementary school (one in Pre-K)! Thanks for all you do through Christ and to Him the glory, forever!
ooops, I mean Lysa. I’m sorry! Not Tysa… 🙂
I have a friend who isn’t involved with a church , and I sometimes have difficulties with her language and her attitudes, but I must love her in spite of this, just as Christ loves me when I miss the mark in my life. There are no little or big sins according to God. Sin is sin.
My response is that I have a dear friend from church who she and I were very close, sisterly for about a year or more. She had made some bad choices which I was there to support her and help her, but ever since then she busies herself greatly in ministry work. I love her fervor for what she is doing, I just pray God is in her work and I love her even when she doesn’t have time to spend with me, or blows me off for something else when our plans meant the world that day. I just love her through it and pray God’s hand and blessing in her life. <3
Little notes/cards & of course continued prayer
I love that your daughter learned this lesson so early on! I always applied this to dating relationships….never dawned on me to apply it to friendships….thanks!
The best thing sometimes is to just BE THERE for one another, my bestest & I are both a “hot mess” of works in progress as we deepen our journeys with life as a Christian bold, no fear approach (me) & her not being as bold on the outside but fierce with her walk. We both have husbands, kids, she home schools, I volunteer a lot in PTO, school functions, church, woman’s ministry, Awana, part of a community that builds up stronger Christian leaders in the home, workplace, marriage, community & churches. We like to say we do life together & sometimes yes get under one another’s skin, miscommunication that leads to hurt feelings from assumptions but at the end of the day I got her back-always & sometimes agree to disagree that your both absolutely right in whatever you are stating. Sometimes we need space, sometimes we just need to be in same room doing whatever so our soul & spirit hand out with the Grace & blessings that pit each other together. She is my accountability partner & I am hers to keep balance & order with the hot mess disaster sometimes-but it’s filled with love, discernment, studying the Word & stretching each other, prayers, patience, gratitude & relief to know the other is not far from the other to experience life as we have been called to follow. We are servants of The Lord, his hands & feet on a mission to continue building women disciples for His purpose & glory —that’s how we roll:) love her dearly as my sweet sista & partner in crime!
I am in the midst of a tough decision on ending a friendship. Understanding we are both package deals, I know I need to try one more time to hand out gentleness and show her the love of my Father even though I may not get it in return. I was torn whether to give up or try one more time to reach out until your blog post. My goal is to call my friend in hopes to reach a common ground. On the meantime I’m praying God will send Christian friends my way and to heal the areas in my life that cause me to judge & compete with women instead of love & appreciate friendships with women. Thank Lord in advance for my request!
I met a woman a year older than I and I know it was a God meeting. She was split from her boyfriend due to domestic violence and then a month later he came back. While he was gone I was sharing God with her and she was wanting to heal and know his love. Now that her boyfriend has come back she has distanced herself and withdrawn from God again. I am trying to show her that no matter how many times you walk away from God he will always welcome you with open arms. I get frustrated but trying to show her that I am not giving up just like God doesn’t. I am trying to be a physical representation of God which is what we are called to be for those you are lost. By the way I love the thought of the book and hope to get it I won’t lie!
I think the biggest way I can invest in any friendship is too pray for them.
I had a friend a few years ago whose husband and son were working for our company. They wanted more from us as a company than we could give. They caught the bug to go where they could make more money, despite having a higher cost of living. There were hard feelings over a lot of things and cut the friendship. But in the last few months, I learned that she has cancer and wasn’t given very good odds of survival initially. I’ve been praying for her regularly and sent a card. I haven’t heard back from her and it’s ok if I don’t. I’ll just keep praying.
I think God uses scripture, songs, or a devotional I hear to speak to me and share with a friend who I feel can be blessed by the message.
I cannot tell you how this has spoken to me today! I have a friendship I am considering letting go. I have felt as if I have invested humility, gentleness, and patience into the person/relationship and their situation but feel that it is all one sided and not truly valued. It makes me wonder if my expectations of a “friend” is crazy but yet I have a handful of really great friends so it cannot be that crazy. I loved your daughters insight of a friend being a package deal. I never thought of it that way and it makes me want to pray about the friendship as a whole verse the problems I am feeling with the friendship. Is it worth still investing in or is it one of those friendships that happen during a time but not meant to be a lifelong friend. Oh how I wish He (Jesus) could come and have a cup of coffee with me and chat this over.
I would love the book of encouragement because I want to be encouraged and encourage those around me. I hope I win!!
I think God has me in a special place right now because at the moment my friends are not getting on my last nerve…so they do not need much grace from me….but I know there are times usually when I am hurting or when I want them to met one of my needs I get frustrated….lately God has been reminding me that is when I need to lean on Him and see what want/need I have that is not being met by my friend and take it to Him. I have been finding this especially useful with my fiance!
Wow, what an awesome post! I think k for me I have learned that just listening and praying about every situation before I respond out of the moment is best. 🙂
I have a friend who has been in pain for a long time as her child passed away. I need to lean on Jesus for the patience & loving words to be there for her.
I had to learn this also, plus learning that the other person may not be in the same place, spiritually and may not be “able” to work through the messy parts.
I’ve been friends with my best friend for 17 years, I recently hurt her feelings by not being there like she needed me. I wasn’t being very tentative to her and now our friendship is in jeporady. I consider this a friendship worth fighting for, so I am not about to give up!
going to share this devotion with my 8 year old and teenager! really hit home:).
I have a friend that is hard to reach, always running from God and running into dark places. I have shied away from her for a while because it was like talking to the wind but maybe I might need to try and walk some of it out with her again. I would love your book!
Through prayer and humble words. 🙂 Thank you!
I invest in my friends by participating in a Bible study where we study God’s word together and share our burdens, joys, tears, and laughter throughout the year. We bless each other when needed, lift each other up in encouragement and prayer, and just do life together!!!! We answer each others questions as best we can and share our experiences. We listen and respond in a Godly way. Love my community of women who speak truth and reassurance into my life!!!! So blessed!!!!!!
I had a christian friend for many years ,when Boy Scouts came out with the new policy to allow gay kids in ,our family felt that God wanted us to stay in Boy Scouts and be the light,my friend feels the total opposite way and has taken her kids out.She has blasted me on FB ,on my husbands christian fb page,and has sent in-boxes telling me what a poor example I am now.I have chosen to give her grace because God has not called all of us to the same calling,I believe she is living for God and trying to be the best christian out there even though we disagree,so I left her this message Numbers 6:24-26
24 The Lord bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The Lord make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.The Lord has taught me this over time.I use to be that friend,sadly,my way, and what God told our family was God’s will for your family too.I truly wish that verse for my friend b/c even though we are not friends anymore we are still on the same team,Jesus team: )
I have few friends that invest their time in me and I in them. Right now one is having a real hard time with her marriage, her husband’s cancer, finances…the works. I’m right beside her with support, helping with understanding of paper work from different resources…basically investing time. We have such a wonderful relationship that nothing is sacred. We’re constantly praying for each other and making each other smile. God is so good.
I believe God moves people in and out of lives as we need them.I guess he would guide me if any of my relationships need repairing and I pray my heart would be open to my Lords calling on handling them. Thank Lysa for opening my heart and mind to things I may be missing.
I have found that just being there to listen is often enough to start with to lift up someone’s spirit. Sharing life together through the good times and hard times.
I have been through difficult friendships and have given up a lot of the time when it was tough. I will be a better listener and listen well to what she is saying. Also, ask questions to understand where she is coming from in her life. And most importantly, try to pray together.
My mama has always struggled with self esteem. She lacks self encouragement, but never lacks the desire to encourage others. I am going through a struggle where my unborn baby girl is thought to have a chromosome abnormality due to a heart defect, cleft lip, and excess fluid on the brain. There is never a day that goes by that she doesn’t flood me with encouragment. Telling me to trust God always. Today and everyday I just want to show her grace and humility. I want her to see the beauty inside of her and express my gratitude and love and appreciation to her. She is my best friend and I just want her to realize that she was beautifully and wonderfully made, just like she reminds me of my precious little peanut daily. 🙂
I just had to have this discussion with my daughter about talking it out with friends about differences. Your comment about the whole package is very well put and I will share this with my daughter. Thanks!
By being kinder than I feel!!!
My mama has always struggled with self esteem. She lacks self encouragement, but never lacks the desire to encourage others. I am going through a struggle where my unborn baby girl is thought to have a chromosome abnormality due to a heart defect, cleft lip, and excess fluid on the brain. There is never a day that goes by that she doesn’t flood me with encouragement. Telling me to trust God always. Today and everyday I just want to show her grace and humility. I want her to see the beauty inside of her and express my gratitude and love and appreciation to her. She is my best friend and I just want her to realize that she was beautifully and wonderfully made, just like she reminds me of my precious little peanut daily. 🙂
I can invest by offering a listening ear at all times and not giving unsolicited advice. I can invest by spending quality time with friends – praying, laughing, sharing joys and concerns. I can invest by helping friends when they ask for help – praying, giving a meal, etc. Friends are one of the greatest blessings in life. 🙂
Colossians 3:13 was actually on my heart this morning in my devotionals because I have been struggling with letting some past hurts go and I know God is moving me to forgive this person. I’m having a hard time giving this person the “benefit of the doubt” in regards to things she says that could potentially be meant to be hurtful, as I usually do with others who may not have hurt me before. I know I need to extend some grace to her, thank you for this gentle reminder!
I actually had a friendship end recently that I was sure was a life-long friendship. There is only one incident that I can think of that would have lead to the demise,but I thought it was something we both got over…when I look back on everything I realize that there were mistakes on both sides and instead of allowing her to pull away (without first discussing anything) I could have humbled myself and contacted her again. I wonder everyday since this happened if I made the right choice
My husband is my best friend and true love. It has been overwhelming for him to take care of me during this time that I need him in order for me to recover from my automobile wreck. he sure does have the patience of Job. I’m attempting to learn patience myself.
Sometimes just listening to them is the best thing I can do for them!
I’m going to extend the grace toward my friend that was given to me and not be quick to judge.
Thank you for the encouraging word and opportunity to win a book. I would be thrilled if I won! 🙂
By doing just that- being humble and more sensitive to her.
By extending grace, even when it’s not deserved and even when I do not feel like it.
I need to remember to always treat those with the same respect and patience I want to be treated with. I get hurt when I give so much of me and feel empty when I don’t receive that back. It must be my issue, I don’t want to be a record keeper and I also don’t want to be set aside and forgotten…
By listening. I hear what people are saying, but don’t truly listen as often as I should.
I can invest humility, patience and gentleness in trying to show those attributes to them even if I’m struggling with how I really feel. Also making sure that I don’t stir up strife in that relationship.
By taking the time to listen, truly listen, to them, during times when there is nothing but negative constantly coming from them.
My best friend of over a decade, had lost a child to Suicide over a year ago. What was once a two sides relationship had become a one sided relationship as she bravely faces a new life without her precious child. After a year of just not having her there for my needs (she can only handle what she can as she heals from this horrific tragedy) and me just plain missing her, I need to remember to keep staying patient, to give her the encouragement she needs and the unconditional love that she deserves as she recovers. It’s a long long journey but she is worth the wait and helping her on this journey is an honor. She will never be the same but I am willing and able to love her just the same.
I can spend time asking questions that draw her out and then listen to her answers MORE than sharing my answers to the questions. I can also TOTALLY keep the confidences she shares–not even sharing them for “prayer requests” with other people, but being trust-WORTHY truly. Being honest enough to say “no” or disagree is hard for me. I don’t like conflict (thanks perfectionist peacekeeper Mom) but need to walk in integrity in the small as well as large things. If I can’t trust her with my disagreement with her, then it won’t be a true friendship. We need to know and accept both of our “total packages”. You know…saying- “You are welcome here…you and all your stuff…I have plenty, too!” Thanks for your encouragement. Loving the Unglued bible study…on week three’s homework!
i’m going through this with one of my very best friends right now!
i need to accept the apology that i will never get from them, forgive them, forgive myself, and keep moving forward until things are resolved.
Extend grace and love to them no matter how much i am still hurting.
Let them know that even though i am hurt that i am still here for them.
i am willing to deal with the pain because i care about them more than i care about myself.
This is so pertinate to what I’m going through with a wayward friend right now. God has put me in her life for a reason, I only pray that I can serve His will in it. She’s going through a very rough time right now, beyond rough. God is desperately trying to get her attention and she’s not wanting to listen, even though she knows she needs too. I keep gently nodding and setting an example of how we deal with problems as children as God. I’m taking care of her daughter and trying to teach her about God as well. I have invited them to church many times but they’ve never taken me up on it. She finally did for this Sunday, I’m driving and everything, I’m just desperate in prayer that they come so the Holy Spirit can touch her. I really would love the book but, honestly, I need prayers to help these people. Her name is Lisa. Any and all prayer warriors please pray. This is what I do for my friends anything I can. Especially pray Sunday morning that she takes the first step to show up!! 🙂 thanks for all the prayers!! Y’all are awesome!
I just had a conversation about this with someone very near and dear to me. This is an encouragement that lets me know we are on the right track.
I try to put my friend’s needs before mine, to truly listen without judging, and to pray for her daily.
This is so pertinate to what I’m going through with a wayward friend right now. God has put me in her life for a reason, I only pray that I can serve His will in it. She’s going through a very rough time right now, beyond rough. God is desperately trying to get her attention and she’s not wanting to listen, even though she knows she needs too. I keep gently nodding and setting an example of how we deal with problems as children as God. I have invited them to church many times but they’ve never taken me up on it. She finally did for this Sunday. I’m driving and everything, I’m just desperate in prayer that they come so the Holy Spirit can touch her. I was at wits end thinking it was all for nothing, then I read this and it confirms I’m doing what’s right!! Thanks so much!
Your book/devotion couldn’t come at a better time. I work as an administrator in an organization that works with at risk teens. We have an office of 6 women who love children and love God! We all have a strong faith, but we have days that challenge our patience, beliefs, and often see kids in very tough situations! This would be a awesome resource for us to share with one another.
Lysa, Thank You for your willingness to be so transparent to your readers!! In answering the question about friends, it has become apparent to me I don’t need to always be right…….. meaning keeping facts straight in conversations; who said what when and how. It has always been important to me to remember facts & now I realize that’s not always of upmost importance to a relationship.
This is so pertinate to what I’m going through with a friend right now. She’s going through a very rough time right now. God is desperately trying to get her attention and she’s not listening. She finally agreed to come to church with me Sunday!! I was at wits end thinking it was all for nothing, then I read this and it confirms, I’m doing what’s right!! Thanks so much!
I could handle co workers better and try to understand them more.
Pray for our friends…. Offer a listening heart. Sometimes friends just need to talk while we listen patiently. Though its hard we must forgive because Jesus forgives us.
Today by praying for the wisdom patience and forgiveness to treat her as kindly as possible despite the hurtful thing she said – and remembering that I mess up and do the same sometimes and need that same forgiveness.
At this moment a friendship that’s been very close to my heart is slipping away. She is searching, searching, searching and I must not be what she is searching for anymore now that she is gaining more friendships. I will make sure to let her know that I will always be here for her when she needs someone.
Wow. This spoke right toy heart. I’ve been struggling with a “friend” situation and if I just love at all times even when she isn’t so loveable we will regain that closeness we once shared. I’m sure I’m not always so loveable either! 😉
By modeling my dog’s attitude towards me! Always faithful, always waiting patiently, always eager to see me and spend time with me, always intuitive to my moods, always quick to forgive and hsppy to play
I just finished reading Made to Crave and I believe God special ordered you to write that book just for me!!!
I have had many friends in life. Two of which are still in my life. We do not get to spend alot of time talking to each other or spending time together but, we know if we need one another we are there. To be able to understand we all have daily lives to live and not push away some one because they are busy with other things to me is real friendship.
I email with and friend at work and I don’t always take the time to read and reply like I should because work gets in my way. I will stop today and listen to her and take the time to read the whole email and reply like I should.
I have a good friend who is struggling with weight loss & looks to me for guidance & support (I am a personal trainer). I try to be encouraging but get frustrated with her excuses. She says that she is doing one thing but I see her doing the exact opposite. I find myself frustrated, however I know she needs me. I try to be a good listener. I try to find the positive & praise those accomplishments. I have encouraged her to surrender this struggle to The Lord so she can be fully healthy & live out his plan, taking the focus off her & helping her to realize the devil is trying to work against her efforts. It’s a tough one but through love, prayer and sometimes some tough love I am her sister in Christ and will continue to be there for her.
Prayer! And I need to remember that she is also a child of God, deeply loved by the Father. She is not perfect and neither am I! I need grace just as much as her and everyone else 🙂
After such a rough last two days, over what began as something so little, the friend that comes to mind is my husband… the one who, not only can make me the happiest person in the world, but can also make me the saddest. Although I am feeling hurt and unappreciated, I know that I could not imagine losing him. I have to admit, I do struggle with stubbornness and have a hard time being the first to initiate “peace talks”, when I wasn’t the first to initiate an argument. After struggling all night with the hurt, and waking up doing the same, I finally notice… God sure is trying to get through to me today…. first with Philippians 4:8 being sent to me, then reading the Proverbs 31 encouragement for today devotion, and now reading your blog for today. I need to show him grace and accept the package deal, because our love and friendship is worth fighting for.
For me, a big part is remembering that each day is a new day; and acting like it.
Consider one of your friends. How might you invest humility, gentleness, and patience in her or him today?
I have just recently been connected to your blog and enjoy your observations – thank you for sharing with all of us!
I so have had a week of this. nothing but hard
Great post!! I love reading all that you write! Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂
Remember not everyone is in the same place we are.
I have this special friend who is so very dear to me. I work with her and have known her for close to 5 years now. I want to invest humility, patience, and gentleness into her today as she has shared with me some issues/battles she is dealing with in her marriage. Having endured a HUGE battle in my own marriage these last 3 years and praise the Lord, having overcome that, only through the grace and mercy OF God, I am trying to point her TO God as the ultimate source of healing for her marriage. As she has confided in me some of her deepest fears and frustrations with her husband, I find myself understanding more than she may realize. I feel like I can truly come to her in humility. The difficult thing is to be as gentle as I can in this, because although our battles may be similar, no two marriages are the exact same… As no two couples are the same. I want to be the friend she needs, while at the same time gently point her to the ONE SOURCE of healing I know there is. The ONE thing I’ve been praying for, in addition to the healing of their marriage, is that God would give me the words to speak what needs to be spoken, or quiet my heart and mouth when her heart needs to reflect, or when she needs me to just listen. The “yes to God” study helped me learn to “hear” Gods voice and his leading even more clearly, and this is true for even such precious things in our lives such as friendships!! I believe God WANTS out friendships to be nourished and blessed, because He spoke during His time here on earth about how to be a good friend (John 15:13-15)…
Striving to be His example! Thank you for this devotion today!! Such great timing, as always!! 🙂
By loving them where they are and the way they are. We are all a work in progress…. I must forgive to be forgiven!
Does it ever seem like you only attract the friends that are needy? Yep, that’s me, and I really don’t like drama. Maybe God is teaching me something
First and fore most I would pray and asked the almighty God how would I handle this friend of mine if God tells me I needed to approach her then that’s what I will do and asks her if there’s anything that I can do for her or If I can pray for her… I have this little story about this woman in my church, she was friendly and always talks to me after service to fellowship then one Sunday when I needed someone to talk or someone to pray for me, I went to the bathroom, then I saw her there, this woman ignored me, did not talked to me as if she does not want to be contaminated by my sins! Then I saw her again taking to a friend so what I did was..I came up to them and hold their hands and say ladies “I need your prayers, pray that God will strengthen my faith” then I just left because the service is about to start…the next Sunday she couldn’t’ look at me and I felt that she needed prayer and I just whispered a prayer for her.
Biy this is right up my alley!! I could so use this! Thank you for continuing to put things out there that are slowly changing my life for the better!
Okay, so I read the response question, but today was really hard. Instead I’m going to tell you about my friend when I needed help. We were homeschooling and it was a rough day. I prayed and then called my best friend. She encouraged me. Just continued to speak truth. It was a short conversation, but it was just what I needed. 🙂
By doing something nice for the friend and remembering its not about me.
Thanks for this devotion! So thankful Jesus accepts the “entire package” for us! We should do as well to be more like Him.
This blog is worth looking at in reference to our marriages. I mean, all friendships go through tough stuff, and our spouse is likely the closest friend we have on this earth.
So how can I invest patience, humility and gentleness in my spouse today? Well, to take the time to see his perspective on a tense subject, seeing his perspective through his brokenness, being gentle in our discussions, knowing where he is coming from. Humbly setting aside the pain that I place on his insensitivity and recognize that it is OUR messiness and the situation that results in the both of us hurting, he is not maliciously creating pain. It is the circumstance and the view of this circumstance through each of our messes 😉 And patiently and confidently believe that God is doing great works through this mess to bring both of us and our marriage closer to Him 🙂
Have her over tonight for a game night! 🙂
I had a situation this week with a friend that I need encouragement on how to handle. We are fairly new friends and I know he has been through a lot of stress. We were to meet for dinner but he never showed up. When I finally got in touch with him, he told me he fell asleep, but the longer we talked I could tell he was drunk. This is not the first time I have had suspicions he might bean alcoholic. I’m not sure how to address this situation with him but I feel if we are to continue to be friends we need to be honest with each other. I know I will need to start the conversation and I’m scared on how to begin.
I have several friends that this applies to and hits home with me. I need to spend more time listening to just more than their words – they complain a lot and I always try to find the positive for them and try to turn things around. I think that is good for me to do but maybe I need to listen more and not always try to change it around – maybe they just need to have someone listen. God gave me one mouth and two ears to listen more and talk less!
Try to see and understand your friend beyond what stands before you on a deeper level…..love as Jesus loves
Choosing to see the best and beautiful parts of our friends is one of the best ways of showing grace. We all have flaws, but we should always ask God to help us look at the good in others. 🙂
Female friendships are hard……things are easily misunderstood and one way to get past it is to talk it out. I need to do this with my best friend and offer her grace to heal the relationship.
Thank your wise daughter for this very wise insight. I needed that today! Amazing…
I have been blessed with 2 very dear friends that have stuck by my side for over 25+ years. I am so thankful that we have chosen to accept the total package in each other.
I will offer her the same comfort that The Lord gave me when I went through the same thing. I will not lose patience. People come in our lives for a reason.. God wants us to share His comfort, grace , and compassion and be patient as she walks through her journey.
~who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. (II Corinthians 1:4 NKJV)
I need to pray that the Lord reveal to me what my friend may need that day: encouragement, wisdom, listening ear, humor, a meal, a coffee. Then respond.
Practice being kinder than I may be feeling. Show grace when frustrated…
My BFF is my husband. I find i must react frequently with humility, gentleness, and patience with him, and he with me. I have to remember that often what i do, causes him to react the way he does. I often need daily encouragement, whether from devos or my husband.
to extend grace and mercy, remember they have stuff they are going through just as I am, and to remember what I learned in Unglued!!!!
I believe the Lord often places friends in our lives for a season. It often depends on what season of life we are passing through. Thank you for your ministry!
Living each day fully in the word and a personal relationship with my Savior.
I have a friend that I love dearly. She has helped me so much in my walk with the Lord and she feels the same about me. We go through so many times where we’re together a lot and then other times I don’t hear from her for long periods, even after trying to get ahold of her. I sometimes get frustrated because I feel relationships work both ways and it takes two to communicate. Often times, I’ve just wanted to give up on having the friendship, but each time God reminds me how wonderful this friend of mine is and how important it is to keep her in my life. In those times I reflect on how we are all different, we are not the same person. I am reminded that I have flaws as well, and a good friendship is worth fighting for. What I look at as not communicating, she may not see it that way at all. I have learned patience out of this, and accepting that we are all different and express ourselves in different ways. Just as our relationships with our spouses we must learn acceptance of one another and how the love we feel for each other more than covers our differences. I love the way your daughter viewed things as a package deal.
By giving her some space to deal with stuff in her life that is really rough and pray for her like crazy and stop heaping all my mess on her..
I would be a shoulder for the friend for whatever might be going wrong in her life or whatever hardships that are happening.
I have had to deal with the diagnosis of my only child having a incurable, life-threatening lung disease and I have been shown kindness and the love of Christ in so many people that this would have never happened if my daughter wasn’t ill.
I have learned so much through this horrific experience and so this has caused me to be less judgmental and better able to be a blessing to someone else. I still struggle even after 3 1/2 years with why God has put us through this (especially my daughter).
Love your books!
I sure needed these thoughts today. I saw a church sign which said WE should want God’s blessings to flow THROUGH us not TO us.
I want to respond by listening more than I talk. By giving grace more than I judge. By being humble, rather than proud. And by praying more than anything else! Sometimes it helps to step away from a situation, if you can, and take it to the Lord before speaking out of my own wisdom. Responding with gentleness and patience takes practice, but I have an awesome group of women friends that rejoice together and cry together. Jesus dearly loves each one of them and I can only attempt to do as Jesus would do and love, forgive, and love some more!
I need to work on being a better package as a friend not just when it’s convenient! I need to be less selfish
Several ladies in our church have been gathering together Tuesday mornings to study “Unglued.” I am really enjoying it so far. Hard stuff to face sometimes. Your new study seems to be a natural sequel to “Unglued” so I’m looking forward to diving into that one right after we finish this one!
Thanks for sharing this experience and being an encouragement. All of us can probably relate to this example. God allows people in our lived to teach us one thing or another. Everyone can teach us something.
My friend, my husband has chosen to leave. We lost 2 babies last year, and he is scared to lose another or me in the process, so chose to remove himself. I however, am trying to be patient and gentle with him knowing that everything is on God’s time.
I am so sorry for the loss of your babies. The grief and emotional impact is huge for both you and your husband. Men often have more difficulty expressing their grief and reaching out for help. Your attitude of gentleness and patience reflects the grace and love of Christ. It may be helpful, if your husband is willing, to meet with a Christian counselor to talk about the grief process. God cares for us physically, emotionally and spiritually. Ask Him to comfort you and your husband, and to strengthen your relationship. I am praying that God will give you strength, wisdom and peace as your go through this trial, knowing that He will never leave you- You are LOVED!
My friend, Janet, has had so many tragedies in her life recently. My heart breaks for her. But, sometimes I’m not as sympathetic as I could be because her conversations seem so discouraging. I need to always be looking at her as Jesus does, with a great of compassion and words of comfort. I need to practice more grace toward her and completely engage with her in conversation and help her focus on the positives in her life.
I so needed to be reminded of this today! Thank you for allowing God to use you to touch me with the words he knew I needed to hear!!
Be a better listener and be fully present in the relationship.
I love this article….it really makes so much sense but I have never really thought about friends as package deals. I guess God gets package deals when he takes us “as is”. We should show everyone grace like he shows us through kind words and deeds and supporting them through prayer.
Learning to remember we are different and to not take her reaction personally. Reminding myself to not to assume my friends response was what I may read it to be, but that our personalities cause us to react and think differently to situations.
I will invest by bring real with some mom friends. Not pretending I have it all together. We need each other, especially on this mommy road!
May I be a true friend to those I consider my friends ,
You’re daughter is very wise! Love this!
“Consider one of your friends. How might you invest humility, gentleness, and patience in her or him today?”
Being there, listening, and not jumping to conclusions will bridge the gap that can some times be problematic.
I needed to hear this today more than you could ever know! God is so amazing the way he leads us to answers and if only we carefully pay attention do we get the information that we NEEDED to hear. May God Bless You Greatly!!!!
I have let go of friendships that weren’t positive for me, even if I didn’t realize it until after. I found it hard when the friendship ended, and blamed myself but over time realized that it was for the best. We had taken riding lessons together and I rode her horses so i was afraid to loose the friendship and my riding. But then I started riding my trainer’s horses and it worked must better. I also have fought hard to keep a friendship with my childhood friend and she is willing to forgive and love me even in the hard times. that is worth fighting for…thanks for the perspective
I realized this a bout 12 years ago when my very best friend went through a trying time emotionally, making what I thought were some very bad decisions which involved and strongly impacted her children. We lost touch then reconnected a few years ago and have fallen right back into place, like we never lost touch! Some friendships are like that, strong enough to withstand the trying times, and others are not. I was able to realize that my opinion really had no bearing on her reality. I was able to forgive her (in my own mind-not that she needed my forgiveness) and I cherish our friendship even more because I know that-no matter what-we can always turn to each other for support and understanding. We pray for eachother daily and know that we all carry “baggage” that we need to look past and just look to the person underneath it all.
By praying for her, really praying, not just my often times superficial prayer.
I’ve gone through a lot of what I’ve seen here and I’ve also learned a lot since giving my life to the Lord in the past couple years but I’ve always been the type of person to be friend people even when others didn’t, I am patient, loving, kind and a great listener and I do it for most anybody, friend or not.
I have given her a heart felt apology even when I felt offended by her actions, willing to lay it at the feet of Jesus, she said she needs more time. We agreed to show them Jesus but we failed, both of us. Our parents will not be with us much longer. We are sisters, We were once best friends by choice ….. Give me Jesus.
This hit home today as I just had a small, thankfully, falling out with a very dear friend…she thought a post I made on fb was about her, but it wasn’t. I could have easily gotten offended by the things she threw at me during this time, but she’s my friend, my best friend, we are different and yet share so much. I prayed, gave it time and it all worked out ok. She started talking to me again. We, like the story have our messy sides, but our friendship soars because of the space and prayers we have during those times. I pray our relationship is a life lasting one, even though at times we don’t see eye to eye.
I’m a Mom of seven…and my youngest is just two…
Allll of your books (and posts) are inspiring, encouraging, convicting & simply, a blessing to me!! THANK YOU for the truths you share 🙂
First off THANK YOU for this I so needed this today! My friend would be my husband and I could be slow to anger and instead of picking on the little things he does I should build him up for all the good he does. Pray with him about the things that bother me so that we may work on these issues with Jesus holding our hand through it. 🙂 Thanks for being God’s tool to get a message to me today!
I was just stewing over something that happened 20 years ago in highschool because something on fb reminded me of it. God was telling me to forgive. I cannot walk away from these people easily and it really just hurts me to hold on to it. Like I tell my kids, being angry and mean just creates more anger and meanness. My life is so much more than that incident. I will pray for her.
We are all fighting some kind of battle.Friends are what help us get through it.I definitely believe God puts certain friends in our lives to carry us when we can not walk,see the big picture when all we see is a blur .And hold our hand along the way back.
we all have days that are good or sometimes bad. i thank god for all my family and friends. i try to be there for everyone and have always been that way. i hope everyone learns to be there for one another. love the devotional its great
I had a good friend at work tag me for this article.. it has been a really bad week and I have had some friendship issues a s well. It was a blessing from god to see this article. Im rethinking the situation with my friend. And even though I know I need to give all the bad stuff that happend this week, to god, I still have wanted to fix it all my self.
I try to invest in my friends by taking myself out of the picture when thinking about whats going on. If I try to put myself in their shoes for a few minutes that completely changes my thought process. The situation becomes less about me!!! It helps a lot.
I am always behind on reading the emails but thank you for sharing about the package deal. I have come home tonight in tears from one of my worst days ever from work. Thank you for helping me to see the “whole package” isn’t the way the person chose to act towards me or how I responded. My prayer is that I can do better at understanding.
I try to give my friend (in this case my husband) space to be human, to be less than perfect. I think that humility is key in extending this grace, because I have to give up the right to think that I know better than he does. Patience and gentleness go hand-in-hand in this friendship, because patience forces me to slow down and think before I speak.
I know God has just brought me through a season of learning to be humble & completely trusting him….I have learned who my true friends are during this time by who has stuck by my side. Somedays I wonder if God also had me go through these difficult times not only to teach ME perseverence, humbleness, trust, etc. but so I would be able to be a better friend & be there for my friends who are going through something similar.
Have open ears and a closed mouth. Listen authentically!
My story starts with my boss. He is not a believer and he knows I am. I pray for him and our office often. He can be moody and grumpy (esp. Since he’s been sick) and almost always takes it out on me. I almost quit last week because of him lashing out at me. As I sat at my desk contemplating what to do, The Lord brought 1 Peter 3:8 to mind. I read it several times, then surrendered to The Lord. I knew my purpose of working there was not over and I chose to stay and to continue to pray for him and our office.
I know this isn’t a “friend” story, but I had to share this since you shared the same verse. Definitely not a coincidence 🙂
It seems like time and distance have a lot to do with changes in my friendships over the years. Thank you for this wise counsel
By understanding God gives us people we need not always those we want. We would chose friends like us, easily relatable but God knows we need others who will make is more like Him through differences.
For me, sometimes it’s just keeping my mouth shut and trying to do my best to just listen. I tend to jump into the conversation sometimes without hearing the whole story.
Consider one of your friends. How might you invest humility, gentleness, and patience in her or him today?
My friend is my husband who has choosen to step away from Christ, and live a selfish life. I have told him this disappoints me, and we have fought often over it. I have come to realize that I need to love him thru this… I think I also need to be his friend thru this. Being a wife that nags, complains, and is always hurt and disappointed hasn’t worked. I pray that being a wife who loves him and is friendly towards him may prove fruitful. This will definitely require an investment of humility, gentleness, and patience!
I may not always agree or like what’s being said, but if a person is your friend, you don’t let flaws or what you deem shortcomings destroy your friendship
Defenetly by prayer. Thankyou so much for writing this article. I was having a hard time with a “friend” situation and prayed about it. Then I saw this article. I would love to read the book
The way I could respond would be with forgiveness and love. We had a disagreement regarding the differences of our faith (Catholic vs. Christian) and feelings were hurt unintentionally. I’m assuming steering clear of topics we both feel strongly about, would be a good idea.
I love how God speaks to us right where we need it. As I am avoiding by playing on FB but HE knows that this is something I need to pray through and respond to. And of course your devotion said to reflect and respond, too! I really have enjoyed your work! Thanks for all you do!
I have learned that many friends are for seasons and this has been hard to accept. I’m the type of person who gives so much of myself to relationships that when they end a piece of my heart is torn. Praying God will heal. Takes time.
I have a long time friend that ONLY calls or emails when she wants to complain about her life, husband, kids, daughter in laws, etc. and each time I listen and try to be encouraging. She is unwilling to make any changes in her “way” of life to address all these family issues – so I pray for her and her family that she can find peace.
I have learned that when there is a relational problem it takes two sinners to love, to reflect, to confess each ones faults, to forgive, to let go and then finally to be honest with each other face to face! Loving and accepting a friend for who God made them is not always easy but always worth it in the end ( and I speak from experience)!
I am bearing all things with her… alongside her. Feeding Truth into her when she cannot see it for herself. I. Love. My. Friend.
By extending grace; being slow to anger; quick to forgive; and bar bitterness from my heart.
I try to think of little ways to bless my friends, even if it is dropping a letter in the mail – I always enjoy getting mail (non-bill mail that is) so I hope others do too. My best friend is pregnant right now with a particularly rough pregnancy so I am coming up with pre-cooked or pre-prepared recipes to put in the freezer for both now and after the new baby. I love being able to bless others.
By listening to what they are saying even if I don’t agree with what they are saying and remember that I may not be aware of some of their difficulties at the moment.
God has put the burden in my heart to pray for one friend each day during the month of October.
My biggest thing is listening to them genuinely. I know that I need people to listen to me, not o give advice but to just hear me. I need to be that friend.
I’m thankful for the friends that God has placed in my life and blessed me with, for seasons and those that “passed through” at a special time. I’m learning more every day what it means to truly be a good friend. And I’m very thankful that God accepts me as I am as a “package deal”. I want to be a loving friend that encourages those around her.
LOVE is the key. Love your friend as you want to be loved through all times good and bad. Our God loves us all the time.
I will pray! I will try to remember that we all think differently and are not made te same. I can talk to my ffrienf about what is bothering and we can work it out.
I can be a good listener offering encouragement and being one to offer another perspective during difficult times.
I will speak softly and look directly into their eyes and listen to what is really being said.
Just stopping to listen, laugh, and be. No agenda. No rushing. No pressures of life for just a few sweet minutes.
I hope this is where you meant to respond in order to enter the drawing. I didn’t apply you post to a friendship, but I’ve been having issues with a co-worker and your post reminded me to give her grace. We are instructed to love one another, to be patient, kind, forgiving.
I tell myself to be slow to speak and quick to listen. Then I’m able to pause & remember that God has extended grace to me and that I need to remember to extend grace to others.
I have discovered that EXPECTATIONS can cause issue when you both have different ones! I will ask her expectation of whatever we are doing or going to do! Then I will speak mine! If they are different we will discuss how to compromise or how to make it mangagble so that neither of us will end up with hurt feelings or disappointment! And if for some reason we can not come to a good medium then I will show her more grace and mercy and change my expectation so that she will know how important she and our relationship is to me!!!
In this journey we call life, how can I point fingers @ a friend who sins differently than I do? We all need to learn from crayons…some are dull, some are bright, some are pretty, some have weird names, but they all live together in a box. Right now, my closest friend has moved halfway across the country. She has found new people to share her stories with in conversations. I find my role as a listening friend greatly dwindling down to almost zilch. But I’m NOT giving up. I still choose to need her listening ear & I continue to share my stories with her. I choose our friendship over the miles that separate us.
Humility- I can reach out and apologize for becoming distant due to my job and ask for forgiveness.
Gentleness- She is a person who needs praise so I can praise her for the amazing things she’s accomplished and in turn build her up.
Patience- I can learn to take the good with the bad and recognize that my love for my friend is more powerful than the little things that don’t really matter and love her THROUGH the “annoying things”.
I try to remind myself that we all have some baggage we insist on carrying around day to day. I try to find ways to help my friend carry theirs to Jesus and leave some of mine there as well.
Its so funny to read this today! For the last week, I’ve had a friend on my mind who, at the time of our “Friendship-breakup”, I had written off. I emailed her this week and told her I’d been thinking of and praying for her. I told her I didn’t want anything in return, just to let her know she’d been on my mind. I know its not an all out fight for our friendship, but its a start…
I’m going to give this friend a phone call and focus on light-hearted conversation as if nothing ever happened.
I myself am going through different situations with my grown children and their spouses. I pray for the chsnce to show patience, humility, empathy, forgiveness with my daughter and her husband. If it’s God’s will, I’ll get thst chance. For even though she’s my dsughter, she’s also my best friend outside of my husband. As for my son and daughter-n-law, I thank God, it seems to be working itself out due to all these things.
I choose not to let my feelings dictate my reaction, but rather ask the Holy Spirit to teach me how to respond in love, truth, and grace!
I need to try harder to BE the friend I want…pour into their lives and find ways to bless them. And to really really listen to them.
I will call my friend and ask her how she is doing, and just listen. No offering of advice or trying to make things better, just listen.
This is a hard lesson to learn. Each day is a learning process. Each day when I want to turn into myself, and have a pity party because of what someone said to me, or didn’t say, or should have said, or maybe would have said, or even did say —–I have to turn my self inside out and allow the words or ways of Christ to enter in. I don’t always do that in time or on time. But, Jesus is always there to listen, console, dry every tear – IF I rely on Him instead of me relying on me. I have to humble myself in order to hear Him and look at myself humbly —- not terrorizing myself or my friend, spouse, child or grandchildren – but humbly love Him as He loves me. I’m not saying I do it every time or I’m perfect – but I have to get myself out of the way of the One Who loved me first in order to reach out in His love. Savior help me to be more like You……..
This does to touch my soul. I have a who. I consider close friend who I have spoken to her in 2 years and 12 days. She was the only person I could open to. After some issues I had being unable to finaclly afford her bachelors party. I was no longer welcomed in her bridal party. Or life really.After years of making plans with my bestfriend of our wedding days. I was unable to see her dreams come true. Breaks my heart.
I pray that god helps me understand the reason why she is not in my life, or help her see ythat how she acted isnt how she was raised and foremost materials like money should never break bonds of life like that.
Wow,this is so timely for me. I have a friendship that has been strained for the last several months. After going to a retreat last Febuary I have grown in my relationship with God and feel Him moving in many positive ways. Started a women’s bible study last spring with “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” in my home, organizing a retreat this fall at my church and a new bible study that out grew my home so we are at the church now. This friend I realize was very controlling of me. Not that it wasn’t fun to do things with her but if my husband and I were busy she would be angry. She wanted us to be available for them , which we were most of the time. Now however I am focusing on my women’s ministries projects. My friend started coming to the fall bible study. This is good. She made a comment recently about being “left behind” and I have thought about this often. I can’t go back to letting her control me and told her I have to be obedient to what God is asking of me to do. I love her and do she her softening as I work with her daily also. Maybe over time with God’s hand we can have something even better.
Prayer…everything starts with prayer no matter the circumstance!
One way to invest humility and patience into a relationship is to consciously choose to not be offended. To refuse offense frees us up to gently seek relationship-building works and actions, with loving and grace. Continuing to do the things you’ve done in the good times (like calling to share a giggle or an experience) even when the natural you would want to avoid the person can help you strengthen the good bonds. And choosing the best and pure activities when things are going good gives us those bonds to fall back on.
not being critical or judgmental, being quick to listen and slow to speak.
Listening is the key along with treating others even better than how I would like to be treated.
Relationships is what was important to Jesus. He established relationships with individuals to enter love them as part of His perfect plan. He loved the good, bad, and ugly ones the same. We are to follow His example.
I purchased a copy of this book, but before I could read it I was prompted to give it to a friend to read. After having it a day she wanted to know why I gave it to her to read. She Died how I knew she needed that encouragement and stated that she has to have her own copy. That she has many books like that but none have ever touched her or spoken to her the way this one does. I told her it was all God and to keep the book. She now reads it daily. Now I need another so if your contest is still going please consider me. I think these would also make great Christmas gifts and plan to purchase more for just that purpose. Thank you!
Working with so many women, building friendships all along the journey, absolutely the package deal. Recently the attribute of “grace” has come into my conscience concerning relationships. Taking the time to find out what my friend may be going through, may explain a difficult to handle reaction… being mindful of my responsibility in this relationship… watching how we all interact… showing grace to each other, and yes it is worth it to work through the growing “along this journey” pains! This morning going out to breakfast with one of my friends and mentors who has taught me so much throughout the years. My desire is to be a listening ear for her as she is going through a deep trial right now. Yes, she is a keeper!
Wow, never looked at it that way before!! Makes me interested in a devotional book that’s different from all the rest! Thanks for sharing!
I have to remember their actions are not personal and I do not have to respond from hurt.
Lysa thanks so much for sharing this. We are all package deals. A lot of good with some bad stuff that God needs to prune. We are all a work in progress. It is easy to think that what we think about a situation is the right one. Pride sneaks in and we don’t see it coming. We may react in ways we wish we didn’t and our friends get hurt or they hurt us. Then a beautiful thing can happen – forgiveness can happen. We can choose to forgive and move forward with our friendships not harboring judgement or bitterness towards one another, but loving with grace. Yes it can be hard and sometimes the hurt or pain may be too hard, but with prayer and time our hearts begin to change and we begin to forgive and set ourselves free. Friendship is a beautiful thing but just like a rose there may be a thorn or two that can stick us. In those moments we must decide if the beauty of our friendship is greater than the pain we may experience from time to time. Looks like your daughter learned this at a young age and chose the beauty of friendship over the pain of a thorn. Blessings!
Modeling the behavior Jesus modeled for us. Investing in my friends also means investing in myself. I’m not so lovable on any given day, so I work hard to remember the grace and mercy that’s been extended to me and I pray to be able to model the humility, gentleness, and patience I have been so blessed to receive. For some of us we may not have a lot of friendships and we hold dear the tight relationships we do have. Over the years I’ve learned to be able to face the challenges, but am constantly remembering I am also a challenge 🙂
Great reminder for us all and I wish my friend would read it. I woke this morning with a heart burdened. I think another relationship is coming to a close because my girlfriend is unable to accept the messy stuff in my life. Raising teens, especially those that struggle, is messy. The mess doesnt mean we have lost our faith, seek God less, or have fallen off His intended path. From my vantage point, we have rolled up our sleeves and committed to fight the battle for my son’s (Gods child’s) present and eternal soul. But it’s not a life that presents its self in a beautiful package, it just looks messy. Through this journey, I’ve learned to lean into Him, but I find myself missing the richness a great girlfriend brings to my messy road.
sounds like a book I could use!
Thank you for helping me “see” the package that is my best friend. For over 30 years we have walked through life together and across the miles. It’s been difficult at times. We love and accept one another. How wise your daughter is to learn this at a young age!! God bless you & keep you and your daughters Godly perspective shining through!!
Going through different seasons of my life, I have had friends come and go. Many have relocated or life just kind of drifted us apart. Thankfully through technology, we have remained connected and sow into these relationships. When being a friend to someone, we want to try to be the best we can and love them, as they are. With God’s help, we can have happy, healthy relationships.
I have found true friends are there no matter what…they grow with you and you with them. I love the statement about friends of ” seasons” Friends I have let go, did not encourage me to do what God would want me to do….friends who really care say what you need to hear; not what you want to hear!
Think this book would be great for a dear friend who just lost her adult son to drug addiction and is trying to help her granddaughters who are teenagers deal with his loss I receive your emails and all girlfriend in God and Proverbs 31 and try to share them with her. She say’s she couldn’t get through it without God. But it is hard sometimes. So glad I get to share Christ with her and to care for her. Please pray for Edie and her family. Do you think this book would be good for her.
Consider one of your friends. How might you invest humility, gentleness, and patience in her or him today?
I hope this is in the right place. I would love this book. One friend I know I could do this with is the one who just loves to talk and I could sit down and give her me time to listen to what is wrong and try and help her instead of letting everything get in the way, and putting her off.
In Christ Love
This is EXACTLY where I am this week. It has been difficult to be who God wants me to be and yet the world (job) wants me to fit into another mold. I am trusting God though because He ALWAYS has my best interests in mind. Thank you for the chance to win this book and if I don’t win it, I will find a way to afford to purchase it. 🙂 Love your ministry. You help me a lot. Bless you.
I would invest gentleness in my friend by listening and not trying to fix anything.
By offering encouragement to friends each day (Hebrews 3:13). We all need encouragement!
So thankful for the ways that God speaks to me through you!!!
First off, thank you so much for this! It was a very nice reminder. I’m currently in the middle of the “Unglued” bible study. I just read on page 89 “never have I had a relationship issue in which I didn’t contribute at least something to the problem.” I think it’s so important to remember that none of us are perfect. I have someone in my life that I am unable to reason with. The only way I’ve been able to try and seek restoration is just admitting I am not perfect and that I am always going to be available for her when she is ready to heal. Our common ground is that we are both believers and I know it will be better in God’s perfect timing!
Send encouraging text, write notes or scripture verses to my friends, husband and teenagers
I had to let go of a 36 year old friendship because we were incompatible. Unequally yoked in so many ways. What I know is that after time I am still able to be friends with this person but not in the way I was in the past. We had been romantically together on and off for many years. After a very painful break-up, I gave him to God and asked Jesus to heal me. Jesus did a miraculous work in me and I am now able to be a sister in Christ to this person. My old feelings are no longer there. I have no desire to be with this person, only a platonic friend in Christ. I am meant to be an example of Jesus to this person. I am able to show the love of Jesus to this man and help him to see friendships/relationships are repairable, with God’s help.
By keeping my mouth shut when I want to open it and let words spew out!
I have a coworker who has become a friend and she often lets anxiety and fear control her life, to the point of making her physically ill. I often find myself frustrated with her because I and another teacher are having to pick up the slack for her.
I have been praying about how to respond to her, I know fear is not from God and he has called on us to trust him completely and absolutely. This post was an answer to this prayer, a reminder that we are to respond with kindness, gentleness and compassion. To accept her “package” as she is. I continue to pray for her that she will let God have control of her fear and anxiety.
I am looking forward to meeting you in person in Columbus, Ohio!! You are in an inspiration and I thank God for you.
I need to invest patience in my friend today that is not always honest. Sometimes we all slip up and exaggerate or tell little white lies. I need to forgive her and move on because I know I am not always perfect either.
Thank you Lysa. You are such an inspiration to me.
We have had a hard week in our MOPS group – leadership questions, lack of trust and respect and a lack of grace and mercy. As I sit here, trying to write my “why” of why I do this, I am broken and heartbroken. I just found your blog post – I wish your daughter was here to remind us of that simple reality, we are all a package deal. I am not lovely all of the time, and my package deal might be someone’s idea of a bargain, but it’s how God has wired me and I am grateful for that. Thank you for this reminder and we enter into another week!
Realizing that some friendships are for a season and others are for life is helpful for me. And, when rekindling old/lost friendships, I sometimes find that they are for life too. We pick right back up where we left off and share the life of those missed months or years.
I am thankful that you published these words.It always surprizes me, although it shouldn’t, that God’s timing is impeccable.
Really the most important thing we can do for any friend is to tell them we love them and will be praying for them. If we don’t really understand what they are going through we can listen and let them know we will ask God to help us to know how to pray for them. If we understand their trouble (maybe we have been in the same situation), then we can let them know how we got through it and may help them in the same way. That is the reason sometimes God allows troubles in our lives so that when the time does come we will be there to help someone else. Thanks always for your encouragement 🙂
I am going through the ultimate test of Faith. Last year on August 17, 2012 my daughters ages 15 & 16 were on their way to practice and my daughter lost control of her car. They were hit by an oncoming truck. Both girls went rather quickly and I praise god for that. The accident happened 1 mile from our house. I have learned through the tragedy to trust and believe more than I ever have in my life. I have such an inspiring story and I feel like I need to share that with others. I would love to be able to share that even though we have reached the bottom of the mountain and it’s a slow small climb to get back up that mountain. Even in this tragedy we have not lost Faith but our faith has grown. I would love to be able to share my story and be an inspiration for others who have lost their children. I would love to tell my whole story to see if it touches you. Sharing my story and doing public speaking is my main goal. I want to show parents there is life after loss we just have to believe with all of our heart!! Please contact me if possible.
When I don’t see eye-to-eye with someone, I try to take a deep breath and tell myself that deep down, he or she is probably doing the best that he or she knows how.
I have a friend, Sister in Christ, that I don’t agree with the way she allows her children to be disrespectful in church and toward other adults, but I always handle it with humility, calmly showing her a better way.
pray for her, for me and the situation. God is most likely using the situation to teach me to take the log out of my own eye.
There are times when stepping back is the only thing I can offer without completely losing it. Time heals most wounds. I pray and let time go by until The Lord blesses me with the strength to try again.
Patience. With myself as I work through the waiting process of seeing how God is hoing to use me in the life of my friend. Then for my friend who is “religious”, but does not truly know the Lord. She constantly goes on about her health struggles, marital issues, family issues, etc. Learning to let it “fall to the floor” and remembering that her comments don’t have to control me. Thank you Lysa for “Craving God.”
I can honestly say I am one if those ‘package deal’ people! I am so thankful that God gives me the Grace to see that within myself so that I can extend the same to others. He blessed me with a husband who loves me, despite my package-ness and a family who just seems to ‘get it’. Loving others unconditionally remains an extension of Christ within me, which was made possible through Jesus and His complete work at the cross.
One way is by not running her into the ground to other friends. To pray for her and for myself for God to help us thru this difficult situation.
I would stop pulling away when a friend is walking down the wrong path .. I would be there no matter what and be the friend who listens and only advise when God puts something on my heart but I would wait till the right time . If my friend needed prayer I would pray for them at that moment and not wait
Well I am dealing with this now with my best friend. Her husband is saying some really off the wall things about God and then saying things to her that really makes me angry. One day she is going to see a divorce lawyer and then the next she loves him dearly. I am having to change my opinions about him several times to her. Then we both was seating in a women’s meeting and Both of us was praying for an answer from God and He showed both of us at te exact same time what He wanted her to do. So I told her as her best friend I would stand by her with whatever she decided but she had to go with God even though I don’t like it or if she doesn’t t like it. I am having knee problems and going to have a knee replacement – this weekend she said my knee is killing me – I said that is unusual usually it is me with that – she said well you have helped me carry my burdens so I thought I would help you – lol
I am in Recovery almost 6 yrs sober. My old High School friend showed up at my door about 3 yrs ago. Odviouesly still living the partying life. I told her where I was in life and offered her help. She didn’t want anything to do with it. She has now contacted me on FaceBook saying she is going to show up on my door step anyway, even if I don’t contact her. My New life ((Blessed and living for GOD)) & my Recovery are most Important to me. So I’m Praying to GOD to help me respond to her e-mail. In Love and Compassion letting her know my boundaries and rules I live by now. I pray she has also found Recovery and a better life. I don’t know because last time I saw her I decided then to let her go. I pray GOD protection & Grace in this situration Isaiah 41:10 I do stand on PLEASE say a pray of Peace & direction for me in writing her back..
This advice is soo true and soo helpful! This past Sunday the message that our pastor gave was on relationships and we have to “bear with one another” as said in Ephesians. God is really showing me how dealing with annoyances, and accepting people is something I need to work on.
I need to invest some gentle pondering into a friend today. Her actions hurt and bewildered me, and I need to ponder that more to try to truly understand it.
Hi Lysa – I went to the Women Of Faith Conference in Kansas City this past weekend. You and the speaker team were awsome!! Mercy Me and Kobe were amazing ! Thanks for being there.