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I never really had a close friend when I was growing up. I’d have girls come in and out of my life and a lot of boys that were really my brothers friends, but I didn’t have any. At times I felt lost and lonely. At times I didn’t feel sufficient enough, because I never really clicked with other girls. Yes, I was more tomboy than anything. Yes, I dressed differently, but I really wasn’t all the different, right?
My mom felt terrible for me. It wasn’t because she didn’t try to find friends for me or get me together with other girls, it was just not meant to be, I guess…
I was 18 years old when I finally had a girl friend. A friend that I can go out shopping with or stay up late laughing at our crazy boy crushes and dreams of the future. God was so gracious that he gave me two girl friends and we live within twenty minutes from each other. We have a blast with one another.
Fast forward two years and I know have a handful of girl friends. Three of them are so close that we call each other sister. This brings tears to my eyes, because I longed so long for a sister and now I have three. *wipes tear away from eye*
But now that I finally have friends, I have learned that it takes more than just calling each other “friend”. It takes effort.
“You must be a friend, to have a friend.”
I never really got that until I met my two best friends. I was just used to my mom calling friends of the family and inviting them over that I never realized that I had to work to see each other and stay in communication with them.
5 ways to show you’re a friend
Now that I have been so blessed with friends, I have learned a few things about how to be a friend…
1. Be there.
Life isn’t easy. It isn’t even pretty at some points.
I’ve learned this the hard way when a few of my friends have had to face some sort of hardship. I could sense their hurt and struggles through their pictures on Instagram and in the words they sent me through text. I could feel their tears when they punched in a sad, crying face.
As a friend, I needed to be there. I needed to make sure they were okay. I needed to let them know that I was there to listen, if they needed to talk. I was their shoulder in which they needed to share their burden.
Even when life is great, we should be there with them.
Celebrate with them. Support them.
The important thing is…they want us to be there with them.
The one thing I really value in my friends is their willingness to pray for me. If there is one thing that I can never get enough of is prayer. I believe they feel the same way and that is why I pray for them, too. Whether they ask for it or not.
I must admit I am not the world’s best prayer warrior. Not in the least way, but I try.
As a friend, we should instantly be willing to drop what we are doing in order to pray for them or continue to pray for them, during a difficult time in their life.
3. Surprise them.
I always love sending out a surprise letter or note or picking something up at the store, because it reminded me of my friend. There is just something exciting about surprises.
In the same sense, I love to get surprises in return. *smiles* I mean, who does? It speaks volumes to how much your friends really care about you and how much they personally know you and your likes.
It is for this secret mission that I pay close attention to what my friends really like and what gets them excited.
4. Make them a priority.
You know that quote I mentioned above? The one that says, “You must be a friend, to have a friend.” Anyways, you can’t be a friend if you don’t make reaching out to your friends a priority. Maybe your friend is really busy and just didn’t have time to send you a text. Instead of staying silent and not getting in touch with each other for months, take the first step and text them.
Set aside a part of a day in your month to go out with your friend to a movie, dinner, or shopping. What better way to grow closer than to do something together?
By making your friends a priority, you are giving your relationship a chance to grow and you will be rewarded with a sense of renewal. It is priceless.
5. Build them up.
Have you ever felt down-and-out? I know I have and I also know my friends have felt this same way, too.
As a friend, I find it a wonderful opportunity to build your friends up when they are feeling discouraged, hurt, or even are timid to take a step in the right direction. It can be a daunting world out there and they just need to know they can do it, by hearing that you believe in them.
I’ve found that you can build them up by sending a scripture that speaks to you about their situation, by just listening, or standing right beside them when they don’t feel like they can stand alone.
This is our job as friends and as God’s children, as stated in the Bible: “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Disclaimer: I’m not saying I’m perfect at everything, because I know I am not. I’m just trying to share with you what I have found useful to grow my friendships.
I am so truly blessed that I have had the opportunity to learn this in the last two years of my life, because this is absolutely invaluable in the long run.I will receive commission on any sales made on my blog. To learn more, read my disclosure policy.