There was a point in my life where I felt really alone. I had a few good friends, but what I longed for was a group of close friends who loved Jesus. Most of us have at least had one point in our lives where we feel alone; Or at least a period of time where we feel alone in our faith. I desired people that I could have fun with, but also who would spur me on and challenge me to grow. I started asking God for that around the time I graduated. And I thought that I may have found it, but turned out to be superficial and only lasted the summer. Began to feel even more lonely after coming home from YWAM and having to leave the group of people that I had lived with and grown with; I was now alone again. I continued to pray and once again made a group of friends that turned out not to be for the long haul.
It wasn’t until I was at the beach for my bachelorette party with my cousins and bridesmaids sitting around me and praying for me, that it hit me. Every single one of them loved Jesus and they loved and cared for Phil and I. Now I have friends that aren’t Christians and I absolutely do not think that it is wrong to have really close friends that aren’t believers. But right now most of my really close friends are. Tears started pouring down my face as the realization hit me. Until then I didn’t actually realize that God had finally answered my prayer.
A lot of these girls didn’t actually know eachother before the wedding week, but my heart warmed to see how they got along and got to know eachother throughout the week. I was reminded again on the day of my wedding, as my new sisters and dear friends held hands with me and prayed over Phil and my marriage. I couldn’t ask for better friends-friends that I have so much fun with, friends that love Jesus and lift me up, but also friends that are very different than me and challenge me to know myself and my farther better.
The thing is, I didn’t know if I would ever find that. It sounds silly to say when I had my whole life ahead of me, but at the time it was huge. I was young (still am, but I’ve gained a few more years of experience) and trying to live for God, but felt like I didn’t have people with a similar mindset to help spur me on. And I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t answering my prayer…or at least why His response seemed to be “Wait.” This might be you right now. And you may have heard this before, but God DOES hear you. And He does care. Don’t give up hope.
I still don’t know completely why I had to wait as long as I did for these friendships. But I do know that during those years I did a lot of growing. I made mistakes, I had some friendships that didn’t build myself or the others up; but I wouldn’t be who I am today without those times. God does have your (and my) best interests in mind. And He really does hear the desires of your heart. So if you are in that place, keep praying-but also take advantage of the time of loneliness to cling to God and know Him more deeply. That is one thing I wish I would have done better. Maybe you don’t really have close Christian friendships and that doesn’t bother you. I still encourage you to pray for God to send someone your way. Our walk of faith is not meant to be alone and you may be surprised to discover how much you needed it.
Another thing I realized as I looked around at my friends praying for me, was that my friendships did not look the way I had expected when first praying for them. When I started asking God, I was looking for a group in the same area with the same mindset as me. But I have my cousins in Lancaster, a friend from Highschool, two friends from college (who didn’t know eachother in college), a friend from YWAM who lives near Chicago, and my two new sisters who live in Illinois. Some of them were just meeting. Some of the girls have different theological backgrounds and world views.
But I wouldn’t change it for the world…because God knew what I needed so much more than I did. So don’t be surprised if it looks different than how you pictured it, but it’s okay because life often works that way. It’s okay to feel a little frustrated with where you are at OR even to ask God what’s going on. But don’t ever think He isn’t listening….because He is. Keep pushing forward and don’t give up. God might just be waiting for when you least expect it (but need it the most). And if you ever really feel like you need someone to talk to right now…feel free to send me a message. I would love to be there to listen ❤