Finding true friends in life and faith can be quite a task. As someone who has struggled with friendships, I can relate to others who are going through the same challenge. As nice as it would be if we could just make a friend by talking with strangers at a coffee shop, friendships don’t always start this simply. God didn’t create us to walk alone in life, as He wants us to have friends and relationships with others. To be alone in this world is a scary thing, which is why we need true friends in life and faith.
The concept of finding true friends is extremely difficult. As a child and a teen, I remember my parents talking about how true friends are a treasure and something that should not be taken for granted. Like myself, my parents also had difficulty finding true friends in life and faith. My late mother was always someone who made conversations quickly and could efficiently work a room. Since my mom could do this, I was always surprised that she never really had many genuine friends. Out of all my mom’s friends, she only ever recounted one as her actual true friend. This friend of my mom’s was her best friend and always stayed by her side throughout school. While it is true that my mom and her friend lost touch after my mom married my dad, their friendship remained at the front of their minds. I had never personally spoken to this close friend of my mom’s until after my mom passed away. Her friend told me about their adventures and how true of a friend my mom was to her. Her only regret was that they had fallen out of touch many years ago.
It’s so important for us to hold onto our true friends once we find them. We’re never assured the time and frequency these special friendships will come into and remain a part of our lives. Sometimes we don’t recognize a true friend in life and faith until we lose them. This is a sad reality that should encourage us to self-reflect on our lives and relationships with our friends. God places people in our lives purposefully, but to have true friends, we have to be true friends ourselves. Being a true friend means we care about the other person, recognize their boundaries, and support them in every way possible. True friends never hurt their friends, nor do they put them down. Rather, friends should build each other up and help them in their struggles. While it can be hard to find real friends who are there for you, not only during the sunny days but also during the dark days, they are treasures to keep and cherish.
I used to consider many people true friends in life. But once they knew I was struggling with anorexia, depression, and anxiety, everyone kept their distance from me. Slowly, one by one, people stopped replying to my texts. I ceased to be invited to meet-ups anymore. I’m not going to lie; it really hurt. These were my friends in life and faith, who I thought would be my close friends forever, only to realize they were never my true friends in the first place.
A True Friend
A true friend doesn’t expect you always to be happy, nor do they push unreasonable requests on you. Rather, a true friend is there with you through the highs and the lows. They aren’t only going to stick around when things are going well. They will be there when you are depressed, frustrated, or hurt. If you have a friend that stays by your side even during the hard times, you know that you have a true friend in life and faith. It takes more energy and commitment to stay beside someone in their struggles and difficulties. Sadly, not all people choose to stick around. Instead, they decided to return to other friends having sunny days and avoid the friend undergoing depression, mental health issues, or suicidal thoughts. If your “friends” have done this to you, know they aren’t real friends. These are fake friends who were never your friend, to begin with.
If you’re like me, maybe you found most of your friends aren’t true friends, leaving you feeling alone and hurt. Know that your feelings are valid, and it is okay to feel them. No emotions are too big, as it is okay to cry and go to God in prayer. I remember going to God in prayer the night I realized my “friends” weren’t my friends. I asked God to help me find real friends because I needed someone to talk to, who cared, and who could encourage me in my walk with Him. He led me to the person I was overlooking most of my life, who was already my best friend–my sister. My sister has been with me through every difficult season, and in a way, she is my built-in best friend. I can talk with her about anything, including the hurt I’ve had from the ones I thought were my real friends. Maybe once you talk with God, you will also realize your true friend in life and faith has already been there the whole time.
Even if your true friends haven’t been there the whole time, God will help you find the true friends you need. These faithful friends will be with you through every difficulty and won’t leave you when things get complicated. Rather, they will stay by your side, point you back to Christ, and encourage you daily. Go to God in prayer and ask Him to help you find real friends in life and faith. He is faithful, and He will guide you to the right people. It might take time and work on your behalf; however, it will be well worth it, and you will have faithful friends you can always turn to when things get hard. It is also important to always remember that God is your true friend in life and faith. He is always there for you and will never disappoint you.
“He will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Hebrews 13:5
Even if all your friends leave you or you can’t find true friends, remember that God is your friend forever. He is your best friend, and never will He let you down. God won’t leave you when times get tough and won’t turn away from you when you struggle. As a true friend would, God remains by your side, encourages you, and uplifts your heart. God is a true friend in life and faith throughout every struggle, difficulty, and trial. It will be hard to find real friends sometimes; however, with God’s help, they are never too far from us. We might find them in unexpected places, such as at a bookstore or an outreach event. God can work wonders and lead you to the right people who will be true friends to you. In the meantime, you can work on being a true friend to others and deepening your friendship with God.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Sabrina Bracher
Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.
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