About the Author

Annie F. Downs is a bestselling author and nationally known speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Her most recent books include 100 Days to Brave, Looking for Lovely and Let’s All Be Brave. Read more at anniefdowns.com and follow her at @anniefdowns.

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  1. I totally agree! Finding sweet fellowship in a new place takes a bit of time and investment. Don’t they say ‘half of life is showing up?’ I think community is that way too. Just being there when almost no one else comes. Sharing important moments or concerns with other sisters. Show up. And have the patience to listen well.

  2. As odd as it may seem to some (certainly not here!), I’ve fostered such a wonderful community of women at GodlyGals.com and met some of my very best friends while working in ministry there. It is so nice to have daily encouragers and prayer warriors amongst that group of devoted women. I give thanks every day that they are in my life!

  3. Our community arose out of a weekly home group Bible study. Several of us wanted a truly intentional community to form and we worked to make that happen. I’m so grateful for it.

  4. I have found a community through those I went through nursing school with. Those girls became like family, with prayer and support like no one who wasnt in the thick of it could have offered!

  5. The two friends dearest to my heart plopped into my life through circumstantial collision. They weren’t expected friendships – but they just bloomed, seemingly independent of us. Living on the mission field creates a different set of obstacles to establishing community – and makes me so thankful for the places and people I can stay connected with from afar!

  6. TERRIFIED is a great word to describe how I felt about meeting new people, talking to people I didnt know, speaking in front of new people and just in general-putting myself out there.
    Kids help, my kids do not know a stranger. I have no idea where they get this trait from and I love it. I have made friends with a couple from church with 2 children also who are each 1 year younger than my children. AND the best part is they have a girl and a boy just like me, just so happens the oldest are girls, the youngest are boys-=how convenient-instant best friends! Now the 7 of us hang out all the time, the kids love it, the parents-the 3 of us have become awesome friends. Church is another place I have met my best friends who are committed to friendships, compassionate, loving, caring, genuine. Through these ladies at my church I have felt God’s love truly for the first time in my life. They are a gift from God to me because he knew what I needed and he put very specific people in my life at the exact time I needed what they had to offer. He gave me the courage to reach out to them, not them to me, I contacted each of these ladies myself-with God’s help-remember the word I started with–Yeah it could have only been God’s doing!
    Lisa

  7. I haven’t exactly found this community of women where I currently live, but I am blessed to have an amazing group of women spread all over the country. I wrote about some of them here – http://tinyurl.com/ndwomen – a while back. They are still the best friends a girl could ask for.

  8. I have found my best friends through church and small groups, but have also found a lot of lasting friendships through college. I am so glad that the Lord provided these friendships when I needed them most.

  9. No one probably wants to take friendship tips from me because I have exactly four friends right now. One of them is nine years (and a few months) older than me, one is twice my age, and two are a little over a year younger than me. I guess you could count me as having more friends if you are willing to count the people who are nice to me because they know if I am forced into a group project I will do the entire thing myself and pull the rest of the group along so they want to be chosen to be in my group. The two older ones were found through my church. The two younger ones were found through FCS (Fellowship of Christian Students). I make friends by hanging out with a person until they consider me a friend because I am always there.

  10. i am so blessed to have great friends, a lot of us live in the same neighborhood of a big city and attend the same church. they’ve been my anchor since moving here two years ago!

  11. I am naturally an introvert, but the Lord used my job and my situation (a new baby) to motivate me to find the great group of mom friends that I have today. Only a few of us in the group are Christians, and I believe are in the lives of the other women for God to do a mighty work. My best piece of advice, one I don’t follow too well at times, is to be transparent. Allow yourself to open up and share, and others will share too, and the relationships will be better for it.

  12. I am still looking for a strong community, i miss what i had when i was home and since coming to college it seems like everyone else has a place they belong and a great group of friends, and i’m still searching for that.

  13. I haven’t found a community of friends yet. I have one at church that is one of my closest friends. I hate to meet new people!!
    The girls I work with are great, but they like to party a bit too much for me.
    Still praying that God will send me a good group of friends to spend time with!

  14. We moved from KY to FL a little over a year ago and I was so scared. I most feared the lack of friendship. My husband and I prayed, prayed, and prayed some more. In less than 3 months we had friends!!!!!!!!! God led us to a Sunday school class that had many couples in our same stage of life. We were invited to join a small group and so on. However, I have found the best way to cultivate friendships is to be intentional about conversation and sharing a meal together. We try to invite people over for dinner or breakfast on a regular basis. I feel a meal shared in the home opens the door for great conversation and community.

  15. I do have a wonderful community of friends which I made while working as a nurse. We try to get together once a month and more often if we can.
    Another community of friends which I am working on developing is at my new church. It is nice to have friends with like beliefs and goals.
    Marilyn

  16. I am in the praying stage. We are involved at church and have some friends there but praying for more close-ness. As a working mom of an attorney husband, free time is hard to come by…just trying to make the most of the time we do have!

  17. I have had a group of 3 friends and myself for many years! We are all different but our commonness was that we all homeschool. And then 2 of them moved away to different states! So about a year ago we started a round robin letter. So about once a month we get a letter in the mail stuffed with four letters. We take out our own and write a new one and mail it off. Now it is not as fast as email, but so much more fun to actually get something in the mail and to be able to hold it in our hands and read it!
    I always make a cup of tea and find some quiet time to read my letters. It’s almost like we are all having tea together again!

  18. I have a small community of friends who I met through church. I just keep thinking about that saying: “to have a friend, you have to be a friend.” Although it can be scary (I am not outgoing. . .at all), it is well worth it to have that person(s) that you know like you, care about you and will pray for you when you need them!

  19. I am Lucky to have a group like this, the sad part is that they are miles away from me. when i got married in dec i moved to fla leaving my godly sisters in pa . i miss them so much , i have developed a new apperitantion for them esp now that i am not able to see them. I know God will reunite us one day, until then i will continue to pray asking God to bring more godly sisters into my circle while im in Fla.

  20. it is so hard these days if you are not in social circles…have moved to a new area and just getting the courage- thankyou

  21. As a military wife, I feel like I’m constantly in the process of making new friends. We just relocated to a new area and I’m in the beginning phase of all of that – feeling the nostalgia for the close bond I had with friends at our last location, hoping to find the same thing in women I meet here. I find that the most important thing is to let go of the trepidation, the shyness, the fear of rejection. You just have to be willing to put yourself out there. Most women are looking for exactly what you are. Be willing to make the first step and be surprised by the reciprocation of love and feminine companionship πŸ™‚

  22. My ladies’ Bible Study has led me to wonderful friends. Their willingness to be “real” has helped us get close!

  23. One of my friend changed church. I really didn’t agree that, but as time passed, we found ourselves more friends than before. We had to decide to fly over it, and continue to coltivate our friendship. I believe that real friendship means i respect you and appreciate you, and want to pass my time with you even when you make a decision that can hurt and i don’t agree.
    Thank you for the blog, it’s a blessing.

  24. As a recovering introvert (Hi, I’m Elaine…) it’s so hard for me to just say “hi” to strangers & follow up with something else. These non-tips may help me – I’m tired of being lonely.

  25. I have made my very best friends at church and in my neighborhood. We all have kids nearly the same age and our husbands are all friends as well. That makes it really easy to get together often…our families cook and play together. The kids do their thing, the guys watch ballgames and we women hang out and enjoy each other!

  26. I have such a yearning for a group of godly women friends. Yet, also have a fear of opening my heart to them. I’m praying for the courage to reach out. Thank you. Blessings, SusanD

  27. Community. and friends. I am very, very blessed. There is an ebb and flow to it, those that I am closest to. Right now the Lord has been bringing in a fabulous friend from Atlanta and some great peeps from more local. I love love love how He knows what we need – even when we don’t.

  28. Standing in the “weigh-in” line at Weight Watchers began a long and endearing friendship with a woman just by simply talking about a purse one of us was carrying. Then it was “let’s go for coffee” after a meeting. A few weeks later we invited another meeting attendee to join us and then another. Our very diverse foursome has continued for years with monthly coffee breaks and occasional outings. We look back and laugh at that beginning. Some of us lost weight but all of us gained friendship.

  29. I have friends of all ages, women and men, and we help each other out when we can. We take care of each other’s children, attend ballgames together, funeral visitations together of a classmate (only 50 years old-Liver cancer – just did that last night); and just try to BE THERE for each other. Praying for each other daily is a big thing!
    Thanks for sharing your community – Love the picture!!

  30. Finding that close knit of friends is hard. It takes time and plenty of opportunity. I would have to say that some of the greatest friends I have met is through work. Some people came and went but the ones that stayed around led me to meet the ones still here to this day!

  31. I am still looking and praying. Since I became chronically ill, I lost the friends I once had because I can’t do all the things I used to be able to do.

  32. I really like #3. It’s true!
    Saying yes to stuff will connect you with people who will bless you!
    I’ve learned a little along this life journey!
    I have found some of my best friends in the strangest situations. Church friend groups, PTO, my children’s ballgames.
    Friends are a must…..and I hope I’m a good one to other’s.

  33. When I went to college 1500 miles away from my home, I never dreamed I would find so many amazing friends. Almost 10 years later, I still have most of those incredible people in my life.
    Although I haven’t had time to work on making new friends or deepening the friendships I have lately, I’ve found my old friends to be the absolute best ever. One of my friends told me the other day that I belong to her “preferred friends club” because I know so much about her – lol!
    But isn’t that really what it’s all about? Being there, learning about those people, supporting them when they need it? If you want friends, you have to be a friend – there just aren’t any substitutes.

  34. My best friends were definitely a gift from God! I never had a group of girlfriends, and it always made me sad. When I recently reconnected with a friend from high school, something clicked . . . and not only do I consider her my best friend, but I also inherited all of her amazing friends! It’s the most amazing thing. I call them my Saving Graces because of everything they’ve brought into my life! It’s incredible and I thank God for them each and every day!!

  35. This puts things in a new perspective. I don’t really have close friends. I guess I am more of an introvert. It seems when friends start calling to do things, or when they call to talk I get kind of over whelmed. Claustrophobic? I don’t know?
    Don’t get me wrong I have friends to go to lunch with, bible study with, to “friend” on face book…but, I just don’t know how close they really are to me?
    Hmmmm…I guess I need to look more deeply into thy self.
    {I am a bag lady though…and thanks for the chance to win that} πŸ˜‰

  36. As a missionary, we’ve relocated from the place we lived for 20 years. Now, we are in an area that “outsiders” are noticed and suspect. God has had us here for several years, now. Friendship takes time. It takes investment. It takes risk. And sometimes you walk away with a hurt. Other times, you realize God just wove your heart into hers and the friendship is there to stay.
    Blessings

  37. I don’t always find it easy to make and find friends. That is what happens when you are an introvert. But I have managed to find a group of women at the church I am currently attending. Still working on growing that friendship with all of them (that is what is hard for me). Also finding friends in the most unlikely places. Like my realtor who sold my house and helped me to find a new home. We are growing our friendship.

  38. I’ve had friends who I’ve laughed with, swapped kids with, crafted with…. They’re also the friends who prayed me through a miscarriage, a difficult pregnancy, a “special needs” diagnosis for my little girl, moves I didn’t want to make…. So much joy and so much sadness. We just made another move and I am starting all over again. Praying He will send me someone to share my heart with….

  39. Great tips, the other thing I would add is to be yourself…let them see your hurts, weaknesses, passions and joys. When connecting with others, the connection is only fulfiling when you know they love the real you! I’ve learned this over many years of trying to be perfect and guarded.
    I just spent the weekend with the BEST set of girlfriends anyone could ever want. We have lots of history together and love each other dearly. I can’t imagine doing life without them and many others who support me weekly.

  40. Four years ago I began a ladies bible study that included women from all different churchs. I have decided to attend this bible study instead of my church’s study . I feel that it is a great witness to Step outside your church and reach across denominations and befriend others at different churchs. These women are my friends and prayer warriors. I thank God for my girlies.

  41. I’ve got really good friends scattered all over the country – from different places I’ve lived and worked. Now, I’m a stay-at-home-mom who homeschools. Sometimes, it’s hard getting out to make close friends. I’m working on it, though. Thanks for your encouragement.

  42. I love this! What I have loved about how God has worked in my life in the last 10 years is that He has shown me that He will bring people into my life as I have need… and often the friends that I think “we have nothing in common, how can we possibly be friends” have ended up being my best friends because I have obediently followed God’s footsteps into the friendship. My matron of honor in my wedding was a girl when I first met her I was like, um… girlfriend – we got nothing in common. Now I can’t imagine my life w/o her!

  43. Sometimes I think I make friends, but after investing in the relationship for periods of time I find that we really don’t sync up too well. In the past I have tended to just give in to whatever in order to maintain the relationship, but I have realized that if I use my limited time to try to maintain these “friendships” that I am missing out on opportunity to make new ones. So, for me being wise and letting go is one of the best ways that I make room for new friendships. You can start to recognize which ones are worth fighting for and which ones are just work. ~Jessica

  44. agree wholeheartedly that there is no magic formula, but I agree that putting yourself out there is the first step. Introduce yourself to someone who looks friendly, invite a casual acquaintance over for coffee or out on a playdate with the kids, stick around after church or an event and make small talk. Of course all of these encounters won’t lead to deep friendship, but who knows which ones will?

  45. I have learned not to decide in advance what my ideal friends would look like, what age they would be, how much we would have in common…
    I have also learned that being a friend is key to having friends.
    Be open to who God has for you. Be a friend.

  46. Love it! You do look a fun group of ladies. I have an amazing group of women here where I live. God moved us to the exact location that would change our lives and glorify Him. I have for some reason been distancing myself from my friends lately. I don’t know why. Time to stop that!

  47. I have a small group of 3 other women that get together once per quarter for our birthdays. We always go somewhere our husbands never would! And we laugh a ton. And, of course, we hit the Target endcaps to check out clearances.
    But, I know the lack of community of which you speak. While I have these friends, they are not part of my local community, so I must drive at least 30 minutes to get to them (though I attend church with one).
    And you’re right–there’s no magic formula. But, God’s timing is always perfect . . .

  48. I think being the type of friend you want can be helpful in finding a group of friends.
    It’s hard to find good ones though. I was thinking just yesterday how much I would like to find a good group.
    It’s hard to find them but we mustn’t give up.

  49. Our Group of Friends are truly a Christian Family. They are our St Peter Bible Study Group and the Schaumburg Christian Woman’s Club. When we lost our House they Helped us to Move into our Home we rented for 10 years, My Husband had an accident which his leg was almost amputated and his company went under, so we were supported on my Job only, our daughter was 14 at the time and when she turned 16 help support herself and contributed at home. Today I am proud of my young Woman who is Godly and responsible. We meet regularly with our Christian Groups for Bible Study, Christian Socials and attend each other’s Family events. We feel the Agape love of Our Lord Jesus Christ each time we are together, Praise God for Christian Friends and Christian Family that are truly the Community of Christ. Blessings and Hugs to all, Jan Belzer Schaumburg,Illinois

  50. My group of friends are marvelous. We met because of a creative side in all of us! We love to get together and make cards. We meet on a monthly basis at each other’s homes! There is a small meal and we exchange cards that we have made. Then, we work on our own individual projects… Also, we help each other make party favors~ One of my friends has had two sons get married in two straight years. We got together and made lovely wedding favors. Thanks, Cindi

  51. my community of friends are from my church group. so happy to have them not just for some laughter but praying too for each other as well.
    another one is from my previous work. we enjoy bargain hunting, chilling and thinking of new ideas.
    thankful to have them! πŸ™‚

  52. When I moved to Germany 7 1/2 months pregnant with my first child, I knew I had to be proactive about finding some friends. I joined a breastfeeding moms’ support group and those are my best friends here. It’s a military community, so people are always coming and going, so making new friends is an ongoing need.

  53. How do you cultivate community? That’s a good question and one that I have started exploring just in the last few months thanks to you guys. I need to be more affectionate and caring without being fake. That may be easy for some people but I am a very private person and it’s hard for me.

  54. This was encouraging to me………………I’m starting over in a new church and getting to know people. It’s been a wonderful experience, but I’m still missing what I call “heart sisters”.
    I know it takes time. I appreciated your thoughts though, especially the part about saying yes to as much as you can to get to know people.
    God bless!

  55. I love this post. I have some life-long friends that I go to church with, or at least used to go to church with & stay in contact with. We don’t hang out as often as I’d love for us to, because life {read: kids} gets in the way. This inspires me to plan a girls’ night out soon! πŸ™‚

  56. I also have a small group of friends but they live in Georgia, about 1100 miles from me. I moved away when I got married and missed them terribly. Still miss them, but we keep in contact via email, phone calls, road trips when affordable, etc…they are such strong women in my life…Adei, Judi, Debbie, Vickie, Sister Mary, Sister Mary Jane, Laura…awesome women. But I am making new friends here in Iowa, mostly through my work…not really hang out kind, but we do have a luncheon like maybe once a month. But they are there to listen if there are things I need to talk about, and vice versa, I am there for them if need be…lots of tears, laughter, hugs, emotional support…women…I thak God for the blessings of friends..

  57. You are SO right! Sometimes in new situations you have to say YES even when it feels awkward and uncomfortable. I have really found that to be true! Thanks for the post & tips and sharing your girlfriends with us!

  58. How do I find my community of friends? I have this strong feeling that every community I’ve found myself in has been because God ordered my steps. I also believe that finding a community that nurtures my passion has been the best thing that has happened, when I started blogging in 2006, I found that perfect community.

  59. Living overseas in the missions community you have a natural community that is bonded by like vision. When God led us back to the States several years ago, I was burnt out and overwhelmed at the idea of starting over in friendships. I had to trust that the Lord knew what I needed especially because I felt so raw and emotionally fragile. God was so faithful. After several months of hiding in the back of a large church, he led us to join a small group. It was there that my first near and dear friendships. These ladies were able to see past the tears that easily flowed and love me as the person I was becoming. God is so faithful. Today, I stand here, healthy and grateful for the healing balm of friendships. I love that God continues to bring kindred spirits along my path. He is faithful.

  60. I am also a military wife so I will agree with everything Desiree said.
    Like her and many others have said, this is how I am learning to cultivate community and work on friendships:
    -Prayer
    -Put yourself out there
    -Try new things and new groups (fitness classes, Bible studies, etc.)
    -Don’t be afraid to start a conversation with someone or to invite someone you don’t know to do something
    -Send encouraging words or do something nice for the people in your life
    -Don’t sit back and wait for friends to come your way, be proactive in your relationships

  61. My close girl friends all came from church. I think the best way to have a group of friends is to be yourself, Always. Don’t change around different people, that way people really know who you are and aren’t confused when you act different around others. Be yourself. Always. Be Nice and Loving. Always.

  62. I am anxiously awaiting a “Girls Weekend” in October with my three dear friends. We attended the same small Christian school; from second grade for two of us, seventh grade and tenth grade (the newcomer). Our high school graduation was 29 years ago and we cherish our weekend get-togethers throughout the year.

  63. I have lots of friends through my church, but I do have my “core” girl group. In my core group, we make it a point to get away every now and then from husbands and children and just enjoy each others company. It may be just a evening at dinner or we have girl nights at my house where we have a good old fashioned sleep over. It is a much needed time of laughter and love with other women.
    Church is a great place to make lasting friendships. There are so many avenues in which to get involved and meet wonderful, Godly women. Our church has a wonderful Womens Ministry that has events like Ladies Teas and Taste of Christmas, just to name a few. I go to these events and make myself open to any new friendships that are placed before me.

  64. Trying to find it through weekly Home Group Bible study meetings through church. I am quiet and it makes it a lot harder to find friends, but I am trying!

  65. I cultivate community by being intentional in my friendships and pursuit of friends. I have a sweet group of girls that I call the Decade Chicks (we are friends with ages ranging from 20s to 50s, thus Decade Chicks), and I facilitate a group of 45-65 year old youngsters that I call Lemonade Ladies. (Who can live to be such a special age and NOT have any lemons thrown our way?) The Lemonade Ladies study God’s word, pray, and help each other through the empty nest stage of life. We are women building community and reaching out. That’s how friendships are made. Thanks for your blog today – it was a sweet reminder!

  66. My closest friends were formed through church. When God brought us together, we were all 10 years younger :), loving our young families and desiring to grow in godliness. We didn’t even know each other that well when we met for our first Bible study, but through that first study…and all the ones to follow…God knit our hearts together in such an inseperable way. I never had “sisters” till I was in my late 20’s. And now I understand what “sister” means.

  67. I agree…I don’t know exactly how I have the community of friends that I have…but I do see that a lot of it comes with me putting myself out there, being vulnerable, being intentional in calling/texting/e-mailing/commenting/sharing. I’m so thankful for the friends that have come along in my “online community” and for doing it afraid…for sending that tweet or comment on a blog to see how they have blossomed into beautiful friendships.

  68. I have been blessed by God in finding such wonderfully friendly and Godly women at my work. I learn so much from them and am so blessed to have their friendship, advice, wisdom, example, laughter, and prayers. I am also ridiculously blessed to have best friends in my two sisters and mom and in a dear friend from high school. Though we may be apart, they are always in my heart!

  69. Hello,
    I agree with so many of you!!
    O do not have a group of friends.
    I have established a community of penpal’s and though not person to person, the sisters I have met have been a blessing. I am building my community of genuine friends and the LORD is so awesome, and so for now the LORD is my friend and confidant and I am so thankful!!! PTL!!!

  70. Annie, I couldn’t have said it better! Having moved FROM Nashville to Portland, OR, some 27 years ago I worried about building a community of friends. Don’t know if we used that word “community” so much and there was definitely no “onlineness” available then. But what I did, with my husband and child alongside, was find a church first, where we made friends for all of us. Then for me it was the workplace where I found common ground with other women and some men. Hobbies are great — I love talking to the young moms in MOPS about knitting and once in a while the “old lady” gets together with them for knitting at our favorite shop. Small groups of couples or singles make a great book club, dinner group, coffee drinking buddies, or whatever. But like Annie said, when invited don’t say NO — SAY YES! It’s the way to bring them into your life and you into theirs. Uppermost is making sure God is in the middle of it all. Pray to Him constantly about the state of your “community memberships” and He’ll help you find the right ones!

  71. Well said, Annie. πŸ™‚
    One of the ways that I got over being shy was actually stolen from a friend of mine – whenever she was in an uncomfortable situation, she called herself “Awkward Girl” like a super-hero name. It’s funny, it loosens me up and frees me to be myself… with or without awkward super-powers. πŸ™‚

  72. I have found the few good friends I have through church or a bible study. It is true that you have to be willing to get out of your comfort zone. It used to be a BIG stretch just for me to go to a bible study. God sees your heart though and He is faithful to walk you through the process.

  73. It took me a long, long time to find community where I’m living now. I was trying, really I was; it just was very slow to come. I learned while I was waiting to depend on God for satisfying my needs in ways I hadn’t needed to before. It was good. That said, I’m very thankful to have a great group of friends now!

  74. My kids love being in activities and we have found ourselves embraced by a whole community of people who have children playing sports together. I also joined a book club which has become its own little community.

  75. I make friends easily, but I always have trouble making “real friends” and establishing real relationships. I am very close to three girls from high school (actually I’ve been friends with two of those girls since elementary school!) and my very best friend was my first college roommate. I’ve stayed close to three sorority sisters and one other girl from college. But that’s it. I met my community through school, in situations where we were thrown together. I’ve never made friends (real friends at least) with anyone outside of that little world, nor have I ever really thought about it now. I guess that’s something to work and pray on!

  76. Loneliness is a heart breaking place to be and the need for friendship is so real I sometimes feel it screaming out of me… literally. I am hopeful that God hears my hearts prayer and that He will respond in time. Deep breaths over here.

  77. Currently after losing my husband to cancer 11 years ago, and now my boyfriend to cancer 2 years ago…I am going thru a stage where I need to make a new community of friends…the problem is that I am currently in a Nursing Home at the age of 49 going thru intensive Physcial Therapy REhab program and hope to return home independant. Right now my friends have become the staff of the Nursing HOme…a bunch of kind, compassionate people…who help me…you never know where you will blend in at…it depends where you are.
    Diane

  78. I am blessed by the friends the Lord has chosen for me. I have friends for all seasons and I love each of them for exactly who they are. And, they accept and love me on my good days as well as my bad days! Thank you, Jesus, for my sisters in Christ…

  79. When I find like minded people, a person I’d like to be friends with I make a point to invite them over or to plan an outing with just them, with our kids or with our whole families. I try to cultivate friendships when I feel a connection with someone.

  80. I’m blessed to be surrounded by good people…at work, church…many who have become dear friends.

  81. Most of my closest friends I’ve met through school, many from college and one from middle school. More recently, I’ve made newer friends through church and work.

  82. My friend community is made up of my church friends and friends I grew up with in school. My best friend is still the same one from High School!!

  83. I have lived in several different cities in the northeast throughout the last five years and I have found that in each city, I have been blessed with one or two really great friends. My community is spread out but I am thankful for texting and email to keep up with everyone!

  84. I moved about a year ago and the church I attended was just too far away. I began attending a small church close to home. Not at all what I would have chosen but I really felt God’s leading to stay. WOW !! My “growth group” has become a life line for me and they have become some of my dearest friends. There are also many older women who I love spending time with. Their wisdom is amazing and they are a profound blessing to me.

  85. I feel much the same about my friends, most of them were complete surprises in that I was seeking out friends at the time they “grew” to be part of my life. And what a blessing friends are!! I met them in various places: PTA, parents of my kids friends, church, middle school, you name it. And each of them is so very needed.
    Blessings,
    Shana

  86. Annie, you have some great advice as always. I’ll have to use some of your ‘tips’ myself. I know I have to be available more in order to cultivate more friendships. To make friends you have to be friendly, eh?

  87. I do believe God provides friends when we ask Him.There have been times He has wanted me All to Himself for awhile. He is always so good to provide exactly what we need right when we need it. I have been very blessed.

  88. My community of Girlfriends is mostly founded through the church where my husband pastors. The true girlfriends/family usually find me! I’m a bling, glitzy, shopper, and love to laugh. Seems our laughter binds us together – because it is usually a result of some “misadventure.”
    We cultivate it by planning special “girfriend” times, email, and I am a “send cards in the mail” type – We usually find unusual things to share during our “mall ministry” and “retail thearpy” times.

  89. Its very hard for me to make friends because I’m shy, but I do know people from church, volunteering, and the neighborhood I live, plus my kids’ friends’ parents.

  90. I found myself agreeing with each of your suggestions – and remembering times when each of those things payed off in a new acquaintance for me.
    thanks for posting – and reminding us again of what wonderful treasures our communities are!

  91. You have great ideas. I know I need to get out more and quit relying on my my children (adult children). Thank you for the ideas and inspiration.
    OH! I am finding online friends through this site and following blogs! I have my old friends on facebook and finding new ones here and then finding them on facebook as well πŸ™‚
    Love you!
    Grandma Patty Ann

  92. I’m still praying and trying to find those kinds of friends. For now I have my husband and he is the best friend I could have!

  93. For me, I have found most of my dearest frineds through women’s ministries and church….but I have also found I need to be a person willing to reach out and be availible, some of my best friendships are ones I have initiated because sometimes I think women have a tendancy to fear rejection or judgement and are afraid to reach out….
    Amy M

  94. I’m so very fortunate to have very valuable friendships. As I get older I realize the genuine friendships are very few, but as long as I have a hand full, really that’s all I need. I’m so blessed to have a body of Christian friends, that I can lean on and vent too, and in the end I know we share the ultimate goal, living eternally with Jesus Christ. What a comfort to know I’ve got fellow believers on this journey with me. We praise the Lord together! I couldn’t be more lucky!!

  95. That saying yes suggestion is where I have problems. I’m feeling a little gun-shy and I just want to crawl in my little hole and stay there…lamenting the lack of friendship that is my reality. But, really the only way to come back from it is to start saying yes again. So next weekend I’m going to a baby shower of an acquaintance, even though I feel a little awkward about it. It’s a way to get to know people better. πŸ™‚

  96. I am one of the ones who is longing and searching for this community of friends. All I truly want is one woman who is at the same stage of life that I am. I know God has a friend out there for me, I just cannot wait to meet her.
    Joining in MOPS this year…so this may help! I also LOVE books, so I am going to have to search and find book clubs in my area!
    Thanks for this post and giveaway!

  97. I have been blessed my whole life with great friends. Two friendship moments stick out to me. In college I joined the Christian sorority sigma phi lambda-sisters for the Lord. I made so life long, truly wonderful friends! I still keep in touch with many of them. The second is when I realized my mom had become my best friend. At some moment in college something happened and instead of instantly wanting to call my bestie I wanted to call my mom. She had been totally mom up to this point. She had nurtured our relationship and raised me in a good Christian home. Now she was able to bond with me as a friend. It is truly wonderful.

  98. The friends I have, I have met and kept by continuing to be honest and vulnerable with who I am; the silly, messy, and needy parts of who I am. And for some strange reason, they love me. πŸ™‚

  99. True friendship is a gift from God indeed! I was blessed to find my sweet friends through school and church.My bff and I have been friends for 18 years! God will provide friendship for the lonely heart.
    Stephanie

  100. I have a COUPLE of awesome communities of gals!
    My workplace bunch is a tight knit gang of four. We do lunch, we huddle in an office or cubicle, we enjoy each our families on the weekends sometimes. We’re support group for tough days on the job (like the passing of a co-worker this week), and we rejoice in great days. Together. We’re real. We’re raw. We love.
    My gals from church are the ones I pray hardest with, the ones who always know what to say and who aren’t afraid to call me out when I’m wrong. They keep me in line and share in my joys, too. We retreat together to soak in God’ Word.
    How did I find these wonderful ladies? By looking around me, right where I am. None of us have similar lives or even lifestyles. Our ages are completely random – some ladies are my mom’s age. God knows our paths and even though we make our choices, I believe he sets certain ones around us knowning what kind of companionship we’ll need. Listen for His voice and choose wisely. The giggling girls nearby will do the rest! Much Love …

  101. It’s fun to think about this. In some ways, I know it’s the grace of God moving in our lives. My wonderful circle of friends came through our church and through the small groups I’ve been a part of. And it does require just showing up for things, being patient as God grows people together, and being willing to let people in. I’m so thankful for God’s work in our lives through His precious gift of friends. πŸ™‚

  102. Apologies if this is a duplicate but http://www.meetup.com provides a way to find groups that have similar interests. I just started using it and I’m shocked at how many people out there just like to meet new people and hang out with strangers!

  103. I can not even begin to imagine my life without my girlfriends. It isn’t always easy to find the right friends but seeking, searching and more importantly praying have been a key role.
    I’ve also had to allow myself to open up and be available to be a friend, because the reality is that to have a friend you must first be one.
    Love this post, love your heart and love having great girlfriends!
    ~ Melissa

  104. When I first started homeschooling, I prayed for a support group that my children and I could become a part of. It took some time, but I finally found them! We all live with in 30 minutes of each other, but I found them on-line first. Then we met in real life. They are truly a blessing to my family.

  105. I have found that as my children have grown it is harder and harder to meet new people. The kids were kind of the glue that brought us all together. I know God knows my heart and my wishes to belong again. I know I have to make the first step. Thinking of joining a local church which will be a huge step out of my current comfort zone.

  106. friends are also very important to me, and i know who my authentic, real friends are even more now that I have moved away from them. They are the ones who call, text, email, and come visit me, and let me know that i am missed. i am slowly getting to know people in my new home, and i am praying and praying and praying for God to bring my new set of friends into my life. i am going to a small group next week…by myself! and i have been hanging out at a coffee shop, and may just say HI tomorrow when I go…i am encouraged by this post, and love annie…i know her in real life(vs. cyber/internet/blog life? not sure how that works)…and she is fabulous!

  107. My way of finding community is to be around those that share my same passions and hobbies – this brings people from all circles of life around something familiar, sort of leveling the playing field and making it easier to open up and enjoy no anothers company. And when the time requires me to move on or leave (as many life changes cause us all to do – graduate college, get married, move to a new town) it’s good knowing I’ll again be able to connect and develop relationships with new great friends.

  108. I have friends at church, but really I’m not *close* to anyone but my husband. He and I have talked about it and how I really would love to have friends to get together with throughout the week or in the evening now and then. I know that if something happened to my husband, I would be very lonely. My kids are with me all the time because we homeschool and my husband often gets home later than most families I know, so time is limited for me to do things with other adult women. But I have come to rely more on God through my adventure through motherhood. I think if I had close friends, I would rely more on them. But I really do pray for God to bring Godly women into my life to form strong friendships with.

  109. I have friend from numerous communities: my church, work, a women’s group I belong to, an annual retreat I go to and past coworkers. I love making new friends. I am very blessed to have a number very close and trustworthy friends.