About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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  1. Love your post. I’ve been down the road of “I must be doing something wrong”… and your words are freeing. It isn’t about me. It’s about Him and His purpose for me. Thank you for these insightful words.

  2. Oh this was perfect timing with some of what I have been feeling lately….this is SUCH a lonely friendship season. Thank you for this. I WAS feeling very alone and dare I say it, even pressured to be all Kung-Fu IRL Ninja Girl with loads of friends….like maybe I used to be at one point in my life. I am heading over to read the other post that I missed about this….I need to soak up all the grace that I can get in this area right now….

    • I’m so sorry, Lindsey. It’s hard, isn’t it? Praying for you darling, that the lonely season lifts, and that you find peace in the waiting. To know you is to love you, Lindsey girl, YOU are a hundred kinds of beautiful. and I am beyond thankful for your presence in this community. Lindsey = JOY! xoxo

  3. Ah…this, “May I spend that time purposefully discovering what He wants me to learn in the waiting.” THIS is so very true. And although I do long for deeper IRL connections, I agree with Aundrea, and am looking intently to what God wants to teach me in the now. Thank you for your words, Kristen. It was such a privilege to meet you at Relevant, and you truly embody the qualities of kindness in friendship. Blessings to you, friend!

    • Oh, Jacque ~ you are a total dear!! Just like I wrote for Lindsey above, to know YOU is to love you. I mean that wholeheartedly. Your heart shines, and getting to know you at Relevant was pure delight! Praying for you now, sister. May God bless and keep you and yours. You are a treasure.

  4. WOW – This was so Awesome! I’ve been blessed with Amazing Friends in my life. The past few months God has put me in a place where I need to trust more in Him & to build a much better friendship with my husband. After the loss of one of the Amazing kids that
    Lived with us three days a week, I have experienced such pain in my heart. God has taught me through much through this pain. I look at my husband in a new way now & I’m so very thankful to Jesus for this <3

    • Ahhh yes ~ improving the friendship with our spouse! I wonder how many of us overlook that dimension to marriage? Heaven knows I have. Thank you for your words here, Stacey. You BLESS us. So thankful!

  5. Praise God for this article. So often, we are lead to believe that unless we have a ton of friends there is something wrong with us. In studying psychology one thing I learned, it is rare for a person to have only one or two life long friends in their lives. A lot of things I had to unlearn from psychology but God has taken the best part of it and showed me His wisdom from His Word that this field only served to prove the righteousness of Scriptures. When we study those called out souls, the prophets of the Old Testament, they relied on the Lord for everything in their lives.

    We are to be set in families and the Body of Christ is the family of God. In this family, we will find connections of the right making when we allow God to lead. So often people will pass through our lives on this sol journey towards the celestial city and we pass through theirs, but on occasion we may find a long time friend that will stay in our lives all of our lives. This is often not the case. There is nothing wrong with you, enjoy the friendships you have while you have them. It is in our willingness to allow them to move on and us as well that will keep us dependent on our Lord.
    Mrs. J.

    • Beautiful insights, Eileen. Just beautiful. For everything {and every friendship} there is a season. So appreciate you and your words here today.

  6. Ah thanks for this Kristen. Timely. I was just speaking this week about how God seems “slow” and “thorough”…I think your “deliberate” is a better word. I’ve been blessed with wonderful friends. But, I’ve been “waiting” on another area in my life for years…many false starts. many crushed hopes. And I’ve asked all the questions written above-thanks for helping me feel less alone on it. 🙂

  7. I find the hardest part of waiting, is waiting in a place of rest instead of fretting, but if I have prayed and sought the Lord, then I believe the situation is going according to His will, and I must find rest in that while I continue to wait for His answer.

    • *YES* to resting instead of fretting while waiting. And fretting is often my default reaction ~ working on slowly but surely changing this. Waiting on answers with you, sister. Thank you for being in our community, Kathy. You are loved.

  8. I love this post Kristen, thank you! We moved to Orlando (almost) 6 years ago and I was so starving for friendships I started building those online friendships and a lot of them were not smart friendships, but sake of availability. (always online).

    I’m here with you now — “I’m learning to pay better attention and value people for more than similarity. While I still don’t have a BFF here in this area, I’m finally okay with it. I really am. I’ve learned to lean more on Christ and my husband, and I’m pretty sure that is the result of the lesson I’m supposed to learn at this time.”

    Could not agree more — God wants to fill me full rather than me turn to a BFF all the time!

    {HUGS} wise woman!!

    • I *love* that line too, Amy. And my word…how many times have I ran left or right instead of up? Put my hope and faith in people more than God? Ahh Stef, do you have any idea how much you are loved and appreciated in these parts? You are a gem, no doubt about it. Thank you for all the giving you do and all the love you show. Praying for you and standing with you now. Love you!

  9. If I had to sum up this season you so accurately described, it would be: Learning to Trust. Trust that His timing is perfect. Trust that He has a purpose for me in all things—-even in who He allows in my life. Trust that He really is faithful to complete me, and this season is a part of that plan. Trust that, not only does He see every empty ache of my heart, but that He longs to fill it with Himself to provide perfect healing. Trust that His purpose in this extends beyond me. I pray diligently for my kids and my husband, so what if this season is a direct answer to my prayers for them? Perhaps I would miss one or more of their needs that God wants me to meet in them if I was so busy trying to be a great friend. I’ve been in the season of searching to no avail for that BFF, and I am now in a season where I know God has called me to separate myself from extremely involved friendships. Both very difficult seasons. Yet, I am finding that He is Trustworthy to lead exactly where I need to be. While I don’t have that sister of the soul that can read me inside and out, He has lovingly provided a group of ladies that are trustworthy prayer partners as we meet each week to share life united in Jesus. He has provided wisdom to delimas that once I would have taken to a friend before taking to Him. In learning to Trust Him more, I am learning to love others better. I see more needs than I once had time to see. I enter into more powerful prayer times for those needs because there is more of me to give, more empathy, more Scripture embedded in me as I have clung to it in the discouragement that tries to cover us in this season. God is GOOD. I value the friendships He has given me in the here and now, and I look forward to the friendships I’ll have in heaven where we will all know and be known, united in glorifying out Redeemer forever.

    • ” In learning to Trust Him more, I am learning to love others better. ” Crystie! So much power in that one little statement of truth. Thank you for this. And thank you for your insights into discerning the relationships God calls us to and away from, and what different friendship seasons look like. Your words prove that if God gives us a no in one area, it’s only because he has a better yes waiting in the wings. Thank you so much, Crystie. You are so appreciated here!

  10. We moved to a new town because of a military stationment about 8 months ago. I’ve had the hardest time with friendships lately and had almost given up – shying away from anyone knew and keeping everything surface with playgroup people.

    Then I met a woman around my age and her daughter was 7 weeks younger than mine. We became fast friends – she lived only 3 miles down the road. In a town where connections are tough, we had each other and did everything together. I found out I was pregnant while at her house, she was the one I called when I learned we were having twins. She’s shown up at my house to bring lunch when I feel sick, and we’ve done all our holidays together. For the past 7 months we’ve been constant companions and watched our kids grow to love each other.

    She’s moving this next week – 2000 miles away.

    And so this morning, as I try to figure out how on earth I’ll manage to do all this without her, or my family, and knowing almost no one else in this town, I had this post pop up in my email.

    So thank you. Thanks for your words of encouragement and wisdom, to let me know I’m not the only one who struggles and there is a reason I need to perhaps be alone or not as tightly knit for a while. As I deal with bringing two more children into our home and supporting my husband – there may be a bigger reason than I could fathom for her leaving at this time in my life.

    • Oh sister ~ this made me cry. You’ve lived my life, ya know? I am a military wife, too, and I suspect many other military wives would nod their heads in understanding with you here. Those hard goodbyes hurt, don’t they? Oh my, how they hurt. With friends who love like sisters, they aren’t easy. Hugging you now, Diana. I’ve been where you are, so I know of what you speak. Praying now He brings you exactly *what* you need and *who* you need *when* you need it. I find comfort in remembering His no to one thing always brings a better yes to another ~ clinging to His faithfulness right alongside you! So much love to you and yours.

  11. You have no idea how much I needed to see this today.
    I have been feeling SO very lonely, and yet when I have poured out my heart to God, I have felt Him telling me this exact same thing–that it’s NOT me. It’s HIM pulling me away from other relationships right now to draw me nearer to Him. Every once in awhile I will question whether or not I have truly understood Him and His purpose (the enemy likes to tell me I’m not “friend-worthy”) But EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I ask God to give me HIS perspective, He continues to reveal to me that He is doing a work in me that can be done in no other way.

    • Perfect Amy, just perfect. THANK YOU for this. My goodness, what. a. gift!! May we all be this intentional in our day-to-day walk with God, leaning into Him as we listen. ” I ask God to give me HIS perspective, He continues to reveal to me that He is doing a work in me that can be done in no other way.” ~ I’m carrying this with me today and always. Love you, Amy!

  12. WE live hours from the nearest town and closest neighbors are 20 miles away. I have ‘internet’ friends, but no one I can reach out and touch. I’m learning to depend on Him alone and accept the love and comfort of the animals He has blessed us with. It keeps me looking forward to the one week a year, our family makes the 18 hour trip to come and visit. I understand loneliness and wishing for friends, but I also know with great relationships can sometimes be great heartache too. He really is my best friend.

  13. Seems like so many of us are in a lonely friendship season. An haven’t I done the same thing, running to the first person who said “hi” and latching on? ( I blush) You shouldn’t marry just anyone, and you shouldn’t be friends with just anyone. What I should do, as you are doing, and as I am doing now, is focus on the Lord. I now tell God, as Ester told the Eunich, “You Choose”.

  14. The hardest part of waiting, for me, is continuing to WAIT and not just giving it up as lost and turning away in search of other things to fill me up. It is harder than hard for me to keep hoping that after 20,000 No’s, the 20,001st will finally be a Yes. Or, actually, that after 1 bitter No, there will ever be a Yes to that particular question. After all, when I ask for help from people and they say No, my reaction is usually, “Don’t worry, I won’t bother you with any more requests like that again!”

    I’m afraid I wear a very ugly mask with both God and people: I may look quiet and content, even happy with what I have (and I DO have an awful lot), but I don’t think it’s really peace…it’s probably more like rebellious pride. It means self-sufficiency. God may deny me friends, but that’s alright, I didn’t REALLY need them right now anyway.

    My struggle is that in waiting on friends, I may not really be waiting on God…I am merely learning to rely on myself more fully. How, how, HOW can I stop this? Surely God won’t let me just drive myself all the way into the ground, will He?

  15. Great insight, Kristen! “God is the God of perfect time, and He arranges and spends it purposefully.” I need to apply this truth to many areas of my life, not just friends. Thanks for helping me wait patiently (or try at least) for God’s timing.

  16. What a great post!
    I’m in a season of only one good friend right now, and she and her husband are moving out of state next month. My husband and I are moving across our state in June where we will not know anyone. We will be leaving our 4 adult kids and 2 granddaughters. Although we feel this is a good move for us, I’m a little afraid to say the least! I will really have to trust God and see what great plans He has for us. I will be retiring as a school teacher but my husband is starting a new business!
    Lisa

  17. I am coming out of a 20 yr tight…almost closed fellowship…every thing…every need was met here…God’s mercy flung us out of this nest…and like a baby birdI felt like I was flapping my wings getting ready to crash to the ground…but I finally found my wings…and now am starting to fly…through those dark hard years…my husband and i forged even a deeper relationship…Like your friend…I had to run to God because I had no where else to turn…I view this time as God’s love and His Mercy…even through at the time it felt like a severe mercy…so now…I am just learning to risk again…my first post was…sneaking out into the blog world…still not very comfortable here…(I am not a writer) and now I feel I am to start taking a risk…maybe gathering some woman to read Ann’s book(I have read it so many times…)…Through these desert time…such beauty can bloom…desert flowers are some of the most beautiful and resilient flowers.
    blessings to you…

  18. I just saw your post on twitter. My lovely daughter is in this position and what is worse, is that she hasn’t dated in years either. She is lovely, sweet, pretty, very bright and creative and turning 28. I have problems understanding how this could be what God wants for her right now and I keep praying that it will get better for her. I really needed this post right now. Thank you so much. For those of you without close friends, if you are happily married, you are still very blessed.

  19. I had this very conversation yesterday with a friend. I have felt like I had very few friends for quite a few years. The strange thing to me is that I am actually a very friendly, outgoing person. I am not sure why this season is here. I have never actually thought that perhaps it was the Lord’s will and I was supposed to learn something from it. I just took it as something that was wrong with me or something that I had to endure.

    Thank you so much for your beautiful insight!

  20. This was God’s comfort to me today – a deep cry from my heart went out to Him (once more – for the hundredth time) as I walked a lonely walk with my kids today. I live an isolated life in France with my husband and children and am experiencing the loneliness I have known throughout my life at various stages. I always feel I’m a square peg in a round hole. This has been such a comfort discovering kindred souls going through it too. You are not alone for we are all here together. Thankyou for this place of refuge – i feel no longer a stranger….

  21. I’ve always had a hard time making friends. Partly because I used to be shy due to speech & hearing problems.

    Love the idea that not having a ton of friends & things to do is used of God to help us meditate more on Him & What He wants of us!

  22. Many times in the past several years I have uttered, Lord, I need a friend, a true friend. Advice you hear such as, in order to have friends, you have to be a friend first and many, many times I have done this, but have not developed friendships. This year a little harder than some, my sister/best friend began working outside the home, my oldest left for Marine basic and my husband seperated from the military. I felt a loss of community and family at the same time. I asked again, Lord I need I friend and Christ said: I’m right here. I am your friend, sit down beside me, listen to what I have to tell you. I learned to ask Christ first, to talk things over with him, to listen to what he tells me. Before I listened to family or friends I have had in the past, but no matter how well intended, only Christ truely knows my heart.

  23. Thank you for your post! I found it very encouraging. I often struggle in this area of friendship because I recently ‘let go’ of a friendship that had turned sour and felt that nothing and nobody quite filled that gap. My husband has many, many friends and while I’ve been able to (to an extent) mooch off his friend’s wives, I still feel that I’m lacking that deep, close girly friendship. Often, I make excuses – very, very sad excuses that limit my friend-making opportunities and I’ve realised that has to change. Great to hear we’re not alone in this, and even better to learn from the wisdom of others – waiting on God for the right friends at the right time.

  24. This was a great post 🙂 🙂 It’s interesting, because I’m in a season of having to make new friends in a new place. My church is awesome, and the people in it are fantastic. Most of them are married. In fact, other then two gals, the rest are married, as far as I know..However, I’m open to friends from different social circles, because there’s something to enjoy/learn from every one 🙂 🙂 Right now for me the hardest thing to deal with is the loneliness. I’m a social person, but I dno’t want to force friendships, either. They should be natural. I’m praying lots, and spending time in the word. I do find myself watching tv a lot or reading Christian blogs on -line to help fill the gap sometimes. Have a great weekend. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  25. Thank you so much for this post! I am in my mid/late 40’s and am struggling with the same thing. We have live in the current area for about 9 years and i thought I had found that group of forever friends, but it seems to be fizzling out. I have never really had much trouble finding friends. I have a very close (like a sister) friend that I have had for 45ish years…..we don’t live close though and are at different places in our lives with children. I am going through some things in my life that I really need someone, I feel so lonely……I journal and do my Bible study, and I know it’s God’s timing, but I am really struggling!

  26. Wow! Lots of food for fodder in this post and comments! I’ve prayed that prayer of “bring me a good friend” prayer so many times. And I’ll tell ya right now…even when I prayed that prayer, i was not willing or able to fulfill my end of the bargain with said friends….I was in a super busy time with my kids and their activities consumed most of my time after work. But now that they are in college, it’s funny, I don’t need that “super bff” as much and I’ve found a way to express myself with art. I’ve got so much to learn and I appreciate and admire the work artists do out there. Because I’ve found a certain passion and routine to my life, I know I will be “present” when I do schedule or meet up with my friends…It’s like I looked up and all of sudden realized how many neat people I already have in my social circle. No one is a bff to me in the way that they were in HS, but who has the time for that now anyway? I just believe that people/friendships are all about connecting with each other in spots! It’s not an all-inclusive relationship anymore. For instance, the other mothers that have kids my age get that side of me….but other women that love and need their art, (that way of expression) get another side of me. I am so much more multi-faceted now than ever before (i think raising a family and living in new areas throughout my marriage has broadened my perspective). But people are always in my life….it really has to do with how much I appreciate that fact. And how willing I am to share these other sides of my personality with people. It is hard and I do know people like to be included, invited and thought of. Its a giving gift that I’m just now starting to figure out the how-to’s of in my own “clumsy and creative” way. At least that’s what I hoping for 😀 What a wonderful post and discussion! I’m so glad I’m not the only one either!

  27. I am always in awe of how the Lord sends little messages and gifts your way just when you need them. This post was a gift. I opened my email and read the title and felt like it was just for me. My family moved 1000 miles away from home almost 2 years ago and I still do not really have friends here. We had such a close group of friends back in Texas…friends that were more like family. Friends that walked with us through everything and were just as devastated as me when we had to move. Much like the lady in the post, I have social events I go to here, and seem to fit in well. We are members of a wonderful Spirit-filled church. I have tried, really I have. I have even enlisted my friends at home in praying for me a friend instead of just praying I can move back!. The comment that I am not doing anything “wrong” helped, and I am going to be more content in knowing that God is perfect in his timing and purpose. My husband and I have been married almost 20 years and we are closer now than ever…what a blessing. In other words, I am going to look for those blessings instead of a BFF and trust God to bring her in His time.

  28. Thank you so much for sharing this…writing this! I too am in a season of no close friends in the area in which I live, as well. In the last year alone, I’ve sadly seen several women, many who I thought were close friends, either decide they no longer wanted to be friends. Or I’ve had to choose to no longer be around them, because it was affecting my walk with the Lord. All of these women leaving my life saddens me deeply. Losing friends is no easier for an adult. I know that God wants me to depend on Him and my husband…during this season…but I still have a hard time with it. I appreciate the encouragement…much needed during this season!

    As a side note, I’m very blessed with a loving and caring online homeschooling Mommy blogger community. Through blogging I’ve met some great ladies who I hope to meet, in real life, someday. A few are truly heart-friends even though we are miles apart and only talk through the internet {and sometimes the phone too=}. They keep me going…encouraged…feeling loved…while I wait for a local friend to come into my life. Hopefully soon…but only in His time! =)

  29. It sounds funny, but I was used to be obsessive compulsive when it came to friends. If I didn’t leave church or Bible Study or a mom’s group without making plans for a playdate or get together or something for that upcoming week–I felt like I had no friends and no life. I took busy schedules as rejection. We all need friends, but my need was to a fault. Now that we have lived here 5 1/2 years I have solid friendships. I’m busier with my family so my need is not nearly as great. But I have almost learned to take a step back and not be so impulsive–friendships will fall into place if you give them room to grow.

  30. I have tried and tried…
    I have taken time
    prayed
    listened
    been cautious
    reached out
    and
    failed.every.time.
    I’m sure I have made my share of mistakes,
    and I have never claimed to be a perfect friend…
    I just wonder what it is about me that turns those flubs into’fatal flaws’
    I don’t need a flock of friends.
    I just want to be real without fear.

    • I hear you MuchAlone. I have so so many struggles with fear too. Know that you are not struggling alone and please do not give up. God has a good plan for you.

  31. I”ve been betrayed by every “friend” I have ever had — I’m now 45 —
    I don’t try any more —

    • Kathryn,
      Dear girl, please do not give up. I can feel the pain in your words. Your Heavenly father is your closest friend and will never, never betray you! I am praying for you right now as I type these words, that He will give you a peace that is beyond your understanding, and beyond your wildest dreams. He knows your heart and your needs and wishes. He is ever faithful, and ever kind and loving. I will pray that He brings just the right friend into your life at just the right time – His perfection in action.

  32. this could not come at a better time. I am in this exact place. I know God has me exactly where He wants me. I love what your friend said “Intimate friendships take time to grow.” And it is soo true. I’ve wanted a BFF so bad, that I think I forced some of my friendships and ended up getting hurt by it. But God is sooo good!! He has a purpose for me and He wants all my focus right now to be on Him. This was soo freeing to me, and just knowing that I am not alone in this is also freeing!! Thank you for posting!

    God Bless you!

  33. […] also, i found some amazing follow-up posts that others have written on the topic of friendships + loneliness that i shared in the comments. here are the links in case you missed them: 4 ways to be a better friend, what you can find while you’re waiting on friends. […]

  34. i learned the hard way that i miss so much the true older friends who have passed on and the long 7 year trip of being alone finally taught me that you do not have to be in the middle, the driver, the loaner,the try to please one and all{that is impossible} so talk to God who knows all and is always there to listen and understand–so tread lightly on your search.

  35. Thank you so much for your post. I have struggled with this since I graduated from college. In college it was so easy to make friends. I am so blessed to still have close friendships with some college girls, but we all live in different states and are blessed if we see each other once a year! Now that I am in my early 30’s with no kids it seems to be almost impossible to find friends. Everyone else our age seems to have kids and so they are off doing kid related things with other moms. Needless to say it is so frustrating!

  36. I was just talking with my husband about feeling a desire for more friends today. Thanks for your post. I realize now I need to turn this area of my life over to God.

  37. I know what this feels like. So many of my friends have gone by the wayside because their lives have taken a different road that’s been in the opposite direction from me. But I try to take it in stride (after crying for many days) and realize that if we are real friends, we will keep in contact. If not, someone new will find me. But since said friends have gone, my husband and I are so much closer now than ever before and that’s a wonderful thing. God knew where he needed my heart most. Amen!

  38. I appreciate your post! I’ve certainly had many seasons where I felt friendless and my best friend will be moving away soon. She is really the first person to “get me”; my kids think we’re twins 🙂 But I am having to trust God, yet again, with my heart in this regard. I’ve linked to your post, too, in the hopes that it reaches yet more women with encouragement.

  39. Oh, my heart. What a gift your words have been to me tonight! I just finished reading all the posts you linked to and can’t wait to share them with others. I wrote a post called “The New Girl” recently and could tell it resonated with many. How much more your words would resonate! I lived in the same town my entire life until just a few months ago. Starting over as the new girl is hard for me, but I keep feeling like Jesus is calling me to be the one to reach out and step out of my comfort zone (vs. staying home in a cocoon of self-pity and loneliness). Thank you for your words!