She’d asked me a while back, would I come and help her bake bread for the very first time. Of course, I told her, I can do that.
That was months ago.
Finally this past week, I gathered my bread pans and my favorite recipe and drove across town. And you know what? We had The. Best. Time.
With the dough mixed there was very little to do but wait. So we grabbed drinks and found our way to the front porch and I learned things I never knew about her, even though she’d been part of my small group for more than two years.
We swapped baby stories, tales of motherhood and a whole lot of “me toos” all while watching life stroll by on the street in front of her house. Then, it hit me: I was making a friend, on purpose.
We found common ground even though the seasons of our lives are so different, her a young mom and me an almost empty nester, and on that common ground we found a different level of friendship.
You’d think for this extrovert (and by that I mean, EXTROVERT), I’d have learned how to make friends easily. You’d think that I would be the first one bounding over to the new person at church or knocking on a neighbor’s front door to say hello.
It all has me wondering, how on earth did I get to a place where I am afraid of making friends? I think back to many Sunday mornings, never leaving my seat during connection time, my posture all but screaming, stay away.
I think we’ve all felt it to some degree, all experienced the deep feelings of inadequacy that we think go hand in hand with our personalities.
Will they like me?
Will I seem too “out there” for them?
Will I annoy them?
And fear of failing at friendship keeps us a prisoner to our personalities. The very way that God designed us to be becomes the base on which we will build our walls of solitude – and behind those walls we think it’s safe.
Yet, behind those walls we live not just alone, but lonely, and in that loneliness we miss the beauty of community. We miss all that God has for us when we are willing to stand shoulder to shoulder in friendship.
We weren’t meant to live this life alone. The Bible gives account after account of God using people together to complete His purpose.
Moses and Aaron
David and Jonathan
Esther and Mordecai
Jesus and His disciples and the leaders of the early Church
Friendship is part of God’s plan for our lives.
“Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But two people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. 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.” Eccl. 4:9-12 NLT
While the dough rose, and while her children slept, we purposefully and with intention built a bond of friendship that goes beyond what we think of ourselves or our personalities. It went beyond feeling like we don’t fit in, to a communion of hearts – a sisterhood.
The bread came out of the oven, its yeasty smell filling her kitchen with the comforts of home. And over the heads of her children, and in her eyes I could see her heart, I could see that we had turned a corner in this messy, complicated, beautiful and glorious thing called friendship.
We’d love to hear your stories about the ways you’ve searched for and entered into friendship on purpose! Won’t you share them with us? Link up with us below or share in the comments!