About the Author

Tonya is the wife of 21 years and the mother to two amazing teens. Tonya is learning to recognize the beauty of her story in community.

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  1. “A fear of failing at friendship keeps us a prisoner to our personalities.” Ahhh…such truth here. And isn’t that why Christ is the best of friends? He loves us just the way we are, but keeps us moving forward….Frees us to be more than what we are. And frees us to enjoy community…breaking bread together. Such a great post, Tonya! Thanks.

  2. Thanks for encouraging us to tear down those walls, Tonya. I so related to what you said here. I want to be more intentional about opening up my heart to whoever the Lord brings my way — there is so much to learn from each other.

    • Lyli – you are so right! There is so much that we can learn from each other. Standing right beside you friend as we brave new friendships together!

  3. This is so sweet-I love the friendship making over bread. 🙂 It definitely becomes harder to make friends as you get older…even as young as I am, I’ve experienced that. But how rewarding is it to find those new friendships, and how much of a blessing it!

    Also-the bread looks delicious!

    • Jen – it can be harder as we get older – I wonder if that’s because we feel so “set in our ways” – seeing ourselves as Christ sees us, reminds us that He is sufficient in our lives and that His part in our friendships make those walls disappear.

  4. I love you and your extrovert-of-extroverts self. That is all. And I’m going to be needing that bread recipe.

    At a time where I have just moved two states away from the place I had come to consider “home”, this is just so timely. I usually love your words anyways but this? This one feels like you wrote it for me. 🙂

    • Oh friend… It is so hard when we change our geography to find new relationships and friendships – a new community. I am praying for you Kim – that God would open doors and invite you onto front porches for cool drinks and new friendships.

  5. I often worry that others will find me annoying. Sometimes I annoy myself, for goodness’ sake! Thanks for the reminder to just move forward in pursuing friendships. Great post, Tonya!

    • Sarah… you and me both sister, you and me both. And you? Annoying? Not even possible! Standing beside you friend – braving friendship right along side you.

  6. For me…I think this is where age can be a benifit… Especially if you believe it is never too late to learn anew how to develop friendships… A friend reached out through FB…we had gone to church some 30 yrs ago…we met for lunch …well after 6 hrs it tuned almost into dinner…she confessed how all those years ago she wanted to be my friend…but I had “my group” and she never pursued the friendship…I laughed and then said…how sad..I wanted to be your friend too…but I too saw her “group” and just figured I didn’t belong…yes we are very different …but how sad we never gave it a chance. But now…I am finding new freedom…less boundaries of age…of similarities …and I am being intentional ..even if others don’t seem reciprocate at first…I am finding at my age..it more important to me to be the friend God is teaching me to be…than for others to be that friend to me…oh it’s a journey …with the arrival point is meeting the True Friend!!!

    • Ro – How awesome that God has brought this person back into your life – how a small connection on social media helped you both to see the beauty of each other’s story. And 6 hours with a “new” friend? Sounds to me like you’re off to a great start!

  7. Beautiful story, Tonya! And one that has me thinking of my own friendships. I am an introvert. And while I like to consider myself to be a “social” introvert, I still sometimes struggle with stepping out to be shoulder to shoulder – living life with those around me. It’s much easier to stay in my busy routine of raising children and helping my husband run the business and wrapping myself up into ministry duties. But sometimes I forget to take the time to just stop and smell the bread rising in the oven while I swap stories in genuine fellowship.

    Now you’ve really got me thinking of my own “own purpose” occasions and I just might have to join the link-up later today. If nothing else, it reminds me that “on purpose” certainly needs to be more often…

    Blessings for your wonderful words today!

    • Jennifer, I think we all get a little “gun shy” when it comes to making friends – whether we’re introverts or extroverts. And trust me when you take that first “on purpose” step it can feel sort of awkward and cumbersome but boy is it every worth it. The best part? Is that the next time you feel compelled to be intentional about friendship it comes so much easier.

  8. Think the Lord wanted me to read this, because I’ve never scrolled down before. For me age is a barrier to friendship, both in everyday life and family. I know white hair doesn’t charm a stylish granddaughter, who has her mother color her hair. Thanks to Elliot’s word’s I shall ask God to teach
    me to be a friend, instead of my looking for some one to be a friend to me.

    • Emily, I understand this! Praying as well friend that He will be with you as you step out in faith and in community… and the beauty of being a friend, is that you end up with someone being YOUR friend… it’s just the way it works {Hugs}

  9. Once I was out of college it surprised me how hard it is to make friends. Up until that point friendship had always just happened. It was easy to make friends at school, sports activities, etc. After college I had to learn to be intentional in making friends.

    Today I’m linking up a post that isn’t so much about me seeking out friendship on purpose, but about others reaching out to me on purpose. Hope that’s okay!

    • Rachel, I haven’t had a chance to read your post yet – but I will 🙂 I think as much as we need to seek and be intentional in friendship it is also nice to know that someone is reaching out to us on purpose too! Praying friend, that God gives you the eyes to see those moments as they happen in your life.

  10. Thank you so much for this post, it is something i have bookmarked to reread when i can really let it all soak in. An area i struggle with, friends, sometimes I stop trying bec i’ve hardened my heart from fresh hurts – not the way to be living i know & God is telling me something here. Thank you 🙂

    • Alyson, praying for you friend as you seek Christ in this. Community is so much a part of God’s plan for us but I sure do understand how tricky and messy it can be. Asking that you will find peace and friendship wherever you are today. 🙂

  11. I’m a bit late in getting to read this and, yet, it comes right on time. God is just so good in that way, isn’t He? As always, I love the beauty in your words and your heart. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend!

  12. I’m just now commenting because I just now saw this! 🙂 I am an introvert so making friends is rather hard for me. It’s taken working in a world of extroverts at most jobs I’ve had and having Sunday School with mainly extroverts for me to let go of some of my standoffishness and open up a bit more. I did that recently by becoming an accountability partner to a woman I go to church with. We’re in the same Sunday School class and we’ve been acquainted for somewhere between 7 and 10 years but we’ve never really gotten to know one another. It feels good to allow yourself to open up and be friendly with someone who doesn’t know you all that well but yet you know you can trust them. The other amazing thing is that since getting involved in Sunday School especially, I find myself a lot more willing to initiate conversations than I ever was before. I’m still introverted and reserved but rather than being so closed off, I’m learning to be more open which means more potential friendships.

    Thank you for the post!

  13. Beautiful story! My story in the link up is about being a friend for a moment to a stranger. God ordained our paths to cross for that moment.

  14. Tonya,

    Beautiful story of how helping someone with a task can turn into instant friendship. I find it hard to make friends. I am an introvert, but when I do make friends they are for life! I have some really good friends from church.

    Would love to make bread or cookies with someone and get to know them in the process. I love meeting the “real, honest” person that God made you to be. I want to know your heart and soul!

    Blessings 🙂

  15. Friendship—they can be unforgettable connection with another gal!! I have had some very good long lasting ones. I have one girlfriend we have been friends for 46 years, we don’t see each other very much but keep in contact via facebook.
    I really like your story what a very special idea to get to know someone better.