When I was young, I found that relationship with people could cause pain. Hurt feelings. Tears. Deep wounds.
This was true of family members. Yes, my sisters and I had a relationship a lot like Cain and Able - and of COURSE, I was more like Able (that's a total joke).
When I was little, my favorite song was, "I am a Rock" by Simon and Garfunkel. Ok, I still like it, but it makes me sad that it was my sort of theme song when I was younger. I thought that if I was alone and only trusted in myself, I wouldn't be let down and wouldn't experience pain. I had stone walls around my heart and did not ever want to be vulnerable and hurt. A rock feels no pain. And an island never cries. But I realize now that I wouldn't experience love or joy or happiness either.
Now that I am grown up (some days that feels like a joke all in itself), I long for close Christian friends.
In the Proverbs it says that "Better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away." (Proverbs 29:10) And since my brother and my sisters live far away, I needed neighbors. I needed friendships - or at least one good friend.
When we started going to our current church, I met a woman. She seemed very nice and it was so easy to talk with her. Her son was my daughter's age. She had been a Christian for a few years longer than myself. She seemed to have a heart for God. We did Bible studies together. We went to the pool and our families hung out together on the weekends. It was great!
To make a long, painful story short - this friendship did not last. I was left in a world of near isolation. My new baby was not doing well and I desperately needed a friend.
I was crushed.
But God is so good. He put is right in the middle of a small group at church, with a group of wonderful women, studying a fantastic book, "Peacemaking Women". One of the chapters in this book dealt with conflict and resolution. It talked about depression over broken relationships. That was ME! I had put up the walls around my heart to prevent someone from hurting me again. I was a Rock, I was an Island. This book taught me to pray for a friend. A friend that God would have for me.
I felt like an Israelite in the time they were looking for a King. They chose their first king, Saul. And we know how that turned out. Not so good. If you don't know this story, read 1 Samuel - it's a fantastic story!
God chose their second king - King David, a man after God's own heart.
God chose this second friendship for me. I have many friends, a few good friends and one GREAT friend! She is a gift from the Lord. She is not perfect - and she's the first to admit that - but she is a child of the King and on the same road of sanctification. We stumble together, but together we help each other back up.
Two are better than one,
Because they have a good reward for their labor.
For if they fall, one will lift up his companion.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls,
For he has no one to help him up.
I thank God each and every day for this friend. If you are lonely like I was, I encourage you to pray to God and ask Him to bring you a friend. He always has the best choice and He is faithul to His promises.
I am thankful for the pain of the broken relationships because it makes the joy of the godly friendships all that much sweeter.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4