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  • Writer's pictureVickie Turley

The Importance of Friendships

What a God wink I had last Wednesday. I woke up thinking about the importance of friends. I was checking posts from my Facebook groups and in our writers group, it was Word Wednesday. You are presented with a word and asked to create something using that word. The word was "retinue (cool word!)." There are a lot of definitions in different dictionaries, but the ones I liked best - for this post - are these:

The Brittanica dictionary says: "a group of helpers, supporters, or followers."

The Collins dictionary says: "An important person's retinue is the group of servants, friends, or assistants who go with them and take care of their needs."

I love these two definitions because they talk about people who support and help you, people who go with you and take care of your needs. I didn't always have this and I've never understood why close friends were never a part of my history. But this weekend, I had an epiphany (another cool word!).

For much of my life, I considered myself a loner. Although I've always had lots of acquaintances, I can't say I had many true friends. They would come and go - and we rarely stayed in touch. Here's what I realized over this past weekend:

  • First, I realized that I was taught from early on to marginalize and diminish females. In the culture and the surroundings in which I grew, men were the bread-winners and they ruled the roost. Women were for making babies, cleaning the house, cooking the food, and mostly being silent. I saw this over and over, in my family and extended family. So doesn't it make sense I wouldn't have a lot of female friends? I wasn't worth the trouble to be "friended."

  • Second, I realized that in order to have meaningful relationships, you have to spend time and energy being a friend to others. That means putting yourself out there - getting outside your comfort zone - calling, writing or texting - finding out what's important to them and what's happening in their lives. It is a form of serving them and being served. Since I didn't truly feel empowered as a woman, I didn't know how to stretch myself and serve; I lived in fear of rejection. I sat back and waited for others to come to me! How sad that I missed so many opportunities!

But we have hope! In the past five years, I've learned that serving is a big part of our commission from God. He wants us to put ourselves out there, to be available, to help others. So I've tried to do and be a friend and the results have been amazing! I have such beautiful, wonderful friends. We don't talk every day, we don't see each other every day; but I know without a doubt that should I reach out to any of them, they would be ready to help me immediately! I pray they know the same about me.

So decide today to be a friend! Ask God to put a name on your mind, then reach out to them. Next Sunday, maybe you can sit in a different spot in Sunday School or church and speak to someone you don't know. What about just texting someone to let them know the impact they've made on your life, just from watching and being around them. Or you could make a post on Facebook and let others know you'd love to pray for them today. Start to develop intimate relationships with others, just as God desires with you!

Exodus 33:11a (NIV) says:

"The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend."

Wow, if God could speak to Moses as a friend - and that's the relationship He wants with us, how can we not be a friend to others! It is going to take intention, it's going to take time, it's going to take energy, but trust me, what you will get in return is enormous! Not only will you be a retinue for these ladies, but you will deepen your relationship with God, and you will help your relationship with yourself! I can see now that my upbringing had it all wrong. Women are worthy, women are to be cherished and loved, women are loved by God and Jesus, and I am happy I can claim today that I am a Woman and a Friend!

I wanted to share a picture of a friend who I've known for almost 20 years, but only met face-to-face two months ago. She was in my life, then out of my life, now back in. I am so happy to call her my friend. I pray she feels as encouraged having me in her life as I do having her in mine.

Until next time! Vickie

We finally meet face to face - what friends
20 year friend

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