On our property in Australia there was no water so we had to drill a well.
A hole drilled deep into the water table so that we could pump water up into our tank. Without water, living on our property would be impossible.
The driller hit water at 27 meters. But my husband said drill deeper because he knew that there would be seasons when there was no rain and the water table would drop. We continued to dill until we reached 70 meters and then we positioned the pump at 50 meters. We have never run out of water in over 20 years.
We can have many friends but I have discovered that there are three drill deeper friendships that are essential for those seasons when there is no rain and life is at it’s most challenging. These are three wells that if we drill deep into our life, over a lifetime we will always have the water we need, when we need it.
This scripture reminds us that our friends will amplify our purpose or our frustrations.
The benefit of rubbing two iron blades together is that both edges become sharper, making the blades more efficient in their task to cut and slice. In the same way it is important to have some girlfriends that sharpen our edge with maturity and Godly wisdom, as opposed to passionate opinions.
A knife that has been sharpened slices through the hard stuff. When we intentionally seek out relationships that sharpen us, we give our lives and our eternal purpose the internal edge that it needs to cut though external challenges.
A knife that has been sharpened shines. It shines because all the dullness has been rubbed off its surface. The more we are refined, the more we shine and reflect the character of Christ.
A blunt knife is still a knife. It is just less effective and less useful. I don't know many women that want their life to characterised by ineffectiveness!
This is why I love building friendships with people that challenge me and see the world differently to me. They help me drill down into my courage, my character and my convictions, especially in the dry times.
When we let go of our pride and seek out people who will challenge us, they sharpen us for our eternal purpose.
A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.
We need friends that invite us to discover our true self not our popular self.
Here are some attitudes that will help you dig a deep and safe relational space. Attitudes that can open up the sort of authentic conversations that can change us.
Less judgment.More acceptance. We can accept without having to approve. It is important to have friends that are graced enough to honour our choice above other’s expectations. We may not always agree, but we can align ourselves with women that help us flesh out our difference with dignity and respect each others decisions.
Less same. More stretch. There is both struggle and strength found in the stretch. Too much same breeds stagnancy. In the same way that you will see my ugly face when I am stretching in the gym to lift a heavier weight, we need friends that are large enough to handle the ugly moments involved as we stretch into a new season, revelation or responsibility.
Less assumptions. More questions. We dig deep when we stop assuming and start asking questions. Even if they are hard or uncomfortable. Questions seek to understand others, assumptions seek to affirm self. I want friends whose heart is to understand what is going on in my world, not assume they already know.
When we authentically connect with another person a transaction occurs that leaves us changed.
One of the most rewarding experiences in my life was to intentionally mentor a group of young women over a ten-year period. They caused me to grow in my capacity to lead, to love and to lean into their lives no matter how messy or uncomfortable it felt at times.
They changed me.
My mantra, through all the relational twists and turns, is remain consistent. We all need friends that will consistently and unconditionally love us.
Regardless of how ugly.
We love because we were loved first. We give freely what was so freely given to us. I love that Jesus didn't leave us in the dark. He showed us how to nurture these sorts of friendships.
Doubts. Jesus cared enough to respond to Thomas’s doubts. There will be moments we have more questions than answers. I figure that if Jesus was OK with his friends doubts, so am I. I want to be a friend that is large enough and consistent enough to act as an anchor when friends are floundering in their faith.
Demands. Jesus cared enough to overlook the self-centred demands of who was greatest. Healthy boundaries create healthy friendships. Jesus always responded to eternal priority, not earthly expectations.
Disappointment. Jesus cared enough to remain constant in his love in the face of disappointed. Hands up if you have ever been disappointed by a someone you called a friend? Even when deeply betrayed, Jesus never lost sight of the potential in his friends. He always remained vitally connected to the promise that is their future.
We all need a space where we can speak our truth. And regardless how doubting, demanding or disappointing it presents and in that moment experience true acceptance and unconditional love.
I love that I have some brave friends in my world who care enough to hold that space for me and then be lovingly honest with me. This is a big ask because to do so can sometimes risk the relationship. We need friends who care that much.
A friend can tell you things you don't want to tell yourself.
Frances Ward Weller
Deep down everyone needs these relational wells in their lives. If we find all three in one person then we are incredibly fortunate. To nurture these friendships will require an investment. It will cost us.
Sometimes when we least feel like it. There will be disappointments along the way, but dig anyway, because in the process of nurturing these relationships we may just discover that we have become what we are looking for—deep spirited, relational-wells for others.
Friendship without self-interest is one of the rare and beautiful things of life.
James F. Byrnes
I hope that these words encourage you to dig deeper and nurture deep spirited friendships. I would love to hear your feedback so please comment below or like or share using the social media buttons. Add your voice to the conversation.
Don't leave empty handed.
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