Brace yourselves, this is a long one.
For as long as I can remember I have been the type of person who got along with anyone and everyone, you could put me in a room full of strangers and I walked out of there as if I’ve know them forever. Thats how it was always, at church, school, stores and with family. Once married I quickly realized finding people to talk to was hard. For one, at 16 I didn’t know anyone my age to talk to about my thoughts and my life, I was serious and they were not. I had adult responsibilities, they did not. Two,I didn’t know anyone MY age who had wisdom to share with me ( who’s wise at 16 anyway?). Three, I did’t know any 16 year old’s who were pregnant and married. I had no fellowship. I felt I had no one to talk to about the weight on my heart from my sin. Instead almost everyone I knew left my side. All the people who laughed with me, who slept over, the people who I once shared memories with. All vanished in what seemed over a night. My mother was my only company, and I’m thankful.
My heart became insensitive with people, I closed my heart to any correction from adults. I closed my heart to ever fellowship with anyone. Everyone was a backstabber, everyone was “fake”.I didn’t care to hear anyone. Talk about foolishness. I strayed from God when he was just starting to working in me, I closed my heart to the only chance I ever had. .JESUS.
The saddest part wasn’t playing the victim at 16, It was staying in that role for YEARS. By the age of 20 I had managed to attend two churches and not talk to a single person and worked hard to keep it that way. I honestly went to church out of habit, not willingly wanting to change or for the love of God. Scary right?
You’re probably thinking to yourself “Ana, this is all too depressing get over it”, Enough sad stuff then. That same year 2011 there were so many changes in my life that led me to God’s feet once again. (reminds me of the Israelite’s, how annoying). This is when my husband came to Christ. My Life changed forever. Our life’s changed forever. I knew God was calling my husband to his throne and how foolish would I have been to be a tripping stone for him to experience something so glorious all because I had heart issues. As a wife we must know when to open our hearts and not make foolish decision, I would of torn my home with my own two hands and my husband would of not come to Christ. See there’s more to it then we think. Yikes!
Years later 2014.. Not to long ago. The time came for us to move and started looking around for churches I somehow became in contact with a woman I soon came to call one of my best friends. Funny story, I knew her in high school but didn’t want to hang around her because she made me feel ungodly. Truth is, she was walking in the truth and well I wasn’t. It was conviction and I rejected it instead of listening to God. Can you tell I’ve made many foolish mistakes? Yeah. Told you I’m not perfect. Anyways We started finally talking after 7 years, she was kind, she was genuine, she was gentle, she had this way of making me feel at peace when she spoke of God. Having her in my life made me think hard about the way I was being a “christian friend” to others. I didn’t really reach out to other woman, when I did I was left disappointed because to me fellowship was more than a hello. Growing up I witnessed my parents fellowship with people at church and I knew that what many people called fellowship was not.
Its helping each-other. Its praying together, over looking faults, being able to spend a day with the family enjoying their company. Make time, being able to take advise and rebuke to sharpen each-other. Its being able to call at midnight when you need prayer or a shoulder to cry on. It’s learning from eachother and getting to know our good and bad side. Not feeling like you have to change who God made you but still be open to change if it’s something Gods wanting you to do through a friends example or help.
- Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
- James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
- Ephesians 4:2-3 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
- Proverbs 27:5-6 Better is open rebuke Than love that is concealed. Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.
- 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
I prayed to God to help me be the woman he wanted me to be. My mothers always told me to let go of this hatred because it wasn’t me. Not who God made me to be. That a Godly woman didn’t have that heart. She would tell me stories from my childhood how I was gentle, I was kind, I was soft spoken and I loved people. I wanted God to restore my heart. Most importantly I wanted to LOVE God, have a personal relationship with him and fellowship. My heart had taken me to a place without recognition. I was ready to give it my all.
With Lindsey and Adam’s help (the woman I mentioned earlier) our family had a new home church. I am so thankful for my friend Lindsey, she took the time to bring us to this new church and little did she know the HUGE impact it would be in our life.
We joined a Life group (bible study group) near us and the old Ana was hitting me hard. I was so quick to judge the appearance of those there, when my heart was the ugliest thing in that room. I promised myself not to get to connected because after all, they won’t take friendship serious. No one does anymore so why bother. This came to my mind. Proverbs 28:13-14 Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity. From the moment our Life group leader opened her door I could see God in the way she was. Her smile, something I really didn’t do much of. For some reason if you don’t smile that makes you better right? Like do I get holy points for not smiling? No? Absolutely not! After all one of the fruits of the spirit is JOY! Thats the first thing I noticed about all these ladies. I got to meet another special woman who I love dearly, all the women were older, wiser an example with their talk, their clothing and had a gentleness to them that made my heart melt. I felt the holy spirit soothing my soul. I held back my tears. These ladies are women I needed in my life. I had found FELLOWSHIP. I looked forward to Thursday night. My family did too, what a gift to be excited to be surrounded by other Christians who uplift you, who hug you and pray for you when you need it. To be able to return that. I can’t begin to tell you how much my heart has changed. I came to know friendship in a whole different level. They would seek my company, I would seek theirs. It was all about God. It was such a privilege to be able to be in fellowship with such amazing true Godly women who can guide me and teach me apart from my mother. One day I hope I can help other women seek God and seek fellowship. My heart starts jumping just thinking of my Mother, Lindsey and all the wonderful women God put in my path. My husband has had the same experience and let me tell you that our marriage is better, we both seek the lord more than ever, we can see God’s hand in our life more, we surround ourselves with Godly men and women who love fellowship and my daughters are loved more by these people than some family. I am so grateful God is merciful and gave us this church family.
If your heart is hurting, if you feel alone, if you feel neglected. We have a father in heaven who will look to comfort you. 1 Peter 5:7 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” I firmly believe God answers our prayers and even the ones that sound silly to others. I want to share another little story.
My daughter Evelyn is very shy and was so nervous for her first day of school and we had just moved to this little town and I told my daughter that we should pray that the lord sends her a christian buddy. No joke, my heart jumps thinking about it. The following week my daughter had a huge smile and said “MOM, God is so fast!! I met a christian girl and she knows all her bible stories and we played all week!”. As she gave me a hug she saw the little girl and turns out we’re neighbors! Evelyn and Sadie gained a buddy and so did I when I met her mother.
The way I seek friendships is so different from when I had a hard heart. I let God show me where I was weak where I was wrong even when it hurt my pride. I choose wise friends, godly woman who chase after the Lord. I know it won’t be perfect but I know if it’s from God it’s worth fixing and fighting for. The devil HATES it when Christians get together. For that reason I will continue to fill my heart with God, with his word and happily serve my God given friendships. Pray that the Lord may soften your HEART to his calling if you need to step out and make Godly example friends and pray you have a strong mind to keep going even when you’re disappointed.