What 3 rare traits make a good friend?

I credit three things for all the healing I’ve experienced in the past year:

  • God pursues me. He reached down through the fog and told me that my story mattered to Him. Without Him, I don’t know to what depths of misery I’d have sunk.
  • The Holy Spirit has given me a fresh hunger for God’s Word, especially concerning His character. The more I know Him, the more I can trust Him.
  • Faithful friends, old and new, continue to express their love and appreciation for me. Their affirmations hold me up on those days when I sink back into performance-driven living instead of authentic relationship with my Creator Abba.

Choosing our friends well makes a huge difference in our healing process, especially coming to terms with our self-worth. The voices we listen to either lift us up or drag us down. Sometimes the healing process means letting go of toxic relationships, and sometimes it means less time in shallow friendships and investing more in valuable relationships.

These friends have walked miles with me, both literally and figuratively.
These friends have walked miles with me, both literally and figuratively.

We need those friends who know us on a deep level, who have earned the right to speak into our lives by their unconditional love. I’m blessed to have a mentor who encourages me, cheers me on, and calls me out when necessary.

Patti, ever-ready cheerleader
Patti, ever-ready cheerleader

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These two are a beautiful example of a lifelong friendship that blesses other women.
These two are a beautiful example of a lifelong friendship that blesses other women.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Silly friends are a must! This one also happens to be spiritually mature, a deep thinker, and a courageous woman of God. But all that is wrapped in an audacious ball of fun.

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One of the best ways to form good friendships is to work toward a common goal. Living life together helps us achieve our God-given purpose and spurs us on as we follow Jesus.

Small group Christmas caroling
Small group Christmas caroling

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throughout my healing journey, I asked God for friends who would genuinely love me for me. God has brought many, sometimes from the most unexpected events.

E-room shenanigans. We're the reason nurses dread full moon nights.
E-room shenanigans. We’re the reason nurses dread full moon nights.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In fact, I’ve been blessed by so many new friends this year, I’m convinced that God answered my plea for friends so far above and beyond what I could imagine, just so that I could have even more evidence that He’s crazy about me. I know He has a purpose for each of them.

Victors in the ultimate game of trunk Tetris!
Victors in the ultimate game of trunk Tetris!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friends help us stay grounded in reality. Isolation leads to deception. Deception leads to wrong choices and unhealthy mindsets. From the beginning, when the serpent found Eve alone in the garden, the enemy has used isolation to steal, kill, and destroy our relationship with God. There’s nothing more comforting than to have a friend stand by you through the challenges.

This friend listened to my radio interview live and even had sympathy heart palpitations, knowing how nervous I was. Now that’s a good friend!
This friend listened to my radio interview live and even had sympathy heart palpitations, knowing how nervous I was. Now that’s a good friend!

Honest friends accept you for who you are but spur you on to become your best self. These two have been writing critique partners for a year and a half. Last weekend, I met them in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, the setting of my favorite  Ann Tatlock book, to have a writing retreat. Without their prayers and support, I don’t know if I’d even be writing today.

 

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Silliness is a virtue.
Don’t forget to be silly

 

 

 

 

 

Though I’d love to post photos of so many more friends, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my best friend. He’s the best lifelong partner I could ever hope to have.

Best friend who loves me even when I'm being a witch!
Best friend who loves me even when I’m being a witch!

 

Do your friends offer affirmation, encouragement, and exhortation when necessary? What other ways have you found to foster deeper friendships with those who do?

 

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10 comments

  1. Lynetta,
    Such truth! I am so thankful for the friendships that God is bringing you (and me!), especially those that allow us to be transparent and and encouraged. You are precious and you are a treasured friend to me. I am so thankful we met!

    1. Thank you, Michelle! I am so grateful we met too. I am certain it was one of those God-directed appointments. Thanks for your friendship and encouragement.

  2. That ER will never be the same! Our laughter raised my endorphines so my pain was less. Of course the pain meds helped after the xrays! You and Vonda are God’s examples of His loving words, arms, sacrifice and Presence. I love you!

    1. Jan, I feel the same way about you! And I still giggle when I think about the expression on that doctor’s face when you told her how you got hurt. You are a wonderful example of how to love others amidst great pain, and such an encourager. I love you too!

  3. Lyneta,
    What a journey that last year and a half has been as writing critique partners. I feel the same way – without you and Cindi, my stagnant writing would be sitting in a forgotten computer file. Thanks to the GGGs, I’ve braved new experiences and attempted things I never thought possible. Thank you for this post and for causing me to pause and thank the One whose grace-given friendship is beyond understanding. I remain forever humbled that He crossed our paths and knit our hearts together for His kingdom purposes. Love you much!

    1. Maresa, your beautiful writing is so inspiring. It would be a shame to have it sitting in a forgotten computer file instead of sharing it with the world. I’m glad you’re choosing to use your gifts to further the kingdom, and honored to be a part of it and support you in some small way. May God continue the knitting and giving of courage for the impossible. Love you too!

  4. Lyneta, Thank you for sharing with us so transparently. Your post is encouraging and refreshing. And I’ve a friend who needs to hear your words about isolation today. So I will be sharing them with another Mary. Nice to “meet” you. Perhaps we will run into each other at Mt. Hermon one day. Meanwhile, keep on. You’re making God smile.

    1. Dear Mary, thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad my post encouraged you and I appreciate you passing it on. I hope to meet you someday!

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