The Most Important Thing You Can Give Your Friends


I’ve never been one to have a lot of friends. The ones I do have, I am very close to. Something happened in college where I lost both of my childhood friends at once. It was a deep and lasting blow to my heart. It happened right before one of them was married. I had a bridesmaid dress. It sat in my closet as the wedding day came and went. I attended the other friend’s wedding a few months later, not as bridesmaid (as I thought I would). Just as a guest. It hurt. A lot. I went home and cried. A lot.

Looking back, I realize a lot of it was immaturity. Some of it was sin. Another part was just life. Life happens. Friends drift apart. Mine were torn apart, but I know we would have drifted eventually. We were on different paths. Today, one of those friendships has not been mended. Another one has been able to be reconciled.  The power of forgiveness is amazing. But that’s a whole different topic.

At first this experience caused me to draw into myself. I closed my heart.  I held everyone to an arm’s length. When a certain acquaintance wanted to be closer friends, I hesitated. My heart just couldn’t shake the feelings of hurt. The feelings lingered from the broken friendships. As time passed, I realized it is a lonely tower to have no one close to you. You may be cut off from hurt, but you are also cut off from love.

Because friendship is tough for me, I have to be intentional.  I’ve never been good at sharing my heart. But I’m getting better.  It has come slowly, and I’m not always perfect. It takes practice. I’ve gotten hurt. Rejected. But I’ve learned that friendship is about giving, not getting. It is my desire to share my heart with others. To share my struggles. To ask for prayer. Share things that might make me tear up. The hard. And the good. Sharing the victories as well is so refreshing.  I love to rejoice with my friends! I can give my time, energy, and acceptance because God is my source of joy and love. Looking for friendships to fill that void has only left me frustrated. And my friends probably feel the same.

Do I still get hurt? Yes. I started cultivating a certain friendship this time last year. I shared a lot of my adoption journey with her. I told her my feelings – the ones I didn’t post online. I felt myself opening up to her. I asked her to pray. She did. She encouraged me. A lot. I expected in time for her to do the same. I thought she might start sharing her own struggles. Or blessings. She didn’t. She hasn’t. Everything she shares is on the surface level. But that’s ok.  My friendship with her is not based on a mutual sharing. I don’t need her to share her heart with me.

My broken friendships from college taught me that. Friendships are not always two-way streets. In fact, rarely have I found a friendship to always be mutual in giving. Most of the time friends do not give equally. But that’s the beauty of community. That’s what makes friendships a treasure. I can only keep offering my own heart. I cannot force them to share theirs. And that’s ok.

I can keep sharing, because my God is my refuge. I no longer live in a tower, shut off from others. I live in a garden. With an open door. Recently, I began to share my heart with a few people. I’ve opened up. Shared private and protected things. You may ask: “Why do you trust them?” Its not that I trust them, I trust my God. I trust my heart and its protection to God.

Friendships that run deep and last through the years share these qualities:

  1. Acceptance. We all want to be accepted. When we make mistakes or look our worst, we want acceptance. When we can’t offer anything in return, and those friends who keep accepting us are so valuable. Friendships who endure are the ones who accept each other.
  2. Better Us. We all have those sweet friendships where we always come away from a conversation a better person. We are motivated to keep on fighting the good fight. They inspire us to do better. Be better.
  3. Point to Christ. A true friend will keep us connected to Christ. She will help us realize friendship should always come after our relationship with God. They encourage Bible reading. Prayer. They are a reflection of Christ.

I want to encourage you this Valentine’s season, don’t forget your friends! True friendship are hard to find, but oh so worth it. Keep sharing your heart. Don’t expect the same. Its ok if she never does. Its ok to be used. Actaully, that’s what friendships are for. You will not always be in a season of giving, but when you are able: GIVE. The best thing you can do for your friends is to: GIVE. Give your time. Give your resources. Give your thoughts. Prayers. Most importantly, give them your heart. Show them you care. Leave the hurt up to God. He will watch over you. He will hold you.

The most important thing you can give your friends is your heart

I’m linking up here.

To all of my friends, during this month of “love,” I wanted to let you know how much I love you. February isn’t all about Valentine’s Day. We need to remember “Galetine’s Day” as well! To celebrate, I’ll be featuring some friendship posts every Monday in February.


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  1. There are quite a few friends from my life I’m not close with any more. Some of it is distance. Some of it is drifting and different life paths. They still hold special places in my heart and I’d reconnect with any of them fairly easily. All of my dear friends have my heart and will remain in it, even if we don’t talk anymore and even if we never do again. 🙂

  2. I love this! I had something similar happen with my childhood friends, but that friendship was mostly severed in high school. It hurt and a lot of my insecurities came from it. However, I love your thoughts on friendship and what to really do for your friends.

    1. I’m sorry it happened to you as well. But it really does help change your perspective. Its taken me time to get here, but God gets the credit! He is in the business of changing hearts (especially mine!)
      -Thanks for stopping by today.

  3. I really enjoyed your post. It hit close to home! You are so right when you say, “it is ok to be used!” I understand exactly what you are saying. God Bless! Visiting today from intentional Tuesday Link Up!

  4. This really speaks to me, and your honesty opens up my heart..I had a ‘best friend’ who basically broke off our friendship with little explanation or a chance to talk things through..through years of tears and heart ache, I let go..what I learned was what you say, “God is my source of joy and love. Looking for friendships to fill that void has only left me frustrated. ” She had her own reasons and always had a hard time confronting hard feelings or dealing with things..I pray for her often. Visiting today from #testimonytuesday, I really feel warmed by this..relate to so much of it!

  5. Wow, this is such a God thing. I too have struggled with friendships. As you’ve said, it’s one thing to meet people, but quite another to share your heart and hope they share theirs. I was recently hopeful to begin a new friendship with a mother of my daughter’s skating buddy, when I opened up about something in my past, and wham-o, she suddenly was “sooo busy” to make plans. It really stung. But like you, I have to trust God’s reasoning and timing. Sometimes we just have to put ourselves out there and trust Him to bring the right people into our lives at the right times, even if that means our close friendship list is lacking for a little while. This is a beautiful post and I am glad I ran into you via the #RaRalinkup group today! PS – I’m an adoptive mother too. {{hugs}}

  6. Sarah,
    This was a beautiful post. Friendships can cause deep wounds. I am so thankful you have let Jesus in and are continually working to open your heart to who He may place in your life as a friend!
    Blessings and smiles,

  7. I loved reading this post and applying it to how I am now in my friendships as I know I am not being intentional and let fear step in the way or past hurts keep me from diving into new friendships. Thanks for sharing truth on how friendships should be.
    Thank you for linking up to “Bloggers Who Have Inspired Me”
    Rachel xo

  8. I was just sharing with a client of mine about how my BFF and I had a falling out and it was nearly 20 years later that we reconnected. For all those years without the other half of my heart, I was on antidepressants. When we finally started to talk and our relationship healed, I found my joy again. We don’t need friends, we need a friend. But you’re so right that it’s about giving of ourselves. Thank you for sharing your post at the Over the Moon Link Party. See you at OTM #11!

  9. Great post! Love your thoughts on friendships that last (so true!) and that friendship is about giving not getting. Thank you for sharing!

  10. I have several close friends right now, but I’ve also grown away from close friends I had in previous years. I treasure my friends and I try to let them know it often. We text, we talk on the phone and we see each other often. I love coffee dates with a special friend, while another is so thoughtful and surprises me with little gifts often. I am so blessed and thankful for the friends in my life. Great post!

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