I remember being an elementary schooler, just absolutely over the moon at the thought of going to middle school. I dreamt of friends who would decorate my first locker for my birthday and go shopping at the mall with me on the weekends.
Spoiler alert! I got to middle school and those friendships I pictured weren’t quite what I was expecting. Shocking, right? I found myself caught in drama about who was excluded from a sleepover and who liked someone else’s crush.
High Hopes for High School
Then it was finally time for high school. It was my chance to have those perfect, seen-only-in-movies friendships I wanted. I pictured the cliche high school friend group that my heart so deeply desired. I envisioned us going to prom together, cheering on the football team from the stands on Friday nights, and experiencing all of our biggest “firsts” together.
Big surprise again, it wasn’t all that and a bag of chips. Once again, I lost myself in group text gossip, fights about boys, and many, many tears. I remember looking around at everyone else who seemed so happy, feeling incredibly insecure in who I was and wondering if I was the only girl who felt let down by her friends.
Fresh Friends for the Freshman?
When I moved into my dream college, I thought the third time would be the charm. And I was right…kind of. I joined a sorority, got involved on campus, and started dating someone. I thought, “Wow, my life finally is going to be perfect!”
And yet, I still felt unsatisfied.
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I did some serious soul searching, asking the Father why I felt empty despite His overwhelming generosity to me. After hours of prayer, I realized that at my core is a deep restlessness surrounding my relationships with others. I harbored insecurities about my friendships, despite my seeking out and finding true, authentic, and virtuous friends.
Friendship with Christ
My idea of what friendship is supposed to be was clouded with past disappointments and impossible expectations that no person could ever meet. My soul yearns for that perfect relationship with someone who would never leave me out of their sleepover, never steal my crush, and never talk bad about me in a group text. I want a friend who will love me no matter what I say or do, who will never make me feel insecure, who will always answer when I call.
And I came to a conclusion: earthly relationships always hurt a little because that Someone is the Lord.
Don’t get me wrong, true friendships are beautiful gifts from the Father. He knows we desperately need them. He has been so generous with me in this way, especially since I’ve come to college.
However, He also knows, and I’ve come to learn, that even the most holy and authentic friendship will not satisfy every desire of our heart, and it isn’t supposed to. There isn’t a person on this earth who can do that, and it’s unfair of us to expect her to.
The Lord is the Maker of our hearts, and when He loved us into existence, He carefully placed every dream and passion onto those hearts. And here’s a secret: they are all fulfilled in Him alone. We may try to fulfill them in earthly pleasures or in material goods or like myself, in other people. But at the end of the day, we’re all just a little bit let down. When we seek the deep and unconditional love and acceptance we were made to receive from the Father in broken, earthly people alone, it just leads to heartbreak and disappointment.
Ordering Earthly Friendships Toward Jesus
The Lord has slowly and intentionally molded my heart to love my friends in a rightly-ordered way. My friends have shifted from being the people I thought should satisfy me, to being the people that run with me on my journey to the One who will satisfy me. He has shown me time and time again that my friends are beautiful, God-fearing women, and their role in my life is to point me to Him. Authentic friendships on earth are just a taste of the love and joy the Father has for us. A true friendship does not replace our need for the Lord, it deepens it.A true friendship does not replace our need for the Lord, it deepens it. #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Know this: the Lord knows your heart and its desires better than you ever could. He is faithful to all of His promises and He never ever leaves us wanting. Whether you have authentic, deep friendships with other women or friendships that leave you feeling drained and less-than, they all point to Him. He will show you again and again that it is He alone who will satisfy you.
And if you do have any discouraging friendships, know this too: He calls us to love others, even when they let us down. I pray that each of us would love those people we find it difficult to love, to emulate the love the Father has for each of us. Because ultimately, that’s what true friendship is. It will never be what the Father’s love is, but it’s a darn good way to lead us to it.
Who are some of your friends that point you toward Christ? Share the love with them today!Rooting Earthly Friendships in Christ #BISblog // Click To Tweet
Caroline Balmer is an Industrial Engineering major at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, GA. A lover of big, quiet Churches and car praise and worship sessions, she considers Diet Coke and college football the Father’s personal gifts to her. She can be found listening to true crime podcasts, Instagramming, or asking the Lord to help her love Him more and more.