Guest Blog by Mary Rooney Armand of Butterfly Living
As far as I know, there aren’t many classes or instruction manuals on how to find friends even though friendship is important and deeply satisfying.
But it is extremely worthwhile to work on understanding how to find good friends through times of change because healthy relationships are one of the most life-giving aspects of our lives.
As Laura looked around the room, she tried to find someone that looked and acted like her. She quickly found someone at the party who she could talk to, erased her loneliness and seemed to share her sense of humor. Laura exchanged info with her new friend and promised to be in touch.
After several weeks of spending time with her new friend, Laura realized it was not a friendship match. How many times does this happen to us…often!
She decided to change her approach on how to find friends since her pattern of jumping into new friendships was not working.
Laura decided to focus intentionally on finding meaningful and mutually beneficial friendships not just filling space with people she thought looked and acted like her.
Like my friend Laura, most of us are initially drawn to people that are similar to us or with whom we have an instant connection. There is nothing wrong with meeting new people and connecting, but it does not always lead to finding good friends.
When practicing how to find friends, asking questions and looking deeper is important because what we initially present to people is not the whole story.
We all experience shifts and pivots in life. Finding friends through times of change helps us adjust and brings joy when adapting to a new normal.
“There are “friends” who pretend to be friends, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 TLB
“To have a good friend is one of the highest delights of life; to be a good friend is one of the noblest and most difficult challenges. Friendship depends not upon fancy, imagination or sentiment, but upon character.” ~GT Hewitt
How to Find Friends That Help You Grow
If we simply want to learn how to find friends in order to fill a void in our lives, there are many people who may work in the short run but eventually cause great emptiness and loss.
Friends that help us grow and love us through changes in life are stronger when connected through a mutual faith in God.
Here are five suggestions on how to find friends that help you grow:
1. Take your time
2. Join groups or activities that you enjoy
3. Take initiative or the first step
4. Ask questions
5. Get advice from friends you’ve known
There are different types of friends we cross paths with. But whether a friend is around for a reason, season or lifetime, they can become a vital part of our story and help us grow.
“Whoever walks with wise people will be wise, but whoever associates with fools will suffer.” Proverbs 13:20 GW
How to Find Friends After a Move
Moving is a stressful activity. Moving within the same town is one thing, but moving to an entirely new town or state impacts us in greater ways.
When my husband and I moved to another state, it was very difficult. I missed my family and close friends. Some of my friends moved frequently and adjusted more seamlessly than I did.
But I firmly believe God has work for us to do wherever we live, and we must strive to “bloom where we are planted.”
Learning how to find friends after a move became my primary goal to combat my loneliness and sense of displacement. I also felt there was a purpose for this move and drawing closer to God would be a huge benefit of my struggle.
A church home was on the top of our list. We visited churches until we found a place we could grow spiritually, serve and find good friends.
I also joined a neighborhood group, served in different roles and got involved with our kids’ school. Finding friends after a move takes action on our part and a willingness to be secure in our identity so we can step over the awkwardness of being the new person.
We built relationships in our new town that we still value today.
“Oil and perfume make the heart glad; so does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart.” Proverbs 27:9 AMP
“Once again through my family changes I have found the best of friends through our church family. People walking beside me, growing in Christ while navigating change, decisions and loss.”~Mary Armand
How to Find Friends Through Family Changes
Besides, moving a family endures many other changes.
People get married or stay single, have children or don’t, experience loss, children grow up, and we take in older parents.
All of these events and choices impact our relationships. Friends we are close to in young adulthood may not transfer to the next stage of life as different choices are made.
Once again, through my family changes, I have found the best of friends through our church family. People walking beside me, growing in Christ while navigating change, decisions and loss.
The best way to find friends through family changes is to get involved with others who share similar experiences. That doesn’t mean everyone has to be in the exact stage or season as you are, but it is helpful to have someone who can relate to you.
“I do not wish to treat friendships daintily, but with roughest courage. When they are real, they are not glass threads or frostwork, but the solidest thing we know.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
How to Find Friends After Loss
When we are grieving, we are vulnerable and at our weakest. Learning how to find friends after loss is important, so we do not have unrealistic expectations or burden relationships with our sorrow.
Our first step when sorrow visits is to lean on God in our grief. That helps us process our grief and puts us in a better position to maintain friendships.
Jesus is in the business of hearing our cries of sadness and helping us find supernatural joy and a way out of grief.
Once we are on the road to healing, we can focus on how to find friends after loss.
“A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” Proverbs 17:17 TLB
How to Maintain Good Relationships with Friends
It is one thing to find friends and another thing to maintain good relationships with friends.
Maintaining good relationships takes work. There is no easy formula to enjoying the benefits of a deep connection with others.
We must prioritize our friends, listen, and be available even when it may be inconvenient. It is worth investing in finding good friends because your life will be enriched with joy, laughter, and support.
“However you choose to do it, keep in touch. For just as a rare jewel is most precious to the owner who understands its value, so is a treasured friend. Don’t let distance between you be anything other than miles.” ~Melody Carlson
“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let’s face it friends make life a lot more fun.” ~Charles Swindoll
Mary Rooney Armand is the creator and writer for the faith based blog ButterflyLiving.org. Mary has also written a Christian Book titled, “Identity, Understanding and Accepting Who I am in Christ” available on Amazon. Mary teaches retreats and small groups of women, directed Kids Hope USA, a mentoring program for children, worked in Marketing and Sales and has led mission trips to Honduras. Mary is a life coach and has a Bachelor degree in Marketing and an MBA. She and her wonderful husband Cory live in Louisiana with their 4 children and 2 dogs!
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