By Sarah Geringer
God's Brave Women - Sarah's Story
It takes courage to make new friends as an adult.
But real friends are essential, no matter what stage of life we are in. They are worth the risk. Here’s a story of how I had to be brave to make a new friend as an adult.
Last summer, I reached out through email to someone I've known for a while at a distance. I have admired her from afar, and hurriedly sent the Ask message before I lost my nerve. She replied within a few hours, with a big Yes. I was thrilled but nervous, just like in junior high, which was 25+ years ago. If you get jitters just by reading this far, I understand you.
We have a lot in common – we are women of faith, bookworms, poetry fans, and lovers of art and everything beautiful. Lots of potential to bond, I told myself, feeling hopeful. But on the drive there, I kept fighting off this pesky fear – “What if she doesn't show up?" My insecurities were rising to the surface, but I turned them over to God, again and again.
I got to the restaurant first and second-guessed myself over and over. Sitting in the bright natural light of the foyer, I was exposed. At last, delight sprang up as she walked through the restaurant door with a big smile. I felt honored when she asked me to pray before we ate.
Our lunch together was pure joy. Swapped stories. Encouragement for writing, back and forth. Hints at hurts. Trust growing tiny roots. Sure, we have differences. Pretty wide ones in some areas. But I’m not going to let those facts stop me now.
In my 40s, I'm willing to be stretched more than I was in my teens, 20s or even 30s. One of the beauties of middle life – you simply don't care as much about the little things anymore. And perhaps, you’re even hungrier for true friendship as you age.
"One of the beauties of middle life – you simply don't care as much about the little things anymore. And perhaps, you’re even hungrier for true friendship as you age."
I felt my heart leap when she said at the end, "Let's be sure to do this again sometime. Soon." I told her yes, because I need new friends. She said with a big smile, "Count me as one of your new ones!"
Since then, I’m happy to report we’ve enjoyed lunch a few times more, and I’m sure we’ll continue the meetups.
What can you take away from this story, Dear Reader? Here are some ideas to consider.
To find a friend as an adult, you first need to admit that you need one. There’s no shame in that. Jesus needed friends (Mt. 26:37-38), and so do we. Open your heart to the possibilities.
Second, pray. Ask, seek and knock. The Holy Spirit will show you where to look and where to be to find good friends. You may need to change your routines, your routes, your comfort zones. Pray for courage. God is willing to give it to you.
Third, be a good friend to get a good friend. No gossip, comparison, judgment or shame. More encouragement, affirmation, honesty, and vulnerability. Commit to listen while she’s talking rather than thinking of what you’ll say next. Be willing to connect like this before you reach out for connection.
Next, go first. Don’t wait for someone else to ask you to do something fun. Remember, loneliness is at epidemic levels in our culture. Chances are, the woman in which you see potential wants a friendship as much as you do.
"Remember, loneliness is at epidemic levels in our culture. Chances are, the woman in which you see potential wants a friendship as much as you do."
Then, be flexible. There are no guarantees that your efforts in friendship will be returned. Not right away, at least. Keep asking, seeking and knocking. Surrender your search to God. He will help you hold a new friendship lightly, giving the other woman freedom to make her choices.
Finally, thank God no matter what. If you find a new friend, you have found a gift. Treasure her and thank God for her. If you’re still seeking, thank Jesus for being the best Friend you could ever have.
I’m praying that God will give you a new friend. Soon.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story!
And by the way...
You are Brave!
No matter what you are facing, God has made you in His image, which means you are full of His strength and power. I would love to connect with you more and give you a FREE gift - the BRAVE WOMAN MANIFESTO: Five Things to Tell Yourself When Life Gets Hard. Click HERE to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you’ll receive the FREE Manifesto, as well as recent blog posts, updated resources and personal details delivered only to my lovely email tribe.
AS A BONUS… Subscribers will also be the first to receive news regarding the BRAVE WOMEN BIBLE STUDY coming out later this year and a sample chapter! *insert happy dance here* SIGN UP for more info on the study’s release and availability!
Sarah Geringer is a speaker, artist and author of Transforming Your Thought Life: Christian Meditation in Focus and three self-published books. She is currently writing a teen girl version of Transforming Your Thought Life, to be published in fall 2021.
She is on the devotional writing teams for Proverbs 31 Ministries, A Wife Like Me, Devotable, Hope-Full Living, Kingdom Edge Magazine and Woman 2 Woman Ministries.
When she’s not reading over 100 books per year, Sarah enjoys painting, baking, gardening and playing the flute. Her daily must-haves are hot tea, dark chocolate, and fresh flowers. She lives in southeast Missouri with her husband and three children.