rebelling against low expectations

Friendship Is Painful, Messy, and Totally Worth It


I make a lot of mistakes when it comes to friendship.

In fact, there are times when I am ready to give up on it all together. I get hurt. I hurt others. Friendships are a mess. Friendships are hard; it takes intentionality. It isn’t just about being friends with someone on Facebook, it is about really getting to know someone; it is about love and forgiveness, patience and perseverance, communication and a listening ear.

Friendship comes with a cost. Friendship will hurt, but it’s worth it.

I am sometimes afraid to really commit to be someone’s friend, because I know I might hurt that person myself or they might hurt me. It’s happened before and I don’t want it to happen again.

At times I want to build a wall around myself and protect myself from hurt and pain, mistakes and failures. Yet that is not what Christ did to me. Jesus loved me when I was still His enemy. He stands by me when I forsake Him. I am never completely loyal, yet He is always loyal and I have done nothing to deserve it. I have hurt Him over and over again, yet He forgives me each time, picks me back up, and loves me just the same.

Christ is my friend no matter what I do, so can I not be willing to love another, to be a friend to another, just as Christ has loved me? Christ has poured out His love on me in abundance so that I can pour it out on to others.

And that is why I am willing to jump into the stormy waters of friendship.

The quickest way to hurt someone or to be hurt by someone is to not communicate when you have a misunderstanding. And that is the hardest thing for me. I don’t communicate. I get hurt, because I misunderstand and then I never talk to the person that hurt me.

Yet in the end, not communicating will always hurt both you and the other person. Waiting to communicate harvests bitterness and bitterness only hurts both yourself and the other, but communication reaps repentance and forgiveness.

Don’t assume your friend meant to hurt you and never talk again, but go and talk to the friend and tell how you have been hurt. More than likely it was all a misunderstanding and a true friend will always love, repent, and forgive.

Friendships hurt because we can make mistakes and misunderstand, but learn to communicate, to love, and to forgive just as Christ has loved and forgiven you.

Friendships can’t grow without intentionality. If you aren’t intentional in getting to know someone, you never will know them. If you are not willing to get into their messy life; to love them just the way they are; to bear each other’s burdens; than you will never really know that person.

Friendships hurt because it means intentionally throwing yourself into someone else’s messy life. It hurts to watch someone else hurt, yet it’s worth it. Friendships are hard work. It’s not easy to love unconditionally, yet it’s worth it.

Christ loved me first, so that I can love others, and loving others like Christ loves me is worth it.

It comes with a cost; it is hard and painful. We are human and will make mistakes, but it is worth it to love like Christ loves and to join hands with one another in friendship and in love.

What lessons have you learned about friendship?

Share Your Thoughts in the Comment Section!

There are currently 8 Comment(s)

Photo courtesy of Armando G Alonso and Flickr Creative Commons.


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About the author

Hannah Foster

Hannah Foster is a graduate of Bethlehem College and Seminary with a bachelor’s degree in History of Ideas. She loves a well written book, two favorite authors being Jane Austin and L. M. Montgomery. She also enjoys writing, desiring that her words bring comfort and hope to those who have experienced deep suffering through the loss of a loved one. You can also find her crocheting, creating art, and watching western shows while spending time with her husband.


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  • Loved this post! Friendship can hurt. It can be a mess. But through trying to figure it out, you can more fully understand what it means that Christ is always there for you. Through navigating friendships you can also learn how to more fully accept Christ into your life.
    Friendships take communication. Well, so does a good relationship with Christ. Prayer is a key component to building your faith. This is just one among many lessons you can learn.
    Besides, friends can help support you in rough times. They can help you turn to God when your faith is wavering. They can help brighten a day that is full of temptation, and strife. They can help you see things in a different light.
    The pro’s far outweigh the con’s. Well voiced!

  • Great article, Hannah! Thanks for writing! =)

    And hey @brooklynmm:disqus looking at the pic for this article it looks like you’re not the only girl with a mustache! ;-P

  • Friendship is painful. I recently went through a situation where my 2 best friends left me because our parents didn’t agree and it was a mess. I still wanted to be friends but it was awful. So right now I have a few not so close friends and not really anyone close. We only have 3 teens in the church and I’m the only girl in the mix and the one guy doesn’t like me and the other guy I have mixed feelings about. Like I think we are friends but I’m not sure if he is like lying to me and saying the same things to everyone else. Idk how I feel about that friendship even though we say we are best friends. Not sure if he just jokes or what. But anyways ive been praying for good friends and I hope they are on there way! In Gods timing!

    • @lainirussell:disqus, that sounds like a really tough and painful situation you are in. It is hard to lose a friend over a disagreement between parents that you or your friend were not even involved in.
      I don’t know if this would be an option or not, but growing up, a lot of my friends were girls who were several years older than I or else a lot younger and some of my close friends are moms even though I am not any where near that stage of life. Maybe there is a younger girl in your church who really needs a friend and mentor in her life and maybe you could be that friend. Or maybe you know an older girl in your church who you really look up to. Don’t be afraid to make friends with those a lot older than you. They have so much wisdom to pass on and you can learn so much from them. Just a thought. 😉
      I will be praying, however, that God does bless you with a close friend. But don’t be surprised if that friend is not exactly who you had imagined. Some times God’s idea are really different than our own, but I can assure you that he knows what he is doing and always wants the best for his children. 🙂

      • Also I have been pe pals with this one girl over he course of about 4 yrs. well just recently we started texting and realizing how similar we are and now we are like twins. I would love to meet but she lives nearly 10 states away. But I’m sooo Glad God brought her into my life!

        • That is wonderful! Penpals are the best, aren’t they!? I have several penpals, some of whom I haven’t seen in ages. 🙂 I am hoping that one day we will be able to meet up again sometime.

          • Yes! You can write your heart to them and take awesome! I really hope I get to meet her some day. Lol I just realized her name is also Hannah.

  • Great post! I haven’t really had much experience with friendship because my family moved a lot. recently though I’ve finally lived in one place to have my friend shove a piece of cake with whipped topping in my face (we were messing around haha)

    • Thanks, Cece!
      Haha! I have dreamed of being able to shove whipped cream in someone’s face, but I haven’t done it yet. 😉 Sounds like you have a great friend there!
      I don’t know if you like writing letters or not, but some of my best friends are girls that moved far away when I was younger, but we maintained a friendship through snailmail. 😉 I know that sounds a little old fashioned, but if you know some girls from different places you have lived than maybe you could stay in touch with them through letters or email or even talking on the phone occasionally. Friends do not only have to be the people who live near by. 😉

      • Yeah I used to use facebook to talk to people I know but I decided to no longer use my Facebook because it can be time-consuming. I usually text or email now instead of snailmail.

        • Yeah, those are great ways to stay in touch with friends. Technology is a wonderful gift when used well, such as to build friendships. 😉

    • Haha! Okay, if I meet you I’ll shove a piece of cake with whipped topping in your face! I’ve always wanted to do that

  • I’m glad you posted this, because I have several questions about friendship and I never had any idea how to ask or who to ask about them.

    I’m super introverted and I’ve been super shy all my life, to the point where I couldn’t speak to a person ~ stranger or someone I knew ~ at all. I simply could not open my mouth. I couldn’t even talk to classmates or teachers until I’d gone to class with them every weekday for more than one school year (luckily I went to a small private school and I had the same classmates for several years). Then I was homeschooled in high school and I had practically zero human interaction outside my family for four years besides church (though I never spoke to anyone at church ~ I left as soon as the sermon was over). Finally, in 2013 I went to my church’s youth group’s winter retreat, and I started going to youth group regularly. Now it’s slightly easier to talk to people ~ I can answer if I’m directly asked a question, but it’s a short answer ~ but I still can’t start a conversation or ask a question or even walk over to someone with the intention of speaking. It’s weird though because I don’t feel afraid of doing it, I just can’t seem to.

    So here are my questions (and I’m sure I’ll remember a few more after I post this): How do you start a conversation? How do you join one? How do you make your brain keep working when someone approaches you? Why do people ask “How are you?” (it just seems like a dumb question to me)? After you say “Hello” and “How are you,” where do you go from there? How do you find common interests? How do you actually make a friend? Like, you can talk to someone, but there’s obviously more to being a friend than that, so how do you get past the point of acquaintanceship and into friendship? How do you approach someone? How do you get them to do something with you (because I know that making memories is a HUGE part of building friendships) without sounding creepy and stalkerish? If you feel like you’ve already creeped someone out, how do you get past that and still manage to create a friendship with them? At what point can you officially call yourselves friends? And how do you know that person is worth the effort of making friends?

    Okay, so that might be a little more than a few questions. But I am totally mystified when it comes to people, so I would really appreciate any knowledge any of you could give me. Thanks!

    • Wow. That’s a predicament. I can’t say as I’ve ever been introverted, but I used to be pretty shy. I would like to offer you advice but I’ve been in the public eye my whole life and I’ve had to initiate and engage in conversations with many people on many different levels. First of all I want to say that being the shy, quiet type isn’t a bad thing. A lot of quiet people have something that so many outgoing people lack and that is the ability to listen -really listen- to others. I can do both but I confess that sometimes I’m too busy trying to think of what I’ll say next to really be listening to someone. But I would say one of the most important qualities to look for in a friend is for them to be a good listener. As for engaging in conversations, sometimes people think it would be weird or awkward to go up to someone they don’t know and initiate a conversation. In some situations it might be, but for me, I really admire the people who are bold enough to initiate conversations with me. Believe it or not, most people don’t. I guess they think I’m unapproachable or above them somehow because of what I do (which is totally not true) but despite my best attempts to have the appearance of being approachable to people, I usually do have to initiate conversations. I’ve learned over the years you have to be able to read a person sometimes in order to know how best to reach them on their level. Usually I will swap pleasantries, introduce myself, then try and find common ground. A conversation with me would be different though simply because of what I do and the fact that I ask way different questions then you would probably ask a stranger. =p I won’t go into all that. But the thing to remember is that they’re people just like you. A lot of them probably feel awkward initiating conversation with strangers as well (unless first introduced by a mutual acquaintance). I’ve learned it’s best to be yourself and if they think you’re weird for walking up and talking to them, that’s their problem. Their loss for depriving themselves of your company. =p People who don’t like you for who you are aren’t worth having as friends anyway. The best thing to do though is pray. God will give you the words to say and lead you to the right friends. So trust Him. I know it’s difficult to talk to people sometimes, but it’s a leap of faith, just like anything else in life. And you have to overcome that fear to move on to the blessings God has in store for you when you take that leap of faith. And if you just be yourself, concentrate more on drawing closer to God and being like Jesus than gaining approval from peers, that will draw other people to you. They will see in you the best qualities for a friend. Seek out the company of those who will build you up, sharpen you, encourage you. Be that kind of friend to others as well. Someone they can trust and confide in. Seek God in everything. Making friends isn’t easy sometimes, but it’s always worth the effort. You get out what you put in, so keep your eyes on Jesus and give it your all. Hope this helps.

      • Thank you for trying to help! I have been praying for the past two years about this, and I just haven’t seen God’s answer yet. Since you seem to have so much good advice, maybe you can help me with something more specific. There is one person in particular that I keep thinking about (and praying almost daily for because of it!), and we’ve talked quite a bit over Facebook messages and such, but in person I can never seem to approach. There are a lot of qualities in this person that I feel like other people don’t recognize (I am one of those people you mentioned who’s good at listening–a bonus for being quiet I guess!), and I prize this person’s company every time I find myself in it. But it seems that in the past two years since we met, whatever mild acquaintanceship we had has been fading, which I didn’t think was even possible because we weren’t that close to begin with, and I’m really just afraid to lose them because they mean a great deal to me. Last month I wrote a letter telling them the things I appreciated about them and put it somewhere this person was guaranteed to find it, but nothing has changed since then. This person is the only person that is really easy for me to read because we have similar body language, and I’ve noticed for quite awhile now (since before I gave them the letter) that they seem uncomfortable around me, especially when it’s just the two of us, though that hardly ever happens. I know of several common interests that we share. Do you have any suggestions as to how I can get closer to this person and maybe figure out why they’re so uneasy around me?

        Also, it seems that since I’ve been struggling so hard with my inability to talk, everyone around me has accepted that I’m just shy and they don’t even attempt to talk to me, which is not really what I want because introverts need friends too (even if they try to convince you otherwise!). So it seems to be all up to me to break out of this annoying shyness by myself, which is basically the hardest thing I can imagine doing. (Yes, I’ve told God that too! He’s all up to date on my social issues. :P) Do you have any further advice for me on this? I’ve thought a lot about it and I think working side-by-side with someone or a small group of maybe three or four would be the easiest way to start, but I can’t ever find situations like that.

        Thank you again for your advice!

        • Hmm…well I’m a little rusty in the field of advice giving pertaining to specific situations. I’ll do my best though. Truth is, I like people like you. If I were with you in person right now, trust me, I could get you talking and probably comfortable talking about things from a varying range of subjects. I’ve done it multiple times. That being said though, not everyone knows how to interact with people who are different than them. For instance, sometimes I’m uncomfortable striking up conversations with certain people who are (for lack of a better word) off. You know, autistic and such. And I hate that I’m uncomfortable with that, but we all have our limitations. That being said, the main reason certain people are hesitant to approach you or ill at ease in your company may just be because you are different than they are and they aren’t sure how to connect with you. So then both parties involved would find themselves in the same dilemma. That’s a helpful thing for you to keep in mind. I too took my inability to communicate properly with people who had disabilities to God and although I can’t say as the discomfort is completely gone, it has diminished significantly and I am able to communicate with them with only some trepidation. My point is, God may not always take away the things you feel are hindering you. Sometimes I get frustrated when I don’t see all my problems being resolved in the way I want it to happen, but God works different than I do, and He knows that those limitations in my life are there for my own good. Working through those problems rather than wishing them away is what makes you into the person God wants you to be. So I commend you for making an effort to work through them.

          Since I don’t know anything about this person in your scenario, my advice may not be the best you’ll ever get. =) First, please continue to pray about it. God can work things out way better than any of us. Also, communication is key. I’m not for sure on the specifics of your relationship with this person, so I can’t really offer solid advice. Of course, when people feel like they’re losing someone they care about they generally become obsessed, clingy and somewhat stalkerish. Do not do this. You will creep whoever this person is out. =p You just have to continue to make an effort to talk to them, spend time with them. Let them know you care about them and you are someone they can trust. Like I said, being a listener is a really good thing, but you have to talk every once in a while. One-sides conversations get old. Lol. 😉 But again, put your relationship with God above all else. Just as you see qualities you want in a friend in this person, live your faith out in a way that others will see those qualities in you. And I can’t stress enough the need to rely wholly on God. Talk to Him. Trust Him. He understands. I’m going to make a bold statement here that I believe is completely true:

          Prayer is the single most powerful tool placed in the hands of any human.

          Prayer changes things. God will give you what you need, and even some things that you want, and if you seek Him with your whole heart, all these things will be added unto you. He will give you the desires of your heart. And I want you to know that I’m praying for you as well. I really do mean that.

    • Arggg I really wish I could help, bro! (sis? lol) But this has all come naturally to me, so I really don’t know what I do lol…but I seriously wish I could help!!!!! Sorry…

    • Wow, those are actually good questions, I’m homeschooled and introverted too, I hate going to subway because you have to tell them what you want. Once I totally freaked out because my mom asked me to go into a restaurant that we had already gotten food from and ask for salt. Thanks for asking those questions, the answers can help others too!

      • Lol, I’m like that sometimes. =p My brother Caleb hated going to the counter and asking for ketchup or whatever at fast food restaurants. I still don’t think he’s completely over that fear…haha. Comforting, right? 😉

        • Hahaha, I don’t think I’m quite as bad as that. Asking for ketchup or salt is easy ~ all you have to do is put yourself in the highest state of apathy, like you care about nothing in the world, convince yourself that feeling fear or anything else in that moment is not even worth the effort, and just say, “Yo, can I get some ketchup?” (Maybe that’s not such good advice, but it works for me lolol) It’s just conversations that I have trouble with. But yeah, totally comforting. 😛

    • Hi @mateideyr:disqus, thanks for commenting with all of your questions. They are really good questions, many of which I have asked myself. Growing up, I was a super shy girl and even now I still can be shy with strangers. I have never been very good with starting a conversation and keeping it going. I am always nervous about meeting someone new at church and don’t really know the best way to do it either. I freaked out and got sick to my stomach before I did a 5 minute presentation in front of only half of my class (like 12 people) last semester. I think I understand a lot of what you may be experiencing, but I have grown a whole lot since being 12 years old and hardly being able to say a word to strangers and I know that I am still growing in the ability to communicate and be friends with others. So I will try to share with you a couple things that have maybe helped me and hopefully something that I say may be helpful for you, as well.
      Something my mom has taught me is to ask questions that have a “tennis ball” affect. That means, you throw that person a question that makes them come back with a response or question that causes you to have to respond in turn back to their response and so on. I don’t have specific examples at the moment, but maybe that idea can help you in trying to keep a conversation going.
      Second, try to be self-forgetful. Don’t think about yourself, but about the person you are talking to. It is really hard to do. I struggle with this all the time, but it is really important. When you are talking to someone, your mind should be focused on them and how you can reach out and love the other person rather than on yourself or what the other person might think about you.
      It is ok to be the “awkward” person. Let me try to explain and hopefully this will make sense. So honestly I try to never view any situation I am in as an “awkward” situation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people would classify me as a really awkward person, yet the truth is I don’t really care. So sometimes this may mean I will walk up to someone randomly and just introduce myself to them and I have no good way to do it. I just plain and simple have to walk up and say, “Hi, my name is Hannah! What’s yours?” From there I move on to other random and probably really strange questions or else moments of silence when neither of us know what to say and it may just get to a point where you have to move on, but it could be that person is able to start talking just because you were willing to notice them and walk up and say hi. Honestly I think that can mean the world to some people. Also don’t be afraid of moments of silence. It is ok to have a few moments of silence with a friend. Of course, after a certain point your gonna have to say something, but I think often times people are just afraid of any kind of break or silence in a conversation and that really does not have to be awkward. Things really are only awkward if we decide to make it awkward. Hopefully that makes sense.
      Find out the hobbies of the person you are talking to. That often can give you a good idea of fun things you can do with that person. Maybe both of you like to bake or cook than you could get together and bake something. Or maybe your both are outdoors people, than you could consider going on a hike or a bike ride. There are so many fun things to do with friends, you just have to find out what the other person likes to do and I am sure that ya’ll could find at least one thing in common. Hobbies are a great way to get a conversation going too. Other topics of conversation could be sharing each others testimony with one another, sharing favorite scripture passages, sharing favorite book titles, etc. 😉
      Not every acquaintance is going to blossom into a friendship, but it never hurts to meet new people and you never know how much that can bless someone else for you to just talk to them once, even if it does not turn into anything. Furthermore, how are you going to know if they are worth pursuing as a friend if you don’t take the first few steps of getting to know them yourself? It is easy to want wait for someone else to come up to you and start a conversation first, but more than likely they are thinking the same thing about you. Don’t expect the other person to make the first step, but make the first step yourself.
      Well, I have said a lot, but hopefully something I have said will help you. @Abbyallen1:disqus also had some really good things to say. Keep persevering and keep trying. I think you’re taking the right steps forward. 😉

      • Oddly enough, making a presentation is not nearly as frightening to me as having a conversation, probably because making a presentation is less personal. I know that I’m supposed to ask questions that have the “tennis ball” effect, but I just don’t know what questions those are.

        I don’t know if I’m the one that’s being awkward, but I can usually sense if the conversation is awkward. Silence for me is never awkward. And I like how you brought this up because my small group’s motto is “It’s only awkward if you make it awkward.” (Well, we haven’t officially made it our motto, but it might as well be lol.) And I’m aware of how much it can mean just to be noticed, because I’m ignored a lot, so I try to look for people who are on the outside, but the problem is that everyone in my youth group besides me is really close with most of the others because a lot of them grew up together, so they’re not left out very often. I’m usually the only one standing alone, and I’m the only one that has obvious trouble speaking to people.

        So, would it be really weird if I walked up to someone and said, “Hi, I don’t know what I’m doing but we’re going to try to have a conversation and see how it goes.”? Because I’ve seriously considered that haha. Thank you for your advice!

        • I have a feeling you are not as bad with talking to people as you think or make yourself sound. 😉
          I think you could totally try starting off a conversation like that with someone. Sometimes being completely honest and starting a conversation like that can put the other person at ease. I think you should try! 😉 and tell me how it goes.
          Yeah, I have a hard time thinking of good “tennis ball” questions to ask to. I think the biggest think you can do is keep asking God for help. Keep trying! Don’t give up because with practice and experience you will definitely get better and more comfortable. Also if you know any one who is a good conversationalist, listen to them and think about the kind of questions they ask. Or think about questions that people have asked you in the passed that you really appreciated them asking. Little things like that can help too. 😉

        • Dude! I would love it if someone came up to me and said that! Maybe I’m just weird…haha. I like random though. One of the things I like doing at different churches we go to is look for the “odd one out”. The one kid who’s off in a corner by themself rather than with the group. From what you just said, it sounds like you are that person in most situations. I guess I’m drawn to people like you because I know how it feels to be an outsider. Not a part of the group. Generally because I’m more outgoing these days, I don’t find myself in those situations, so I make an effort to seek out those who are. Maybe it would help you if you found another person who stands in the corner alone. You’d obviously have common ground, but it would help you I think in looking past your own feelings of discomfort or awkwardness and focusing on making them feel more at ease. Nobody likes being an outsider, so I know how you feel. If it’s any comfort, if I saw you standing in a corner, I would want to talk to you. =)

    • Remember to pray about it.
      I first prayed for good friends (4?) years ago. Little by little, God has prepared me for friendships, and now I have an awesome friend who is a gift from God!
      My many years of preferring to read a book than talk to people taught me to be independent and not need friends, and now that I have leaned that lesson, God is moving on to the next.
      I know that I am not directly answering your questions, but know this: God’s timing is perfect. When he wants you to have a really good friend, he will make it happen. Trust him.

      • It’s funny how sometimes you know something, but you just need someone to say it. Thank you! 🙂

  • Wow, awesome post! I know a lot of my friends go through crazy stuff I’ve never had to go through, and it’s hard when they ask me for advice because not only are all my relationships long-distance ones making it impossible for me to actually be with them to help them through those problems, but I feel inadequate to offer advice to them. I’m glad they see me as someone they can trust and come to with their issues, but I have to continually ask God for wisdom and for the right words to say to them. Relationships are difficult. It’s funny, I read a lot and most books I’ll sit there and think about how ridiculous the characters are in all their misunderstanding and miscommunication, but it’s reality I guess. It’s life. I mean, I don’t really experience much of this, I guess I mostly get the best side of friendships. =) But then again, I guess you have to experience those difficulties. That’s what strengthens your friendships and makes them better than they were before. If God is the center of all of your relationships, you’ll do okay.

  • Thank you Hannah! I was praying about friendship last night and this article was a great encouragement!!!

  • I usually hurt people, unintentionally but I still do it this article helped me a lot because I do usually shut people out because I don’t want to talk about it
    Thank you hannah

    • @disqus_1yGVAdPqZy:disqus, I am glad this was helpful for you. I also have had to fight the tendency to just shut myself up from the world because I am afraid of what others might think.

  • Thank you so much for this post! I’ve just been struggling with the whole idea of friendship. I thought I had some good close friends, but now I don’t even know what that means. I don’t really know how to start the meaningful conversations that lead to deep friendships. I’m miffed at my best friend right now because I feel like she just goes with the flow and doesn’t really try to go anywhere with our friendship. I feel like I’ve been trying for so long, but our friendship is kind of stale. I’m the type of person who has lots of acquaintances, but few real friends, so if I lose her, I don’t know who I would have left. She’s the only friend I would tell anything to. I want to make new friends, but I don’t really know how. At the same time, I don’t really want to lose my best friend. Advice, encouragement? I was about ready to give up on friendship, but this post reminded me that it’s worth it, even if I can’t see that right now.

    • Also I’m scared to make new friends or go deeper with the ones I already have because I have hurt some special friends in the past and I really don’t want to do it again.

      • I feel the same way… Don’t give up on your friend. I’m the go with the flow friend so I can tell u, your friend doesn’t mean to hurt you. It’s just how we are. Pray for God to give you good close friends. I’ve done that when someone really important in my life changed schools. By the end of the year, I am friends with someone I never thought would be God’s answer to my prayer. It might take some time. And be hard to wait. But our Father hears the prayers of our heart.

        • Thanks, this was really encouraging to hear. I’ve just been thinking about this to myself for a while, and it was good to tell somebody else, and have someone testify that God can make it better.

      • Hey Hannah. So I totally know how you feel, because that’s exactly where I was at the beginning of this year. Like every bit of what you described. Be encouraged, because God has got this, and He never wants you to be lonely, which is often something I overlook. I lost my best friend a while ago, and honestly, it still hurts. But God provided me with another amazing friend that encourages me to be more outgoing (since I’m very introverted) and makes me want to love Jesus more and more. Friendships will change. Sometimes you really just need to let go. I can understand needing a deeper friendship, and I’d say that you should stay friends with your current best friend although you may allow yourself to grow away from her if you feel like God is nudging you to. But deeper friendships are a legitimate need and sometimes people like you and I need to find a special type of person to fulfill that need, because not all people can. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be friends with different types of people, but friendship is largely based on empathy, and if someone cannot relate to you at that deep level, then it makes a close friendship with them hard. Most of all, pray, pray, pray, because the Lord hears you and He will work in your life. He will give you the opportunities for the conversations and experiences that you need to become close friends. Just remember that it will take time. When He does give you close friends, KEEP PRAYING because you need His help to maintain those friendships in a godly way. I will certainly pray for you as well. Hope that helped, and let me know if you have any other questions.
        Love from your sister in Christ <3

          • No problem 🙂
            Let me know if there’s anything I can pray about for you, especially with friendships!

          • Thanks for offering! I guess you could pray for my communication. I really don’t like conflict, so I tend to let misunderstanding and resentment fester instead of talking about it, and I’m always justifying why something isn’t “bad enough” to have to talk about.

          • Okay I will definitely pay for you! If you have any conflicts you want to discuss, I’d be happy to help. But that’s probably not an issue haha. Just want you to know if you need anything I understand what you’re going through so I’d be happy to helphelp with advice or prayer anytime. So let me know 😉

  • Thank you for posting this! This is a big issue for me as well. Like you, I have difficulty communicating. I hate being vulnerable. I want to get to know others, but I’m scared to let them get to know me. But the Lord has been teaching me that it’s necessary, and your post confirmed that. 🙂 and it’s also nice to know that someone else takes friendship as seriously as I do! Sometimes, I wonder if I’m taking it too seriously, but thank you for your reminder that it *is* a serious thing.

    • This is so me as well! I hate being vulnerable, but I find that I grow closer to my friends when I am!

    • I thankfully have had some awesome friendships, and i have the opposite problem but i probably should take friendships more seriously.

  • Thanks, @programguy:disqus! It’s easy to give up on friendships because of the mess it can create, but true friends are worth persevering with. 😉

    • I know what you mean. When this got published it wasn’t an issue that I was really struggling with at the moment, but the past few days have been a fight within myself in which I have been nigh on ready to giving up pursuing friendships at all. Thanks for freshly reminding myself of its worth. 😉

  • Great points. Especially liked when you said, “The quickest way to hurt someone or to be hurt by someone is to not communicate when you have a misunderstanding.” So true! Thanks, Hannah.

  • This post describes perfectly a situation me and my friends just got through. Many times we all thought backing off of each other was a good idea, but like in this article, is was all miscommunication, and once we all talked to each other it was surprising how small and simple the issue really was.
    There is no way now that this is all over, that I would let my friends go because of miscommunication. They are my supports in life, and if I lost them I would be pretty miserable. So, to those who are reading this that haven’t gone through anything like this before, please apply this article, because it WILL help you.

  • WOW!! Amazing article i loved it thank you so much for writing it! and it’s so true if we want to have a friendship with someone we must be intentional i’ve learned that a lot over the past years! Thanks Again!
    God Bless,

  • Thank you for this, Hannah! I’ve come to a point in my life recently where I’ve begun to have…well, real friends, and it’s been incredible! It’s also been a bit terrifying, though, for many of the reasons you mentioned, so thank you for sharing this. I needed to hear it! 🙂

  • Friendship has been a struggle for me all the way back to my elementary years. It has gotten even more complicated when I entered High School. I guess what I struggle with most when it comes to friendship is identifying who are my true friends from the people who are more acquaintances than friends. Naturally I would call myself a very friendly person and consider everyone a friend, even if I know them very briefly. I consider this to be a gift from God to be able to be open to people but at the same time I feel as if I am being robbed of a true friendship. Does anyone have any advice?

    • What exactly are you asking advice for? I wanna make sure I (attempt) to answer your question correctly!

  • The biggest friendship lesson that I have learned so far is this: look at it as a whole, not each bump. When your friend is talking to other people at an event and you don’t have as much time to talk to her as you might want… let it go, and remember how excited she was to chat two days ago after church.
    With any relationship, keep the big picture in mind!

  • I upvoted for the heart alone. I don’t think I’ve used it yet, it seems too weird 🙂

  • This is a very good article! I’ve seen miscommunication tear life-long friends apart, but God is good, and He has the power to reconcile the deepest of wounds. I’ve learned that problems i have with friends are usually blown completely out of proportion at the time, and then later, they seem kinda insignificant. I’ve also learned that real friends take time to try to work things out. They go the extra mile to make sure “it’s all good”. That can be hard, and humbling, but it’s very much worth it 🙂

    Great thoughts, Hannah!

  • Thank you for taking the time to write this article, Hannah! I know that I need to be reminded of these things many times over! It all comes down to the principle of showing true, unchanging love to others. If we love like Jesus did, our friendships will flourish! Your sister in Christ, Rachel

  • (At first I thought your heart meant you had less than 3 friends! ☺️) But great point. Friendship is something we didn’t deserve from God, yet He gave it anyway.

  • This past year I’ve felt how painful friendship really is. My best friend came *this* close to dying and I’ve stood by his side for the past 4 months as he’s been recovering. It’s been the most painful time of my life but it’s been totally worth it!

    Thanks for the article!

  • When it comes to relationships I’ve come to learn that there are some relationships that are just for a season, or maybe you want to be friends with someone but it wasn’t in God’s will. One thing about me is that I love others easily and I tend to get attached to people, which could be dangerous, esp. if a relationship was only for a season, then it really hurts to let that person go. But yeah, I’m a people person, so I can’t just avoid meeting new people and making friends. That won’t work!!! 😉

    Just a few years ago is when I really started having real, true friends!! I met my closest friend two years ago, and she’s rockin’ awesome!!! God definitely orchestrated that. I can always tell when God joins me with someone. Having friends of both genders is awesome!! As you said though, having friends comes with ups and downs. I’ve never been in a fight with a friend, but it sure does hurt when I have to let someone go.

    You’re right, you have to be intentional for sure, and show that you care, by calling, emailing, etc. It definitely is hard when the friendship is totally one-sided, and you’re doing all the initiating. For me though, it’s not so much that I’m ALWAYS doing the initiating, but it’s I just take the time to call, even when I really don’t have the time. I make time. You know? Although, I do A LOT of initiating!!

    Anyway, great article!!

    • Alright I know this was from like 3 months ago but I just stumbled across this article again, and your comment is very relevant to my life right now. Last week, I had to say goodbye to a friend- only a friend for a season- but like you said, I get too attached. So I ended up hurting a LOT more than I should and I’m still missing her. It’s a lot of times that I want to be someone’s closest friend, and misunderstandings are frequent over stupid things. This was a huge enouragement to me through this, thank you 🙂 Your sister in Christ

      • OH MY GOSH!! I’m so glad God used my comment to encourage you. PRAISE HIM!!

        Sometimes not only is the relationship temporary, but it’s possible that God didn’t want it to be. I understand though. I get attached too, so I try not to get too attached, and certainly not to early into the relationship. In the past I’ve been too busy wanting to be someone’s friend for some particular reason and totally am not listening to God and open to the possibility that someone may not supposed to be in my life. You know? I’ve recently accepted that everyone’s not going to be my best bud, but rather just someone I know and may hang around here and there. I never want to a person or my desire to befriend them to take God’s place, ’cause it surely can happen!! It’s always best, I think, to let friendships and relationships in general just happen. I used to be the one that tried to work it out, and that NEVER works!!

        I have close/true friend, friend, and acquaintance. That’s how I categorize some of my relationships. Just a fun fact!! 😉

        Anyway. Thanks for responding!!

        Sisters in Christ,

        • Yes…that’s got to be the hardest part for me because I want to think of everyone as being in my life for a reason, but to be honest in the period of life that I made that friend I was not in the right place with God at all. So..yeah…but yes. It’s easy for me to let others take the place of God because SO much of me longs for strong friendships and people I can trust…and that ends up getting me hurt because of how easily I get attached. Yes…I’m getting there. I need to let my friendships go the way God wants them to instead of forcing them. Thanks for listening to me ramble- sending prayers and love your way! Your sister in Christ, Julia

          • I TOTALLY understand. You’re quite welcome. We are in this together sista!! 😉 Right back at you!!


rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →