by Pastor Angie Gray
We were designed for relationships. The longing to relate to others is woven into core of our original design. For you my sister, were created to connect. From the beginning of time God initiated a relationship with mankind, and He still moves towards us today. He longs to know us passionately and intimately. God so wonderfully invites us to know Him the same way, for there are no healthy relationships without intimacy.
Proverbs 18:24 – A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Our Lord Jesus had close relationships when He walked the earth. He chose the twelve to be His disciples and spent countless hours being with these men. There were also women such as Mary Magdalene, Mary and Martha, Johanna and Susanna who were among Jesus’ close friends. Yet, there was an inner circle that experienced some of the most intimate moments with Jesus.
Peter, James and John were Jesus’ three closest friends. They were the ones who knew Him the best. These three friends shared Jesus’ most painful moment in the Garden of Gethsemane where He agonized until He sweat drops of blood. They were with Him during His most glorious moments, like when He raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Peter, James and John knew about Jesus’ courage as well as His fears. They had access to Him unlike the others. (Matthew 17:1-2, Luke 8:49-53, Matthew 26:36-39).
Ladies, like Jesus with His three closest friends, we all have a longing to experience authentic relationships. We too need “Garden Friends” that are relational and intimate. When you break down the word “intimacy”, you’ll discover – INTO-ME-SEE. We must be willing to join our hearts with full disclosure and trust and allow ourselves to truly be seen for who we are – flaws and all – raw and unfiltered – pains and heartaches – struggles and imperfections. And you know what?…we need to allow our sisters to be just as real, raw and vulnerable. This is the ground where true seeds of intimacy can grow and where sisterhood is forged.
If we were designed for closeness and intimacy, then why is it so difficult and such a struggle to establish these type relationships? What are we afraid of? Ask the Lord to reveal this to you. He will. We each have a lens that we see life through. Only Christ can open our eyes to help us face our fears of intimacy and heal our brokenness.
Proverbs 17:17 – A friend loves at all times.
God calls us to love well and love deep. And LOVE is about sacrifice. Sacrificial living means selflessness, connection, closeness, togetherness, friendship, affection, forgiveness and GRACE – LOTS of grace! We must show grace to each other as well as ourselves. God isn’t asking for perfection ladies, and neither should we. There’s only ONE perfect Savior and His perfection is all we need. What He is asking for is that you would allow Him to make you whole so you can be a vessel fit for His use in establishing safe havens for your sister-relationships.
I am so grateful for my Garden Friends! They’ve been with me in the worst of times and the best of times, in sadness and joy. I know I can call them any minute of the day and they will be there in my corner, championing me to never give up. Let’s face it, relationships take TIME, EFFORT and INTENTIONALITY. But sisters, Garden Friends are so WORTH IT!
I love these words from Dale Carnegie, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” I encourage you to take Dale’s advice. Reach out and make a new friend. Take off your mask and let your guard down. Listen to her story and share yours as well. Take the first step. Pursue that friend and watch God knit your hearts together as Kingdom Sisters.