Girlfriends in God - Feb. 4, 2008


February 4, 2008

I Need a Friend

Mary Southerland



Today’s truth

Ecclesiastes 3:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.


Friend to Friend

·         When you’re in a jam, good friends will bring you bread with peanut butter on it.

·         A friend is one who knows all about you and loves you anyway.

·         A friend is a push when you've stopped, a word when you're lonely, a guide when you're searching, a smile when you're sad and a song when you're glad.


Friendship is the springboard to every other love and the foundation for every healthy relationship. It is a proven fact that lonely people live shorter lives than those who have healthy friendships. Even Jesus needed friends when He walked this earth as a man. In fact, He placed great value on relationships. The Bible tells us that Jesus spent much of His time deepening the relationships with a few – not the crowd.


I love the story of an ingenious teenager who was tired of reading bedtime stories to his little sister. He decided to record several of her favorite stories on tape. When he presented the tape player and tape to his sister, he explained, “Now you can hear your stories anytime you want. Isn't that great?” The little girl took one look at the machine, frowned and then replied, “No! It is not great! That thing does not have a lap!”


We were created to need each other. That truth is never more evident than when we are struggling with depression. One of the main factors leading to clinical depression in my life was the absence of replenishing friendships. As I think back to that time, I am sure many women would have counted themselves as my friend when, in reality, they were simply acquaintances because that was all I would allow them to be. My pride kept me from admitting that I wasn’t Superwoman, that I was infallible and sufficient unto myself. My insecurity held me back from reaching out to new friends and cultivating old ones. To admit my need of a friend seemed like a weakness instead of the precious gift that it is. I refused to take the risk of being hurt, rejected or misunderstood. I did not have time to invest in building intimate friendships and was too busy doing the work of God to be a friend. As a result, when the darkness hit, I felt isolated and alone.


Friendship took on an entirely different meaning in my life from that point on. In fact, friends are a great source of strength and encouragement in my life today. Friends fast and pray for me, holding me accountable and confronting me when they see my priorities askew. Friends make me stop and take time for fun. Friends have taught me to be transparent. Have I been hurt along the way? Yes. Have I been misunderstood? Yes. Have the friendships been worth the price? Absolutely!


Roses are beautiful flowers. People who know me are aware of the fact that I can kill any plant known to mankind. I once had a neighbor who grew roses in every shade of pink, yellow and red, but she never handled the roses without wearing thick gloves because of the thorns. I once asked her why she continued to grow roses even though they constantly inflicted wounds even while she was wearing gloves. I will never forget her answer and the profound truth it held, “The beauty of the rose is worth the occasional wound it gives. I have learned to handle them with respect and in such a way that my wounds are few.” The same truth can be said of friendships.



Let’s pray

Father, You are the greatest friend I have. Thank You for creating me in such a way that I need others. Forgive my arrogance and pride in thinking that I need no one. Open my eyes to the people around me and teach me how to be a true friend.

In Jesus’ name



Now it’s your turn

  • What is the greatest hindrance to friendship in your life?
  • What has been the greatest reward of friendship in your life?
  • Are you willing to take the risk of cultivating intimate friendships and of being a true friend? Explain.
  • Make a list of your two best friends and then picture life without them. What would that picture look like?
  • Evaluate yourself as a friend and then make a list of friendship goals. You may want to begin with these:


I will not criticize my friends to other people.

I will cheer at the successes of my friends.

I will encourage my friends in their strengths and never use their weaknesses against them.

I choose to love my friends…as is!


More from the Girls

Girlfriends in God exists for many reasons, but one of the most important reasons is that we truly believe God has called us to connect women in friendship, service and worship. Sharon and Gwen are precious friends in my life, and our friendship has produced a new and exciting ministry! We are doing life together - and loving it! Please join us! We would love to hear from you, pray for you and be here for you. We really do need each other!


Our microwave lifestyle makes it hard for today’s woman to find a friend and to be a friend. But it is worth the effort to make cultivating friendship a new goal for 2008. Need help? Visit my new website at for a list of friends in my life who would love to encourage you and walk with you as well. If we can help you in any way, it would be our joy to do so. Blessings!



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Girlfriends in God

P.O. Box 725

Matthews, NC 28106












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Originally published Monday, 04 February 2008.