Sitting in my regular coffee shop, next to two new friends, I’m reminded of old faces, of seasons past, begin to surface in the forefront of my memory. If you’d asked me seven months ago to recall those faces, a barrage of questions would have flooded my train of thought: “Could I have been a better friend?”, “What if I had agreed with her dating a girl?”, “Maybe my personality came on too strong, too soon?”, “What if I had called more?”, or “Maybe I wasn’t good enough to be her friend.”

It’s still an ongoing process to rid myself of guilt, over lost and abandoned friendships. However, when I acknowledged that I can’t look to myself for guidance, or strength, the guilt began to diminish and the sorrow subsides. The Holy Spirit takes over when I allow the pain of what was lost, to be set before the feet of Our Savior.

1. The Mister Before the Sister

Your sisterhood of fellow Christian women will never be as strong as you want if you are not rooted in Christ. It’s a very simple truth and yet it’s so difficult to learn, especially when you’re lonely! Right? I know, I’ve been there. For so long I sought after relationships and neglected the ONE relationship that mattered the most. It seemed easier at the time. People are earthly, we can see them, call them, text them, hug them… However, James 4:8 tell us to, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” Jesus knows what it’s like to be lonely and have friends abandon you – cue Judas. People will always fail us but Jesus Christ never will.

TAKE ACTION: Spend quality time with Him, every day. If you aren’t sure how, pick up a devotional like, The Struggle Is Real, to help get you started!

2. Show Up

Seems simple enough but you may be surprised to know this is the area a majority of us struggle. We live in the millennial age of instant gratification and non-committal relationships to cell phones, events and human beings, alike – cue Tinder. Here’s where I advise you to ‘do as your momma taught you’ and extend the same kindness to others, that you wish to receive. And you may be thinking, “yea, but no one ever shows up for me. No thanks.” And again, I tell you that I understand because I’ve been there, too. It’s hard showing up (literally) for others on the reg only to receive little to nothing in return. But in chapter 6 of Luke, we’re told: And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them (6:31). So I want to encourage you to be Christ to your sisters. Show them what sisterhood LOOKS like.

TAKE ACTION: I challenge you to show up for someone this week. Don’t cancel because you’re tired, show up. Instead of saying you should “totally hang sometime” schedule the hang-sesh right then and there! If you see a sister has posted something sad, exciting, curious, whatever – instead of ‘liking’ and continuing to scroll – call her! Really make an effort to show up in her life this week.

3. The Giver

In the book of Romans, the Apostle Paul writes that we are to “Love one another with {sisterly} affection. Out do one another in showing honor” (12:10). As we show our honor to God through our words and actions, so should we honor our sisters in the same manner. Think about ways that you can give back to a sister who may be lonely, tired, new, experiencing heartache, or the unsung hero of everyday menial tasks around the office.

TAKE ACTION: This week, I also challenge you to do ONE thing for a special friend, a new woman at church, the lady in the cubicle next to you or the new neighbor down the street. Send warm cookies to her at the office or home, write a text message or handwritten note filled with truths and kind words about her, offer to workout together after work or to take care of the kids while she treats herself to a trip to Target… ALONE! Or, meet-up at your favorite spot for a 20 minute catch-up sesh. So something to speak or show her that she matters to you!

4. Speak in Love

You’ve probably heard it as many (countless) times as I have: “Oh my goodness, can you believe what she ___?!”. When did it become acceptable to speak poorly about each other? To make fun of her outfit, makeup, hips, thighs… anything. Ephesians 4:29-30 tell us, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another as God in Christ forgave you.” If you’ve already made the choice to subscribe to #1 on this list then this should be easy for you to adapt to your life, as well. What we put into our minds and bodies shows outwardly. So, if you are putting Christ first in your life, then Christ will show up first in your words.

TAKE ACTION: Pick one special person to speak in love to each day this week. This person can be your current best friend, someone you’ve recently met, a coworker, a family member, someone from church or your barista. Shower her in compliments and remind her that she is loved by a gracious Father!

5. Tell the Truth

Some of the greatest, personal, trials that I’ve experienced within relationships with other women directly related to the words spoken to each other. The tongue is our strongest weapon and the easiest way for the enemy to turn us against each other.

Instead, as believers, we are to called to put on compassionate hearts. Colossians 3:12-14 tell us: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgive you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” So, instead of jumping to conclusions, spreading rumors, talking behind her back or snapping back with a vicious text rant – let us grow in patience with one another by showing love and compassion in our exchanges.

TAKE ACTION: Is there a sister in your life that you need to talk to about something difficult? Perhaps it’s been awhile since you’ve spoken or seen one another. I don’t promise the upcoming exchange will be easy but if you approach her with love, patience and kindness you may be surprised at the response you receive. Make every effort within your power to reconcile relationships!

Sisters, it’s my prayer that you feel encouraged to press on toward fullness in Christ and seek out Godly relationships. Godly relationships where you will find refinement, love, grace and support.

Do you have deep friendships? Who can you think of right now that you want to build a deeper relationship with?

Kaitlyn Stephens

Kaitlyn is a wife, a dog mom, a creative and above all a Daughter of the Most High. By day, she works as an Empowerment Coach for Female Entrepreneurs. But her true passion is encouraging young women to cling to Jesus and grow in His truth and purpose for her life!

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