Post by contributor Ashley from This Southern Girl’s Heart.

A friend asked me the other night how long had I been a Christian. Then she shared her precious testimony and she didn’t judge when I told her mine.

Thank you Lord for precious friends. I am learning that NOW, in my life, REAL friends are starting to show up, and their true colors are beautiful, along with their story. Nothing is cookie cutter or glamorous. Just mamas, wives, sisters, and friends, with something to share. Wanting to be heard.

I love to sit back and listen. I love getting comfortable on my sisters couch and listening to her day. I love coffee dates and real talk with real women. Actual life.
friends having coffee photo: old friends having coffee, 60's ladies vintage_paris_20s.jpg
photo credit
 In the modern world, getting together just isn’t happening as much as it should. It’s easier to comment on someone’s Facebook status then take the effort to have a dinner with them. I’ve come to a fast realization that nothing online is as it seems. I see people’s new cars, their new houses, their new ‘life’, and I think—what about REAL? What about those times you are too tired to cook, when you are desperate for friendship, when you need a shoulder, when you want to cry from the kids fighting all day? Online is a starting place for friendship, and its so nice to catch up, but I’ve learned it can’t be the real deal. I love how Sarah Mae put it: “We need in the flesh friends”. I think of that. Every single time.

If you leave it up to the virtual world, that is exactly what you will get, virtual friendship. Perfection on status. (Note: long distance friends and family is not what I am talking about, I understand the wonderful online ease of keeping up those kinds of relationships when you can’t be with each other everyday.) There is a difference of keeping in touch online, and living online.

Friends, you have a lot to offer. I stayed indoors a lot of the past couple years, scared to death to put myself out there. Scared of nonacceptance. God showed me that friendship is dishing out our imperfections and celebrating them with each other. Bringing to the light that we can laugh with each other, and praise each other in the mess. Don’t not let someone in your life because you are scared they will see your dark spots. If they are a true friend, they will also show you theirs and you can laugh, dream, and build.

As I am getting older, I am excited to share the imperfect, somewhat-a-mess, never-together me. Perfection is never going to happen. Our lives are so different, we shouldn’t compare it to someone else’s. We need to invite in the diverse and be blessed with our 2 bedroom when she has a 4 bedroom. It doesn’t matter. What matters is she and you can come together and bring out the best. Real life friendship. It’s out there. It’s real. It’s rare, but it’s out there. Waiting for you. 

The truth is, we all have faults, defects, and flaws. It’s how God made us. We can declare it out loud and run after real connections. There is a friend out there, waiting for you, too. Ready to let out a sigh of relief when she finds out you are tangible, just like she is.

Sweet friends, we can lend our hearts, our ears, our time, and our love. We were never meant to go through life alone. We were built for relationships. Don’t blow out the candles just yet on friendship. Find a friend and make that cake together.
Ashley is just a simple country girl, living in the heart of the South with her little family. She writes to help other women, and for Jesus. You can find her at her blog or on Facebook.

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Jenn

Blogger/ Author at The Purposeful Mom
Hi, I'm Jenn! I'm an "unstuffy" pastor's wife and mom to four amazing and active children. My desire is to equip you with the resources, tools and encouragement you need to learn God’s Word and apply it to your life so you can teach the Word to your children in a way that has a lasting impact! I want to help you turn good ideas into good practices so that you feel confident, by the grace of God, in carrying out the many vocations you have been called to as a Christian woman. Read more on my about page!

8 Comments on Bringing TRUE Friendship to Light

  1. Ashley, you are a sweet, old soul! You have captured what has taken me MANY years to understand. Lovely thoughts for me this morning. I love to have folks in my home, but I will never be remembered for having the cleanest house or fixing the yummiest food. I just hope that as we eat delivered pizza and brownies out of the box that my guests always feel at home and welcome. And that they remember the sweet fellowship instead of what my house looked like or the food they ate. Thx for sharing!!

  2. This is a very interesting post, and I love your phrase “Perfection on status”. I am to the point that I completely overshare as soon as possible with an “in the flesh” friend just to determine if they’re a keeper — no time for surface friends at this point in my life; that’s what facebook is for.

  3. Wonderful post Ashley, I am like you, I struggle to put myself out there. It is not easy to pick yourself up after rejection and judgement but it is so incredibly worth it when you find an in the flesh sister to ride the highs and lows of this sweet blessed normal life with. I forget where I read it but it said that online is either a highlight reel or a gag reel but that is all it can be. Much love Tara.

  4. Ashley, this is beautiful and so true. Friendship is all about revealing, accepting, and embracing imperfection in each other. I love that my friends know what a mess I am and I them… no pretense is liberating! Thanks so much for another great post!
    {I’m praying for your headaches!}
    Blessings and love, dear friend ~ Mary

  5. I agree that we need IRL friends. I cherish the friends that I have. It’s nice to know that they love you, faults and all!

    Thanks so much for linking up to “Making Your Home Sing Monday!”

  6. Great post!!! Its soooo hard to put yourself out there, but finding those amazing friendships are priceless.

  7. Yes! It seems that the internet has made friendships wide (many… I’ve seen some people with over 1,000 Facebook “friends”) and shallow. I crave to have close REAL friends. Any practical suggestions on how to go about accomplishing that? (Aside from the obvious, like having families over for dinner and going out for coffee.)
    Janelle @ The Smudge Curve recently posted…Fulfillment in Christ AloneMy Profile

    • I have gone through that too, and I still do, wanting to make close friends and finding it hard to connect! I think that one of the things that helped me was finding a local MOPS group. I’ve formed some friendships through that. Another truth I had to realize was that at this stage of life, my focus needed to be on my husband and children and that friendships had to come second. Not a bad second, just second to my family :) I think that as your son grows up and you get involved in things around your community, you will find other like-minded moms that you can connect with! Pray for God to send that special friend into your life–He has someone in mind that He’ll bring along at just the right time :)

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