There were a few times that I was in transition with friends (because of a geographic move, or a shift in circumstances or social dynamics....) and I found myself lonely for "close friends." At those times I prayed of course......and God brought me the most amazing, sweet, fun friends.
When in my 20's and Anna and Lory were busy with kids or other diversions, I prayed, and God brought Pamela. I met her when she stepped into my third grade classroom early one morning. She was seeking to be a prepared substitute teacher, and I was seeking to leave good preparations for my substitute for the day. She was a stranger that day, but now, 25 years later she is one of my best friends.
We had SO MUCH in common........... not the least of which was our desire to grow and encourage in the Lord. Both of us about age 30, we each went on, in the next few years to have our first children just 3 months apart, and then our second children were born about 7 years later. We enjoyed each other in person until her husband processed out of the Navy and went on to work in air-craft mechanic field in North Carolina where they were from, and my husband worked as air-craft mechanic in Texas and surrounding states. Snail mail and then e-mail has allowed us to continue sharing life, encouragement, support, and love.
Then when I moved, (because I married) and landed in a community 5 or 6 hours from where I previously lived, I sought to make new friends. Because of answered prayers with Pamela, I prayed again. Prepared to wait as long as it took, I prayed, "God, please give me a Christian girlfriend, that I can feel close to, beyond the 'Hello, how are you?' greetings at church."
Almost two and three years after my prayer, came Jean and Joan, and let me tell you, they were worth waiting for !!! Jean I taught with. I admired and respected her as I knew her professionally for more than a year, before I approached her (single) to try and fix her up with a single relative in our family..... That didn't work out, and neither did anything come of me trying to fix her up with the handsome single neighbor across the street from the house I left when I married, but through all this... Jean and I got to know one another better.
She was the answer to my prayers and I was the answer to hers!! She also had prayed for "better friends," because she was a new creation in Christ and was seeing that she did not fit well with her old friends, who were very much "of the world."
Since then, she has listened to me, counseled me. We have gone on fun outings and trips. She used to take my elementary (now married) son out on dates, and give him instruction on etiquette. She went to see me when I moved for 6 months to Las Vegas area, and she helped me take loads and loads to the thrift store and to storage when we prepared to move into an R.V. while we built our new house here. We drove each other to a few medical procedures, and I checked on her at home and tried to minister to her when she had to have her hand operated on because her horse ran and pulled the rope twisted around her hand, crushing it. I wrote her a love poem, and bought her a study Bible which she calls her Tammy Bible, and we have talked hours that might add up to a year, on the phone!! We exchange knowledge, and book talks, and movie reviews, and always lift one another up. We know each other quite well, and treasure our friendship.
Joan, I met through church ministry, sort of. We went to church together when my son was three years old. When she was working with the teens at my church, neglecting her own home, in order to give to our youth, I insisted that she let me "clean her house." Her heart was touched, and she drew me in to love me. Hanging out with her and her husband soon felt like hanging with family. Our funnest times over the next seven years revolved around us doing crafties together or working on Children's Ministry together, or just taking turns visiting in one another's house perhaps while we cleaned or folded laundry together.
My children and I actually lived with her for a few months after our house sold, and we were waiting for the school year to finish before we moved in to our R.V. while building our house. My friend Joan actually visited us in the R.V. and experienced taking "jug showers" as we roughed it for 13 months....... Didn't phase my friend, my children's "Aunt Joan."
Since the 11 years ago that I moved away from my home where Jean and Joan were near-by, we talk on the phone mostly now, but I can tell you that when we are together, the bond will be no less, and I truly look forward to times of togetherness. I am hoping for it. I love these sisters in Christ !!
When we moved HERE, I prayed the same prayer for a Christian sister that I can feel close to. In my first months here, I prayed, "Lord, I don't even care if it is someone who I mentor (be the giver and the encourager) and who doesn't have much to give me....."
I suppose God took me up on that offer because the first such friend I had when we moved here, was someone who ultimately chose to leave and loose contact with me, but not before I had the blessing of making a difference. ...A YOUNG woman, with two kids already, she was not happy when she found out that she was pregnant again. She considered having an abortion. She talked to me about it. I responded with sensitivity and persistent encouragement, (praying for God to give me the right words). She decided to keep the baby and embrace the new gift that God was offering. I have no doubt that God has special plans for that baby, and her family, and I feel privileged to be linked to the pivotal decision this mother made, to lovingly embrace the life that grew in her.
Praying for FRIENDS (to come, and to BE one), I am convinced, must always be in God's will, and I am convinced it is a prayer He will always answer. Recently, God answered the prayer for my daughter. We had prayed for years. Sometimes, it takes years for God to work with the human hearts, because he will not intrude on our privilege of "free will." We have choice. Finally she has girlfriends who have fun together, encourage one another, help one another, and actually have conversations reflecting desire to serve God and be used by Him. Praise be to the Lord ! Never stop praying and hoping for the good and perfect gifts like friendship 💖