Friday, August 1, 2014

Diversifying Friendships


Have you thought about diversifying your friendships? I believe you might enjoy this idea. Diversifying simply means adding variety. 
Here’s how my friendships naturally diversified: in the early 80s my friends were my siblings, cousins and kids from church. When I started school, I gained new friends who were in the same grade as myself. We have the tendency of making friends where we are, which forms the base for all friendships. 

I arrived at motherhood with a great friendship base. My friends celebrated my new season of life and provided a great support for our expanding family. The thing was, I needed to include a variety of friends I never really had: moms of young kids. I kept my friendship base and once we moved to Texas I started to look for that new variety of friends. 

It took courage because rejection is very much part of the process. I have learned to be positive and rejoice over the new friends I found. The first time I tried to join MOPS there were no spots available. I pressed on and was so kindly invited to a playgroup by my first Texas friend, Erika. The first time I tried to make friends with other moms at church I found out that most of them work during the day so schedules didn’t coincide. Thank God MOPS had a spot for me when I needed the most and many friendships followed my decision to diversify friendships. 

Diversifying can also mean, having friends who are not in the same season of life as you are. I’ll never forget when one of my mentors, Pastor Jan Ford, told me that I needed mothers in my life. I have prayed for and looked for those mentors who are mother figures and friends. Closed doors were part of the process for me. I tried my best to redirect discouragement to prayer. I prayed and believed God that I would have someone who would care for and about me as a mother would. It’s God’s idea that older women should teach and encourage young women (see Titus 2:3-5). I have always been open to that type of teaching and encouragement. I remember learning so much from my dear mentors in North Carolina! My life is richer because I have friends in a more advanced and wiser season of life. 

I treasure my friends who are single. The other day I had the honor of hanging out with a friend in that season of life. She brought much needed refreshment to me. We talked, exchanged ideas, laughed and I even learned new things. I believe that friends who are in a different season of life can bring a great renewal of strength. They can also speak from a perspective that is full of joy and hope. I think that we can also give so much hope to people who are where we once were. These friends are not hard to find, all you have to do is to look around. 

I have learned that when I choose to diversify my friends I choose a life that multidimensional. I am rich because I possess the wisdom of friends in a more advanced season of life, the compassion of peers in the same season of life and the vigor of friends in season’s I have once experienced. 

Questions: How diverse are your friendships? What are the benefits of diversifying the friendships you currently have? Have you prayed about friends in different seasons of life? Why and why not? 

2 comments:

Paulistana na Califórnia said...

Cintia
Thank you so much for this post. It was exactly what I needed to read. Friendships are very important part of our lives and I do believe also that when you diversify your friends, you learn so much more not only about yourself but about life.
Thank you also for reminding me that there will be a few closed doors on my way, but they should never make me stop knocking until I find the open ones!
God blss you and your family!

Cintia Listenbee said...

God bless you too querida :)