How to Have Intentional Friendships

Day 5 of 7 • This day’s reading


Unintentional Exclusion

Kendra’s text cut me to the quick: Do you think she felt excluded? And even as I read those words, I heard the truth of them resonate in my heart as I suddenly remembered Sara lingering nearby, trying to be part of the group but clearly on the outside of the circle.

Kendra is one of my most trusted friends. Our friendship has reached the comfortable point where silent presence is not weird, and where we have a tendency to gravitate toward one another in larger groups—seeking simply the comfort of being near one another in an unfamiliar setting.

And while there is nothing wrong with gravitating toward our friends, I’ve learned that my seeking the comfort of long-established relationships can result in the new girl being left to herself. It is not intentional, which makes my heart wrench all the more. In this case, there was someone new in the room who needed an invitation to join the conversation and camaraderie.

My stomach felt nauseous; I owed Sara an apology. And so I apologized—with sincerity and no excuses, owning up to being inadvertently hurtful because I chose to be comfortable instead of purposefully pulling her into our established circles. Tears spilled on both sides of that conversation, and we spoke honestly about how hard it can be to navigate relationships, even as adults.

As Sara and I have quietly started over, building a relationship premised on our love for Jesus and for the hurting and lost in our community, God has been doing a new thing, growing a new friendship, giving me a second chance to be in relationship with a remarkable woman of God. Recognizing when we’ve been hurtful and taking the steps to bring peace and unity back to that relationship is hard, in part because it requires us to be vulnerable and humble. But Beloved, it is so, so worth it. You don’t know what God has in store for that relationship.

Today’s act of friendship:

Take time to consider whom you may have excluded unintentionally. Reach out in friendship to that person.