It’s the last week in April, and I am just itching for May. This is the time of year I start getting feverish about planting and all things flowers. It’s really not totally safe to plant outside in Alaska until the first week of June due to the tendency for late frosts, but I can rarely wait that long. Instead, I plant in pots and endure the chore of bringing them all inside at night for a few weeks. There’s just something about putting those little seedlings in the dirt and imagining what they’ll look like at the end of the summer that makes me so excited to get started.
Last week, I challenged you to get down in the dirt when it comes to loving your sisters in Christ this summer. I said that the true mark of friendship is being willing to put our money where our mouth is. It’s easy to pay lip-service to friendship; but we can be slow to actually sacrifice for our sisters. Whether it’s time, effort, inconvenience, or even our money, we like easy friendship. But friends, that’s not the kind that endures.
I got lazy with one of my dahlias last spring and left it outside several nights before it was really warm enough to do so. If I wanted an easy plant I could leave outside in the 40s, I should’ve planted something else. My dahlia survived, but its growth was stunted all summer and it never really thrived. Let’s not make the same mistake with our friendships. Let’s put in the time, care, and creativity to help our friendships flourish so our sisters can feel a taste of the full measure of God’s love through the way we love them.
I’ve been using the phrase “love well” a lot during this series. It’s definition depends on what or whom you’re trying to love. If I’m talking about my dahlia, loving it well meant protecting it from frost, giving it great soil, regular watering and maybe even some fertilizer, and an appropriate amount of sun. I failed at just about all of those. I left it outside too early, used recycled soil, was all over the place with watering (I blame baby), forgot about fertilizer until halfway through the summer, and put it on the North side of my house when it really needed a bit more sun. Well, of course it didn’t thrive; I wasn’t loving it well.
In order to have friendships that flourish we must be intentional about loving our sisters well. Things like time and attention, care for their needs, respect of their unique personalities, and grace for their rough edges are all things that are required to love your sisters well.
To be clear, we can’t do this for every friend we have ever had. We all have a certain capacity for friendship. That’s not a bad thing, it’s just how God designed us. It is our job to prayerfully discern who needs to be in our circles of closeness for this season and, once God makes that clear, to ask him how we can care for the hearts of those friends with intentionality. Whether your capacity is one sister or three or five or ten, I hope you will do what you are able to this summer to love them well.
Now, I don’t want to sound like I’m giving you something else to do, but the truth is that loneliness plagues us like nothing else. We are isolated despite our many connections. Friend, you and I were not made to live this way. We were built for community by a God who lives in community with the Trinity and still wanted to make humans to rule and reign with him. We reflect God’s love for family when we love our family well. Yes, our nuclear family, but also those in the family of God that we get to live in community with. You were made for this; sacrifice elsewhere. We do need to do something! I hope you will accept this challenge this summer. Your sisters need it, and so do you.
A last word, however, for the girl reading this who would be happy to love her sisters well, if she felt like she had any. Friend, I’ve been in that spot several times in my life. It’s such a difficult space: feeling alone and desperately wanting your people but for whatever reason, not having any. Each time I have found myself here I have fervently prayed for God to send me someone. And each time, he has. It hasn’t always been a whole group of girlfriends, or someone I’ve stayed close with forever, or someone who was exactly like me or an easy friend to love. But he has always sent me someone. I hope you’ll ask him too.
One time when I asked for a friend in a lonely season, the Lord told me that he would meet my need by me meeting theirs. This is the heart of this series, friend. We are all looking for sisterhood. We’re wired this way and, as much as we like to act like we’re fine, we’re not. We need each other. If you feel lonely and need a friend, look around you for someone else who looks like they might need one too and go to them. I’ve given you 50 ideas below of what to suggest after you introduce yourself. Find one that fits your style and life season, and, Sister, go be brave. Your invitation could be the answer to her prayer, and an answer to yours.
To access this FREE download with 50 ways to connect with your sisters this summer, no matter what season of life you’re in, just enter your email below and I’ll send the PDF directly to your inbox. I’ve gathered these ideas from my own experience and the ideas of a diverse group of my own sisters. They had some great ideas to contribute, and I can’t wait to share them with you here, all in one convenient, easy to print or save list. Kids, no kids, single, married, empty nester…there’s something for you here.
I’ve also included a worksheet to help you intentionally plan for the summer. I’d love to hear what your plans are in the comments here, or tag me in a screenshot of your ideas on social media. I think sharing your ideas will help others too! I hope this resource blesses you as you seek to love on your sisters this summer and every day.
Love ya, friend.
Your Sister, Kimber
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