#SquadGoals: 3 Steps to Building Friendships That Last
For 23 years, I was on a never-ending quest for that one, perfect best friend. You know what I’m talking about—that girl you’re joined at the hip with, who you tell all your secrets to, who finishes your sentences, knows your favorite Starbucks drink without having to ask, and who with a single twitch of her eyebrow can communicate an entire conversation’s worth of information. Yes, that girl.
Hello, #SQUADGOALS. Right?!
And then on my 24th birthday I decided to put my car in park, ditch society’s bestie road map, and start really looking at the women around me.
As if I was seeing for the first time, I felt like I was waking up from a 23-year nap—everything around me took on new life, new meaning, new purpose. Up until that point, I had been searching so fervently for one BFF, that I was missing the many incredible people right in front of my eyes.
We are human. We’re going to mess up, fail, and let each other down. That’s just a part of life. But somewhere along the way between the kindergarten playground and classic Hollywood friendship duos, we began hoping for something a little different in our friendships—someone that would make us feel better about ourselves, not alone, and like someone out there really knows us and cares. Not all of the reasons we began the BFF quest are off-base; however, anytime we seek to be filled and made whole by another human, we’re going to fall short, be left disappointed, and feel more broken than we felt before.
People don’t complete us…they can’t fill the blank space in our lives. Another human does not define me or determine my worth. That’s already been established by the One who created me (check out Romans 9:25, Deuteronomy 7:6, John 1:12, Psalm 139, Isaiah 49:16, Isaiah 43:1; and check out Wednesday’s blog post here). Relationships are meant to complement who we already are and challenge us to become who God made us to be.
Throughout my friendship wins, flops and frustrations, I’ve come to discover several myths that I’ve believed along the way and why they’re not true—and in unmasking these myths, I’m discovering 3 steps to building friendships that last that are redefining my #SQUADGOALS…
- We were made to do life together, not search for one person to complete us. Our friendship “success” rate isn’t based on the number of inner circle companions we have, but rather on the depth of those relationships and who we’re becoming in light of them. You aren’t less of a person if you don’t have that “one” best friend or group of besties. You are a fun, amazing woman who is deeply valued and cherished by God. Your Creator sets your worth, not another member of His creation.
- Sometimes friendships are for a season and that’s ok. Have you ever found yourself looking around your circle of friends and discovering that you were missing a face or two who had been journeying with you? We all experience different chapters in our lives, and with those chapters come both new and old characters—and sometimes, characters make an exit from our story entirely. While some exits are painful and would be best reconciled by laying down differences and offering grace-soaked apologies, other exits can just happen out of the blue. Friends come and go—and that doesn’t necessarily mean that something’s wrong, broken or out of place. Our chapters and seasons are constantly changing—whether it be through moving to new cities, updated relationship statuses, kiddos entering the picture, family emergencies, or hectic career projects. As the tides shift and friendships change, thank God for the time you did have with that person and pray blessings over them as they continue becoming who God made them to be. Often when we attempt to force friendships to continue moving forward, we end up not only wearing each other out, but also becoming more frustrated in the process. Let it be. Thank God for who they are and for who you are. And then pour all of your love and attention into who God has placed in your chapter right now—for we never know how long we’ll have the privilege of traveling with them. Cherish today.
- You’re not a perfect friend either. Have you ever thought, “Um, hello! I am a really good friend. I mean, why can’t everyone else just see that?” Yeah, nope. We are all human. We all mess up. We all need grace. A lot of it. I’m discovering that the healthiest way to step into a friendship is by asking, “what can I learn from (insert name)?”, rather than, “what can I give (insert name)?”. When I show up to the table more interested in who she is, I, in turn, walk away feeling more blessed, more thankful, and more full of life. I’m not perfect, nor will I ever be. It’s time to strip others of the expectation of perfection and strip myself of that expectation too. Life is too short to pretend we have it all together—when mess-ups happen, own them gracefully and just keep taking the next best step in front of you.
I’ve never been more satisfied relationally than I have been since I threw the friendship myths out the window and have been taking intentional steps towards friendships that last. Now, rather than searching for the other half to my best friend bracelet, I’m getting to know tons of fabulous women around me! And that’s really cool! I’m also thanking God tremendously for the friends He has blessed me with during different chapters of my becoming story—for how they challenged and shaped me and for how they helped me grow. And I’m jumping into big swimming pools of grace. I’m stepping into each relationship a broken-down Jesus girl who’s simply excited to link arms with another friend on this journey of becoming me. Who’s with me?
Author: Emily B. Cummins
Emily Cummins is a University of Florida & College of Central Florida grad who is passionate about partnering with people to become who they were made to be. Emily is the Online Campus Pastor at Church of Hope in Ocala, Florida. She’s passionate about storytelling, good cups of coffee, and jamming to country music. And most importantly, she’s passionately pursuing becoming the woman God made her to be.