This past month, I have felt really overwhelmed with life responsibilities and balancing friendships. I have had to take a good, hard look at all the friendships that I have been trying to juggle. The reality is that I'm spread way too thin; I cannot possibly be a genuine, invested friend to half of the people that I want to be. That's hard for me to accept, but it's also the reality of the season I am in right now.
A couple of weeks ago in our couples' study, another girl was saying that she and her husband tried to "commit to six." In other words, in each season of life they would commit to six people who they were praying for and looking for ways to bless those six people. I thought that was a really great idea and in thinking through friendships and people in my life, it seems like a manageable one as well. Maybe I can't be a friend to all, but I can be committed to praying for the people who God has placed on my heart and in my life for this season.
I want and need close friends in my life, and I am in the process of narrowing down and being intentional with the people that God has placed in my life in this season. When I first started to think through my friendships, I felt an overwhelming responsibility to each one. But as I started to pray and think about how some relationships have ebbed and flowed, I realized that God is making some things clear to me in my friendships:
1. Whenever I feel a sense of guilt or duty in the friendship, I don't think God is calling me to that particular friendship in this season.
2. The Holy Spirit has been showing me the people he wants me to invest in and giving me a great desire to do so and a deep joy when I do.
3. The narrowing down is somewhat fluid as I seek him. I may think he is calling me to one person, but then realize He maybe was not. (It's a learning process, and I'm still learning.)
4. At least one of these friendships is a new one. (This may seem counter-intuitive as I've been feeling overwhelmed with existing friendships, but I also continue to feel God's hand on this friendship.)
5. Just because I am not feeling called to invest in someone does not mean I won't hang out with that friend. However, it does mean that I am not going to over schedule myself just so it happens.
The reason I am trying to be intentional in my friendships is because I want to make an impact in people's lives, and I want my friends to be an influence in my life as well. I've noticed that having lots of surface friendships doesn't really impact my life or theirs. We don't know each other well enough to speak truth or life into one another. We just meet and hang out occasionally. There's nothing wrong with that in and of itself, but if those relationships take up the space and energy of going deep with a select few friends, then there is a problem. God created us as emotional, relational beings, and I want to be sure that I am not just idling my time away with surface friendships.