The old story is played-out. It hasn’t served me well. It’s time to create a new story.
I was maybe 10 years old. Angela* (not her real name) was a new girl in school. I befriended her and showed her the ropes. We ate lunch together and I introduced her to my friends. Pretty soon we became best friends. Then she began to make her own friends, friends who weren’t my friends. Eventually we were no longer BFFs. Ultimately, we were no longer even friends.
That scenario played itself out several times throughout my entire school life. I’d help to make the new girl feel welcome, we’d become best friends. Then she’d make her own friends and suddenly I would no longer be in her inner circle.
Somewhere during that process I unconsciously created a story in my head.
That story went like this: I am too boring to be anybody’s friend. I am not interesting enough, exciting enough, outgoing enough, or whatever-enough, for anyone to be my friend over the long haul.
Over the years that toxic story has replayed in my head over and over again. I subconsciously approach every new potential friendship with the expectation that it won’t last. And surprise… some friendships DON’T last. But it’s not because I’m dull, or boring, or whatever. Many times it’s because I withdraw in order to protect myself from imagined disappointment. The story in my head becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Now that I’ve finally figured out this unhelpful, untrue story living in my head, it’s time to silence it. It’s time to refute that lie that keeps me isolated from the potential life-giving, soul-sustaining relationships God wants me to enjoy. It’s time to stop trying to shield myself from the fear of being hurt and rejected.
It’s time to create a new story.
So now, I’m creating a new story by reminding myself of the truth of who I am and what I have to offer. I remind myself that there are friends who have remained friends, that some friendships won’t stand the test of time, and that it’s not always about me. And that’s ok.
I create a new story by intentionally reaching out to build new connections and rebuild old ones.
I create a new story by remembering that I’m in relationship with a God who loves me. He loves me so much that He gave His Son to DIE for me. If I’m worth that much to Him, then I must be worthy of friendship. I must be worthy of connection.
Questions for You and Your GirlFriend Tribe:
What is the story in your head about yourself?
What is the story in your head about your friendships?
Is it time for you to create a new story?
Come join the conversation in The GirlFriend Tribe on Facebook. It’s a closed community of women of faith. We’re all there are sharing the ups and downs of our journey as we work and pray to build better friendships and better community in our offline lives.