For years, I believed the lie that I didn’t know how to be a good friend. Because of some past hurt and rejection, I told myself that I was a disappointment to those closest to me.
I let this lie become my truth and I built a thick barricade around myself to keep other women at arm’s length. I was self-protecting… and when anyone would get too close, I’d pull back.
I didn’t realize I was doing any of this, of course. I just thought that I struggled to make friends and felt lonely much of the time.
All this changed when Jamie and Lauren entered my life. They’ve pressed in, even when I’ve wanted to pull back. They’ve loved me even when I’ve tried to self-protect.
These two women have been such gifts to my life and have taught me so much about what true local friendship looks like and how amazing it can be.
Here are three lessons they have taught me:
1) Focus on loving others well. Stop worrying about whether you’re doing it right or wrong; just love others, really wholeheartedly love them.
2) Show up — even when it’s really inconvenient. Relationships will not fit into neat little boxes and they will require you to step out, step up, and be stretched far outside your comfort zone. Show up anyway.
3) Lean in — even when it’s awkward. Beautiful relationships never happen without awkward moments. Invite that person over, even if you don’t know what you’ll find to talk about for an hour. Volunteer to serve at church or go to that event, even if you don’t know anyone. It will be awkward. Expect it to be. But the more you lean in to people and relationships despite the awkwardness and show up anyway, the more chances there are that you are going to begin to develop deeper relationships.
Thank you, Jamie and Lauren, for loving me so well and teaching me so much about friendship. For believing the best about me. For pursuing me — even when I wanted to self-protect and had believed lies about how, “I’m not good at relationships.”
Thank you for letting me show up just as I am. For speaking the truth to me when I need to hear it. For making me laugh until I cry. For listening to me vent. For walking with me through heartbreak and devastating news. For constantly checking in on me and caring about me. And for helping me to begin to believe that I’m capable of being a really great friend.
Thank you for being the answer to many, many prayers I’ve had for real, authentic relationships.
I never dreamed when we started Discipleship group two years ago just how much you would change my life. And little did I ever imagine that our husbands would also become great friends!
I’m so honored that Jamie and Lauren and their husbands were willing to do something way outside their comfort zone and record a podcast with Jesse and me recently answering the question that one of you all asked, “How do you find couple friends?”
This is a different type of podcast — it’s a little more like sitting at the table with us listening in on our conversation. There is a lot of laughter, teasing, and real-ness.
I hope that this discussion will encourage you to think of ways you can dive deeper into relationships, even if it scares you! I can 100% promise you that it is worth the effort!
In This Episode:
[01:23] – Meet our couple friends — Brian & Lauren and Drew & Jamie.
[04:47] – Lauren shares how we all met and clicked in our Discipleship Group.
[06:39] – Jamie talks about why she continued to pursue the friendship with Lauren and me, even though I put up some big walls at first.
[08:00] – “It is so powerful to have someone pursue and not give up.”
[09:21] – The guys jump in with their experiences in building their friendship and how their friendship has evolved.
[12:32] – Discipleship helped form our friendship, but prioritizing each other and making time each week has solidified the bond.
[14:10] – Brian talks about how digging in and creating roots in friendship has helped their family.
[16:00] – Don’t make the friendship too complicated! Take out the expectations and just enjoy each other. Our friendship really deepened when we committed to a fun activity of going to Tuesday night trivia every week.
[18:22] – We all discuss why they think having friends is so important.
[20:47] – When you build your friendships, you also have a support system when times are hard.
[23:14] – We delve into what makes our friendship work. Prioritizing and intentionality are two keys.
[27:00] – What advice would you give someone who is looking to build close couple friendships? Friendship looks like getting out of your comfort zone to touch the lives of other people.
Links and Resources
- Crystal’s Favorite Things on Amazon
- Crystal’s Instagram account (I’d love for you to follow me there! I usually hop on at least a few times per day and share behind-the-scenes photos and videos, my grocery store hauls, funny stories, or just anything I’m pondering or would like your advice or feedback on!)
- Have feedback on the show or suggestions for future episodes or topics? Send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
How to Listen to The Crystal Paine Show
The podcast is available on iTunes, Android, Stitcher, and Spotify. You can listen online through the direct player we’ll include in the show notes of each episode. OR, a much easier way to listen is by subscribing to the podcast through a free podcast app on your phone. (Find instructions for how to subscribe to a podcast here.)
Ready to dive in and listen? Hit the player above or search for “The Crystal Paine Show” on your favorite podcast app.
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