A lack of satisfying friendships often revolves around our emotional health. Some women are particularly fearful of letting themselves be truly known. Others avoid relationships because they are afraid of rejection and abandonment. Still others are crippled by comparison, either feeling inferior or superior to the women they might otherwise have befriended. And the majority are simple too busy to put in the time it takes to cultivate a deep friendship. These issues and others prevent many women from taking the risk of allowing other women to walk into their lives and leave footprints on their hearts.
Of all the barriers to genuine friendship, the biggest is probably the reluctance to take off our masks –
the fear of being known, because of the possibility of our being found wanting.
If we insist on wearing a mask and playing a part before the world, rather than letting our guard down and being vulnerable, we will never experience the joy of unqualified acceptance.
God created us for relationship, with Him and with one another, in spite of the risks involved – from exposure and rejection to arguments and bruised egos. It is only in community with Christ and His people that we receive the love, acceptance, emotional healing, safety, nurture, and comfort we need to be all Jesus intends us to be.
How do we move from a place of self-protective hiding into the openness of genuine community?
By deciding that the only worse than the intense pain of being known and rejected is the certainty of the low-grade, long-term pain of never begin known by anyone at all.
“We are joined together in his body by his strong sinews, and we grown only as we get our nourishment and strength from God.” Colossians 2:19
Excerpt from Friend Me: Turning Faces into Lasting Friendships.