As ladies, our lives are like gardens. We blossom and grow and mature into beautiful places of wonder. But our gardens are made up of much more than just flowers. As followers of Christ, we also have statues of Jesus and Mary. We might have a statue of one of our favorite saints, like St. Francis or St. Therese. But a garden wouldn’t be complete without some garden gnomes; i.e. our sisters in Christ. And yes, garden gnomes can be pretty silly at times, but they give our gardens character, they make us laugh, and they bring joy to our lives.
My sweet friend, Audrey, and I came up with this analogy while her family visited last weekend. She is by far one of my favorite garden gnomes and I was so glad that she offered to sit down and chat about the importance of Catholic friendships. We had such a wonderful time recording this little interview. I hope you enjoy!!!
Maddy: One important aspect of friendship is finding someone who you can be completely yourself with, being able to put yourself out there completely unfiltered, but also knowing that you won’t be judged for that. You grow closer to Christ through the fact that you’re pouring out your whole spirit and your whole self to them through everything that you do.
It’s so important that you know you can trust them with anything. You can bring them your struggles, bring them your shame, bring them your guilt, but you can also share with them when you are truly experiencing God in the day to day and grow closer to Him together.
Audrey: The biggest thing is how to establish that, how to get to that level of trust with someone, [getting to the point when you can say] “this is my person, this is my friend”. It is so important to found it in God. If you are blessed with a multitude of Catholic friends, you are a very lucky human being because they will keep you on track, keep you going. They keep you fighting when you sometimes can’t do it yourself.
Listening is a huge aspect in friendship too. For me, I love to talk. And I swear I need to buy Maddy duct tape, because somedays it’s like “Okay Audrey, do you have the mute button, I need the mute button.”
Maddy: But at those times, it’s my job to listen and be ears for you. I’ll have days when you need to be my ears, but it’s knowing that the other person usually knows you better than you know yourself. And you can go to them when you’re low and you can be each other’s prayer buddies and be there for each other. And that’s why listening is so important. If you can’t genuinely listen to someone, it’s hard to have a Christ centered relationship with someone.
Another thing to think about is finding what works for you, finding your friendship baseline or standard. We’ve known each other for a long time, and we’ve lived 4 or 5 hours away that whole time. And that doesn’t work for many people. It’ hard. But we have phone calls, and Snapchat, when we need it, (HA) but it’s finding what works for you and knowing that it’s not going to work for everyone else.
Audrey: Authenticity is another big thing. So many people put on a fake face in friendship, and I’m not saying that everyone does this, and I think its important to realizing when this happens. We all find those friend groups where they are definitely cooler and you want to go with them. But I’m telling you; sometimes that shy girl in the corner will be your best friend one day. You just have to seek them out. Just be yourself and know that you can’t always put that mask on because they will fall apart eventually.
Friendship is fun, friendship is crazy, but there’s also hard points when you just call your friend and say “Dude, I need prayers, pray for me!”
Maddy: That’s where the Christ centered part comes in.
I feel like knowing that you can come to someone in your times of need and ask for their prayers, whether it’s praying over them physically and putting your hands on their back, or just calling each other to ask for prayers, is so important. That’s when you grow closer to Christ through these friendships. And knowing that they are your sturdy shelter when you need it. These friendships are built on the rock of Christ and the rock of trust, not sand.
Audrey: And its scary sometimes, not putting your best foot forward, we’re all going to have days when we just don’t know what’s going to happen. There are so many things that we can do to lead our friends to Christ. Because sometimes we do feel lost and we do need someone to tell us “Here’s how to get back up on your feet”.
Maddy: And take your time. You can’t trust someone right off the bat, you have to have them prove their trust and show you that, yeah I’m going to be around for the long hall. I’m not just going to be here when times are good, when you’ve got your pretty face on. And this is so important because friendships go through different stages, you’re both going to have your emotional days and you’re going to have days when it’s all falling apart, but when you know you have someone to turn to, and a God who loves you, it’s going to be okay.
I hope you enjoyed this little post!! Do you have any tips for Christian friendship??
Maddy and Audrey