Have you noticed how authentic friendships don’t just happen, but they have to be intentionally and sacrificially pursued?

I’ve had to come to terms with this reality as I adjust to “real” life outside of the boarding school community where my husband and I lived with our family for eighteen years. You can imagine the stark contrast of being immersed in a community where we worked together, worshiped together, played together, and ate together.

While I thoroughly appreciated the luxury of not having to cook dinner, the real gift was the time after dinner in the dining hall, when the students would disperse, our children would run amuck around campus, and the adults would stand around and kibitz, as my Jewish grandmother would say.

I imagine this was much like women gathering at the well to draw water for their families, where  friendships were forged through doing life together.

When you interact daily, relationships can’t help but grow deep, as you notice what’s happening beneath the surface. The familiar lines on her face, the tilt of her head, the way she holds herself, it all tells an honest story beyond the words and leads to authentic relationships where you’re not only seen but also deeply known. In relationships like that, you can’t help but feel like you belong. It’s a priceless experience and one I hope to foster in my new life. Yet, wouldn’t you agree that the obstacles for cultivating deep friendships are endless? Being spread across the miles, even in a local township, work hours, family commitments, and homeownership responsibilities draw us apart.

We have no well to draw from together, unless we choose to make one in this modern world.

Of course, there’s also the matter of insecurity. Do you get caught up in the “I texted her last and she didn’t respond, so maybe she doesn’t want to be my friend any more” cycle?  It’s just one more way the enemy seeks to divide us into isolation, as he too knows that we are better together. Multi-generational friendships meet multiple God-given needs to be  . . .

  • seen and known
  • cheered on and encouraged
  • prayed over and prayed through
  • challenged and held accountable
  • mentored and trained
  • supported and spurred on

I whole-heartedly believe that as women we are better together, because I’ve experienced the blessing and have endured the loss of these rich friendships. It’s the absence that makes the need that much more apparent.

In the months following our move, I longed to be back “home” to celebrate the release of my book. I wanted to be with the women who supported me through the years of transformation and carried me through the book publishing process. I felt lonely and isolated in my new community, even though I plugged into a local church and hit the pause button on busyness to make time to get to know acquaintances at a deeper level. These new connections were indeed a blessing, but couldn’t replace the friendships forged over many years of doing life together.

The friendships we crave take time and effort, investment and sacrifice, and holy pursuit.

It may start with a text or call that leads to a cup of coffee and a long conversation. And it may take many of those before a crisis hits or a celebration occurs that you can walk through together and find your hearts bonded in Christ. It’s over time, and in His timing, that life-giving friendships are formed. It’s worth surrendering to this gift from the Lord while waiting on it too, because my friend, we are better together.

How does God want you to invest more fully in the community of women in your life today for the sake of cultivating better together friendships? {Add your voice to the conversation in the comments below.}

About Elisa Pulliam

Elisa Pulliam is a life coach, coach trainer, author of Meet the New You, speaker, and life-long mentor passionate about seeing women experience authentic life transformation for the sake of impacting the next generation. Her mission as owner of the Kaleo Agency, a life coaching and leadership development company, and as founder of moretobe.com, a ministry passionate about training and equipping women to mentor, is fueled by God’s redeeming work in her life and twenty-plus years in youth and women’s ministry. She counts it a privilege to connect with other women online and in real life, and strives toward savoring each moment with her husband of 20 years, Stephen, and with their four tween and teenage children.