I have never had or wanted very many really close friends. I have lots of acquaintances and people that I genuinely like and enjoy on various levels. But I’ve kept a small inner friend circle, and I’ve liked it that way. By small, I mean that I’m not even sure at some points in my life it would have counted as a circle. It might have been more like 2 points on a line.
Over the last couple of years God has started growing my circle and I’ve been a bit surprised. Actually, I’ve even resisted. I tried to tell God that I didn’t need more people because I was scared. I was concerned that if I let them in, I wouldn’t be able to be the kind of friend that I wanted to what felt like “all these people“. And besides, there’s pain involved when someone leaves your circle. I’ve felt that pain as I’m sure you have too, and it tempts me to guard my heart and just hold hands very tightly with those in my tiny circle, refusing to grow it.
But God challenged this introvert to be bold, make some more space and take some relationship risks. God started bringing people into my life. They weren’t needy “Hi. Will you be my friend?” kinda people at all. They were just, well… there. Walking life beside me. Investing in our families together, or our church together. I wasn’t out to find them. I certainly didn’t pull them in with my welcoming and dynamic personality. But at some point along the journey, I looked up and realized they had become my people.
And now I cannot believe how many close friends I have in my life. I cannot believe how God has grown and changed me to create a bigger circle than I would have ever expected. And can I just tell you how amazing my people are? My people want to take me away for girls weekend and plan trips together and be our neighbors. They tell me I’m still lovable even when I’m mad. They teach me to apply eyeliner and invest in my children as their own. My people pout as much as me when we don’t have time in the week for lunch together. They seek my advice, and they can handle my honesty because they don’t misunderstand my heart. They talk me away from the ledge, encourage me to “just post it”, and give me the honor of praying for their specific requests.
How much richer my life is because of these friends. I look around and can’t imagine trimming down my circle. Somehow there can be enough space for everyone God brings into your life no matter your personality. I’m so glad for my growing circle.