I can’t remember all the details of this significant day, except that I was wearing my pink jelly shoes from the Gap because I didn’t go anywhere without them. The one thing I do remember was the fear that nobody would talk to me and I would be left all alone on the playground at recess.
As I stepped into my first Kindergarten classroom, a sweet blonde haired girl ran up to me with the greatest enthusiasm and asked the one question that would change our lives forever: “Do you want to color with me?”
Friend making isn’t always as simple as asking others to color in a blue plastic chair next to us. But there is a deeper lesson of friendship that I learned that day. Sometimes, to make friends, we have to give the gift of going first.
1. Be intuitive.
Intuition or what I sometimes like to call little nudges of the Holy Spirit are important to the art of friend making and can’t be ignored. There are plenty of moments where I sense a connection with someone after just a few icebreakers. When those organic moments feel smooth, I need to respond with confidence brought by the peace of the Spirit to ask that person for a “girl date.”
2. Be open-minded
It’s easy to choose friends that are exactly like us. When I meet someone who has a different background, socio-economic status, or culture, I feel intimidated. This intimidation or fear of the unfamiliar causes me to run the other way. Yet, my closed-minded attitude hinders me from the fullness of God’s community. We need to keep an open-mind to who the Lord may be placing in our paths to do mutual life with.
3. Be the initiator
Yes, there is boldness required in friendship. When you feel like you don’t have any friends to spend time with, maybe you need to be the one to extend the first invitation. You never know where it might lead!
My sweet Kindergarten friend that asked me to color with her became one of my best friends. We spent our early childhood years rollerblading around the backyard, our middle school years working through the awkward braces and baby fat, and high school years singing Kelly Clarkson’s song, “Behind These Hazel Eyes” over boy problems. Last year, she stood beside me as I married my husband and started a whole new chapter of life.
Who knew that stuffing a crayon in my hand and pulling me into the seat next to her would be such a significant gift in my life? I didn’t, and neither do you! Be the woman that seeks friendship with enthusiasm and brings others alongside her. Your soul sisters are out there, and they are searching, just like you, for someone to color life with.