10 Ways to Grow a Friendship (for Becky)



Tears drip off my chin, landing on the key board.
This post is for my friend Becky.
Who is moving far away tomorrow.
And she gave me this old man smoking a pipe for my birthday.

Probably my favorite gift because it represents years of friendship.
A record of–
Birthdays and marriages.
Babies and holidays.
And lives intertwined.



But this post is also for anyone who is…
Wanting-hoping-praying for deeper friendships.

Gem-like-friends are rare and I’ve been blessed by them.
And from my friends I’ve learned–

10 (and many more ways) to grow a friendship:

1.)  Be a friend.

If you find yourself feeling lonely,
Desiring deeper-realer-solider-friendships…
(Because we all know how that feels),
The best thing you can do is be that friend
Deep and real and solid.
Don’t wait for friendship to pursue.
Be a pursue-er of friendship.
Make a call. Plan a dinner. Talk a walk. Write a note. Invite for coffee.
Be the friend you are looking for.

2.) Pray and look and listen.

Ask God to give you friends.
Pour out your heart and ask Him,
To fill that space and longing.
Look for those already on the path with you.
Look for someone who needs a friend.
Listen for those who love Him like you do.
Listen for where you could give the gift of friendship.


3.) Don’t just think about it.

Call and write and text and email and–
Actually do all those little things you think about doing,
But could easily forget in moments.
Tape the note on a car windshield because God nudged you to do it.
Drop off the Popsicles when children have a stomach bug and you know the night was long.
Send the text that asks how a doctor’s apt went.
Offer to share the car ride when you know the week is hectic.
Email a quick hello when there’s been a bit of quiet.
Stop and pray a prayer when God whispers.

4.) Find a way to regularly connect.

Set up weekly-morning-walks or phone-call-Thursdays during naptime.
Monthly potluck dinners or the cemetery for memorials.
Weekly baskets shared at Costco or treasure trading in the spring.
Yearly camping, birthday coffees, nerf gun wars,
Or Sunday basketball in the church gym .
Bands of brothers and Star-light-parades that weave friendships into–

nerf wars

5.) Love your friends’ children.

Learn her children. Know them. Love them.
Even if it means…
Extra kindergarten graduations or preschool Christmas programs or researching diseases,
Because they are part of her life.
Even if it means…
Buying a purple cowgirl hat for her daughter who will love it.
Or capturing a bug because she has a boy-who-just-loves-bugs.
Welcome hers into yours, muddy pile of shoes by the backdoor and all.


6.) Be in it for the long-haul.

Expect that there will be hurt and disagreement and frustration and misunderstanding.
Because we are all just sinners-saved-by-grace.
And give her the grace you give yourself.
Trust that God can heal wounds inflicted, forging a golden-strength that withstands the fire,
Curing under the pressure.
Friendships are a mess worth making.

7.) Rejoice with. Weep with.

Through the promotions and raises and adoptions and good grades and soccer-victories.
Through the depression and diagnosis and death and disabilities and near-divorces.
Be willing to dig-into-the-messy, not fixing,
But walking through it all together.

“The Bible assumes that
relationships this side of eternity
will be messy and (will) require a lot of work.

Every painful thing
we experience in relationships is
meant to remind us of our need for God.

You can’t take the
gospel seriously and not take
your relationships seriously.

Conflict with others is one of God’s
mysterious, counterintuitive ways of
rescuing us from ourselves.

The problem with relationships is
that they all take place right smack-dab
in the middle of something, and
that something is the story of redemption.”


8.) Enjoy the just-for-fun.

There is often great purpose,
In those times that don’t feel purposeful.
Relationships forged over garage sales and duck eggs hatching.
Over silly movies meant for middle-schoolers.
Over 80’s Proms and white elephant gifts, girl-weekends-at-the-coast,
And left-overs.


9.) Love God together.

Through songs, and hymns and spiritual songs…
Through morning prayers while walking circles around the block.
Through little children in long-church-bench-lines.
Through service and sacrifice and sanctuary and rejoicing in shared–

10.) Remember your Ultimate Friend.

Our example, our constant.
The one who lived-out putting others before self (Phil 2:4).
The one who laid down His life for ours (1 John 3:16).
The one who promises to fill the void when there is a hole.
The one who will never leave you, nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).
The one who shows us how to be a true friend.


My friend Becky is moving tomorrow…
Leaving a huge hole,
In my life and my heart.

But she and her family have gifted us with years of–

And that kind of friendship crosses state lines and oceans,
And that sort of friendship carries on into the–
Whole of eternity.

Love you Becks.
Already missing you.

 …the sweetness of a friend…
Proverbs 27:9


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  1. what a gift you are! LOVE this, sweet friend!

    • And you know…
      I could’ve added a whole long section about those online friendships that God has allowed to develop into shoulder-to-shoulder ones. And even from a spacial distance…you do so many of these things.
      As I was writing this, I was actually thinking about that awesome last message you left me (laughing too)…but that’s exactly it…listening to the nudge of the Holy Spirit. Thankful for you Kelly.

  2. I needed this. I haven’t had those gem-like friends since I graduated from college… and it’s been hard. I needed this reminder to “be the friends you are looking for.” And as soon as I read #3, I stopped and sent a few text messages. To do those things I usually just think about.
    Thank you for sharing this, friend! And so sorry for the hurt of a friend leaving! {hugs}

    • I love your response here…that’s a huge part of my heart behind this post…because I often need that nudge, when I’m feeling a little lonely…to just take those steps, to reach out myself, to make that call I’m wishing for. I so love your comment sweet friend!

  3. Oh, how did you know this was on my heart lately? So sorry for the hole in your heart:( Big cyber hug to you my precious friend.

  4. keltrinswife says:

    This is so good! Thank you so much for writing this. I am so grateful. Be blessed:)

  5. LeAnn Williams says:

    What a lovely post; I really liked all of your thoughts on friendship. I moved from Washington to Utah after living in Washington for 15 years. I had many friends and I cried for a long time. However, I can say that many of those friends are what I call eternal friends. We will always be there for one another.
    Blessings to you for a wonderful post.

  6. Carissa @ Sole Sisters Running says:

    We are coming up on five years here in Oregon. This post is such a lovely reminder of the wonderful friends the Lord has given me in the past few years. I’m so sad for you that Becky is moving away. :(

  7. Karen Yates says:

    Beautiful post Kara! It’s so true that the best way to gain a friend is to be a friend. Just getting on the offensive and showing people you love them and care about them can make a world of difference. Also, I don’t know why but many of us retreat inward when we are going through things. It’s hard to reach out when we need a friend but how does the person know we need them if we don’t tell them? :)

    • I’m the same way Karen…tend to retreat when I’m struggling…but I’m thankful for those friends who know me well enough to pursue when I get a little too quiet. I’m trying to change though…to be honest when things are tough…and to ask for help.

  8. Dayna Sykes says:

    Love this post!

  9. Awe Kara, I know how you feel. I moved away from my BFF 2 years ago. It was so sad. I still mourn for the loss of our “everyday” friendship. Just realizing that our kids will not grow up together, she can’t just hop over for a quick cup of coffee (or an afternoon pineapple & coconut rum) makes me sad. It is so important to pursue friendships, thanks for the reminder!

  10. Ack. I know the feeling of a friend moving away. too. many. times. It hurts and makes one want to curl up and not make any more friends. But the last time I had a dear sister leave, she and others challenged me: Better to have a season with a great friend than never have had that friend at all. So true. So true.

    • I love that challenge and just the reminder to invest here and now in the friendships that I’m surrounded by…to be on the look out for friendships that He way want to grow.

      P.S. Last time I checked I was standing right next to you on “the wall” :)
      Thankful for your online friendship and the reaching out… Love, K

  11. Ok, I finally read this through! And just got internet :) Thank you so
    much for such a sweet blog post. We all know I didn’t do all of this
    stuff and there have been times when I failed at being a good and
    faithful friend. But all the good memories were so fun to review!

    neglected to mention that your name means friend and that you do it
    well. I learned a lot about what a good friend is from you and our
    other awesome friends. I feel like I need to add a few (a very few) of
    my favorite things that you have done for me over the years. Like:

    we moved up from KFalls and you brought us a box of food so we wouldn’t
    have to go out and go shopping right away. There was no one to do that
    for us here :(

    When Kaiah got Diabetes and you were the first one
    to take her and her sugar testing on without me so she could begin to
    have a “normal” life like other girls her age. That was huge!

    When you dressed up in your pink prom dress for Cambria’s 3rd because you knew she would love it.

    I called you up at 7:45 am to see if I could dump a very unhappy
    Lochlan at your house so I could go to a dentist appt. when I realized
    Cliff actually had to go to work.

    When I broke my ankle and you
    came over on YOUR birthday, holding your own candle, while I elevated my
    ankle, so my kids could have lunch.

    Thanks for being such a
    sweet friend over the years! I will miss you, but have no intention of
    stopping now! We’ll just have to do it from across the ocean. Love

  12. Good post on friendships! We’ve recently moved and I’m hoping and praying for new friends that are ‘there through it all’ . True friends are a blessing indeed.

  13. :( I’m sorry that Becky is moving. What a gift to have a friend who knows you through and through (enough to give a special gift like the one you picture above). And your advice? Right on! So many good tips on making friends. I try to tell my children many of these same things, as they are still forming those early bonds. And thank you, BTW, for your kind words at The Wellspring. Our kids sure can break our hearts sometimes. Only wishing we could take the pain away. But opening our hands to God is so liberating and reassuring. Love to you, Kara.

  14. Pamela Kuhn says:

    Oh Kara, I’m so sorry. I’ve had to say some goodbyes lately and it’s so hard. Your post was a beautiful tribute and it is certainly good to be reminded of ways we can be better friends.

  15. I love this, Kara. What a beautiful reminder!

  16. Mama Belle says:

    I’ve been there. So hard to say good-bye to a precious friend. I heard someone say, “God gives us friends for either a reason, a season, or for life.” Some that I’ve left behind I still consider life-long friends and I’ve gained new friends over the years. Some I can definitely say were either a reason or a season. God always provides just what and who we need. :)

  17. I read this with tears in my eyes as we look forward to moving to TN hopefully by this fall. While this is something we have contemplated for years, there has always been the pull of friends and family we will leave behind. I know there will be Skype, cell phones and email, but it just doesn’t take the place of a good old fashioned hug from a friend when you really need it.

    I love how they have compiled a record of those important events, and have given those precious notes to you.

    My parents are selling their home. In the kitchen doorway as part of the frame there is a wide pine board that shows the grandchildren’s handwritten names along with their height and ages. The kids have all told my parents that they have to take that board with them!

    Prayers for you and your friend in this new season, Kara!


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