3 Ways to Build Spiritual Friendships

I’m an introvert in every sense of the word. This is a fact I easily covered up in my younger years with alcohol which completely took away my social anxiety. It worked so well I didn’t even realize I was an introvert until much later in life when I finally gave my crutch up after it became a full blown addiction.

In my early years of sobriety, I had to leave behind all of my friends who still chose the lifestyle I knew I had to flee from. This meant finding new connections which quickly led to my discovery of an incredibly introverted self. After several years of hiding in my home with my husband and kids, I knew it was time to build those necessary spiritual friendships I desperately craved.

I want to share three ways I found my tribe and the beautiful bonds we cling to today. The first one is a fantastic way for introverts such as myself to break into socializing. 

Building spiritual friendships can be such a blessing in our lives. Women need these important bonds where we can truly be ourselves and grow in life and faith. Check out these 3 awesome ways to find and nurture Christian friendships!

Online Friendships

My first venture into friendship after those years of self imposed isolation happened through the internet. I joined a Proverbs 31 online Bible study on the book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst. My first Yes to God came in the form of starting a blog sharing my testimony of addiction and the amazing grace God saved me with. By the end of that study, friendships had formed and confidences renewed enough to know I would continue with Proverbs 31 for many more sessions.

I stepped out in faith even more in the weeks that followed by joining a small Proverbs 31 Ministries Facebook group of fellow studiers and letting them completely into my private world. Before we finished that second book, I had a tight circle of women I deeply loved. Some of us even connected in real life at a couple of local conferences.

If you are just beginning to reach out, online is a wonderful place to start building spiritual friendships. Try a Bible study or a Facebook group related to something you enjoy. This is a great way to meet people and start to open up. You may even end up with very special real life friends as I have so graciously been blessed with through this avenue.

Community Groups Through Church

Another space I found fellow God loving women in those early years was though a local church. My husband and I had been struggling to find a church family we both felt connected to. We ended up joining a community group that got together weekly in the home of a couple we met in my son’s karate class.

Satan worked hard on me in those days trying to convince me to stay away from people, keeping me quiet at many of our meetings or even completely absent. Online connections were still much easier, but I knew deep down these people weren’t in my life by accident.

Over time many members of that group have grown to be our nearest and dearest friends. This is a great way to plug in with your spouse and kids. My entire family is blessed with strong connections in that Friday night circle even though we switched to a new group (also on our growing list of people we cherish) a while ago.

Small, Intimate Groups of Spiritual Women

One of my sweet friends from our first church community group brings seven Christian women into her home every other Thursday. I’m immensely blessed to be one of those seven friends. This small group has helped me to find my voice and share things I wouldn’t tell anyone else.

I trust these women with my secrets, sins, and copious amounts of tears. Satan still tries to talk me out of going to most of the get togethers by a sudden headache or a quickly brought on identity crisis. He doesn’t win anymore.

I make myself show up and share my life openly. Every time. And I’m always so thankful I spent that special time with them. Every single time.

Smaller groups can be more difficult for us introverts but they are so worth it. These women can truly see me, also seeing through my stoic “I’m fine” lie at times. Once after sitting down with fought back tears in my eyes beside my beautiful hostess friend, just a simple look from her forced me to fall into her arms as those tears flowed and many words followed telling all seated at the table what was breaking my heart that day.

As hard as the raw emotion springing from me was in those moments, every tear brought me further from isolation and closer to my special friends who love both me and Jesus. Two facts that continue helping me grow to love and trust them more every day.

If you aren’t ready for a small, intimate group yet, just start somewhere. You’ll be surprised how quickly God will bring you into the exact life-changing spiritual friendships you deserve. I would love to get to know you better! Leave a comment here, visit my blog, or join me on Facebook.

Candace Playforth
Candace Playforth is a wife, mom, Jesus follower, serenity seeker, and writer on a quest for health in body, mind, and soul. Join her in creating a healthier body, emotional well-being, and unprecedented faith at CandaceCreates.com. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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22 Comments

  1. These are all great ideas for connecting with other people. I’m an introvert too and I have struggled to connect with people also. I mostly rely on my family for friendship, but I also want to expand my circle of friends. So thanks for these suggestions.

    1. It’s hard when you still have littles like you do, Sonya. I’m sure you stay incredibly busy. I hope these suggestions help! I’m thankful to be connected with you in this online world, my friend :).

  2. Yes finds no a trustworthy deep relationship is hard when stuff is so going on in your life. We all need that cry on the shoulder friend and be able to collapse in tears – I am still searching for just that person but we are required to bear one another’s burdens as well as joys and sorrows praying for this friend

    1. Praying with you to find this special friend, Debbie. It can be a difficult search, but well worth it. God always brings us who we need in His perfect timing.

  3. What a beautiful testimony! Thank you for these three ideas for forming Christian friendships. They are spot on. I’m an introvert, too. :)

    1. Thank you, Julie! It can be tough for us introverts, but I’m living proof we can build strong friendships too. It took me a long time and lots of prayers, but it was all worth it :).

  4. Amazing, I hope and pray someday I too can experience such amazing friendships. And who knows maybe someone to love, a partner for the rest of my days.

    1. I’ll be praying with you for both of these people to come into your life, Denise. It’s amazing how God can answer our prayers when we least expect it :). Many blessings to you!

  5. Thanks for the list of books, I am a total book lover ones to read or very old ones to treasure. I also do mixed media art and anything old tempts me use in my art cut out and pasted to a page. But I don’t I have several of those books and I can’t tell you yet if I like them because I haven’t read those yet. I have too many irons in the fires which is usually my problem. I read about the new book and study and it sounds like something right up my alley, I’m an introvert and I got rid of it with whatever changed the way I felt. Finally I did and it was God, now I received His Son our Savior Jesus. My life is a total 180 and people that I used to know I have no idea where they are except the ones that died. I never see a homeless person and look down at them I give them what ever I can and I can’t control what he spends it on but just pray he buys something to eat. Thanks Arabah, have a blessed weekend.

  6. Well you hit the nail on the head with this one! I, too, am introverted and married to the most extroverted man I’ve ever known! We just recently started going to a small, new church after being away for many years. God’s been working on my heart to have people over and I am dragging my feet. This posting is His nudge (again) to just do it!

    1. It took me a while to find comfort having people over as well, Linda. I used to dread it, but honestly, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Jump in, friend. You won’t regret it :).

  7. I am 65 years old and have been a Christian since age 21. I, also, was a heavy drinker in my younger days. It re-surfaced later in life when my husband also succumbed to this again. I blamed circumstances in our church (harshness, some strange teachings, etc.), but we had the word of God and nothing can excuse our opening our home to alcohol again. Unfortunately, this backsliding occurred during formable teen years for our children, and they are still unsaved. Our children are still young (under age 30) for our age, as we had them later in life. I pray constantly for them and try to seek God again now in my life with that ‘first love’, although quietly for the most part, as I am basically the only one in my family now who wants Christ in a real way. But everyone is slowly coming back …. I can see ….and believe. :) Anyways, after that background story, I just wanted to say that the things you shared in this post were very, very helpful to me for identifying and even accepting some of my own introverted ways. I, too, hid behind my husband and children. I do love being at home and loved, loved, loved raising a family … especially those years before things became more worldly in our home. How I regret those years, only God can ever fully know … I appreciate your honest heart, your openness. I am new to your blog still. :) Thank you for all the things you take the time to share! May the love of Christ always, always keep you and your family throughout all the ups and downs of life!

    1. I can relate to you in many ways, Dianne. We dragged my daughter with us through our church shopping years. By the time we found one we wanted to stabilize in, my daughter was done with church. It took her years to find her own way and I’m happy to report she is involved with a church of her own. She continues to struggle at times with it though and my guilt can be overwhelming.
      It sounds like you are being a wonderful example for your family. I have no doubt they will eventually find their way back by watching your relationship with Christ continue to deepen. I’m thrilled to hear you are seeing this already. Thank you for sharing your story. Many blessings to you and your precious family.

  8. I love these ideas and I too, feel blessed to have these kinds of fellowship in my life! All three are wonderful ways to connect and grow friendships.

    I have been hosting a small women’s group in my home for years and each year it amazes me who God hand picks for that particular year and the intimate friendships that grow within the group. It fluctuates every year due to schedule changes and new jobs for some girls etc- but it’s always been SUCH a tight knit circle of women with whom we trust each other completely and have ongoing support through out the week through group texts. There have been so many times when one of the women is in crisis and we all SHOW UP for that person. That kind of bond is one of the greatest joys in my life!

    1. It’s amazing how He puts the right people together, Chris. I love the small group of women I meet with and each of us seems hand picked to be there. I’m blessed to have you in my world as well, my friend!

  9. Thanks for sharing your beautiful testimony here, Candace. I appreciate your honesty AND your practical suggestions. When my kids were small, the family group model worked best for us. It was good for my husband, my kids, AND me. I’m grateful now for more flexibility, but fellowship is so important at any stage.

    I didn’t know you were a P31 girl, like I am! What Happens When Women Walk in Faith was my first on-line study too, and I got SO much out of that book. I have also loved Suzie Eller’s #ComeWithMe community.

    1. I adore P31, Betsy. I had to stop the online studies a few months ago because of an overwhelmed schedule, but I miss them greatly. I’ll have to check out Suzie Eller’s community you mentioned. I so agree with you that fellowship is important at every stage. I’m really just now fully realizing that :).

  10. My name is Elizabeth I am from Hughes springs Texas I just turned 25 two months ago… I went to school in this small town and graduated in 2009…at the beginning of my senior year i began using methamphetamines at first it wasn’t a problem it was fun.. I could go school, work at sonic drive in after school, and party and stay out all night and then repeat…. At this time my fiancee Aaron was just a year older so it was his first year out of highschool… I tried that stuff with him and I have not been able to break completely free from this addiction in 7 years at least… Granny Kay Wallace just turned 75 yesterday she was a teacher at Hughes Springs school and retired from teaching…. She was very good at math she was a calculus teacher for many years and just happened to be the first teacher with their own personal computers…!!! Her and Johnny Wallace were sweethearts at a young age…. Johnny was diagnosed with hemochromatosis 1- 1 1/2 years before he passed February of 2016.. granny has been diagnosed with dementia…beginning stages….her eldest son Craig is Aaron’s father….I thank God for blessing me with this family. Keep us in your prayers…

    1. Sweet Elizabeth, I’m praying for you and your family. With God all things are possible. Just remember that~ let it be your rock, your hope, your motivation for swinging your feet over the side of the bed each morning. In Christ, you can beat meth. Never give up. {{Hugs}} AJ

  11. Great read. Thank you. I too, am an introvert, and I learned this when I was pretty young & let it haunt me because it came with social anxiety. But since getting honest with God, I have found confidence in who He made me to be, and that anxiety has mostly dissolved (I’m working on it). I particularly like your first categorical point “Online Friendships”: as I’m just starting down that road with blogging. Thanks for your words!
    -SamV
    Word To The Power

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