By the time our son, Cooper, turned three, he already had a year of cancer treatment under his belt. It was an intensely hard time for our family, but we had a wonderful support system of friends and family who helped us out.
Everyone was excited for Cooper when a non-profit organization called Make-A-Wish offered to grant his wish to touch a dolphin. Plans were made, and we were off to Florida.
But on the flight, Cooper spiked a fever and, since he was still on cancer treatment, that meant a trip to the hospital. So we got off the airplane in Florida and into an ambulance right there on the tarmac.
It was then that I started to break down. The fear took over, and the anger at God overwhelmed me. How could God let this happen?
I was a mess and questioning my faith like never before. I needed my spiritual friends – the people who knew how to point me back to prayer and strength in Christ. But our support system was thousands of miles away.
In their absence, I finally realized what an essential role my spiritual friends have played in helping me hold onto my faith through the trials of life. I understood just how important it is to seek out those spiritual friendships, because:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. (Ecclesiastes 4:10)
So here are 5 ways to build spiritual friendships:
1. Find (or start) a Bible study. If you are like me, you might prefer to study the Bible and pray on your own. However, digging into the Word with a friend can be so life-giving to your friendship. There are all kinds of Bible studies and prayer groups out there. Try a few until you find the one that feels right for you.
Can’t find one that fits? Consider starting your own. If you feel the need in your community, so do others.
2. Join an online Christian group. An online group can be a safe, stress-free way to meet friends who have the same beliefs as you. It’s the perfect option for busy moms who would otherwise have to find a babysitter. Click here to join the Genuflected Community in taking the 7-Day Prayer Challenge to be still with God.
3. Go to church. Being in a group of people who are worshiping Christ together can be the very first step in feeling like you are part of a bigger Christian support group. Joining committees at your church, volunteering, or attending events can be the perfect way to spark a spiritual friendship.
4. Pray about it. Ask God to send good, Christian friends into your life. Then keep your eyes open, because He promises to answer our prayers.
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” (Matthew 21:22)
5. Pay attention. Is there someone in your life who is reaching out to you? Someone who might be seeking a spiritual friendship with you? Sometimes we are so busy looking around that we don’t see the amazing people God has placed right in front of us.
God created us to be in relationship with Him and with each other. So find your community.
Make an effort. Make a friend. You need each other!
Jenni DeWitt is a fun-loving contemplative who is discovering the value of rest and silent prayer in the midst of this rushed society. She is the author of two books — Forty Days and Why Won’t God Talk to Me? Surprising Ways He Already Is. Jenni lives in Nebraska with her husband and two young sons. She loves to help people in their daily prayer time at Genuflected.com.