Sunday, March 4, 2012

"How to Recognize a REAL Friend"

Me & my two very best friends.
Throughout this blog, you'll see some pictures of some of my closest friends--although it's not ALL of them, I just wanted to share with you that I've been through SO much from real friends to pretend friends. I have a few best friends. Out of them, there are two of them that I have been best friends with since I was 17 years old--and that's Delan and Noel. I've been friends with them for the past 12 years. THEY have proven to me that IN season and OUT of season they will ALWAYS be there. THEY know all my business and they grow, change, support & SHOW up & out for me. We make time for each other, we travel on girls trips together. We encourage one other. We agree with each other for Gods best. I cannot give them the title of "Best Friend" unless we GO through some stuff together. We've argued, disagreed, agreed to disagree, confronted & everything else. Through every season, they were there. I can CALL them my best friend because they've paid the price for the friendship as I have for them. I cannot slap that name on a "random"--a random in a friendship term is identified as someone that doesn't make you better--but worse.

Me & my best friend, Delan after she landed in NYC to visit me when I lived there in 2007! I met her in when I was 17. She invited me to church with her & its there where I gave my whole heart to Jesus. Together, we've been obsessed with Jesus since.

 Me & My Noel in 2011 in Jamaica! Noel is such a beautiful person--inside out. I've known her for 12 years as well. SHE is so filled with wisdom & is another Christian after God's own heart.
Ok, so lets get into this..
Friends. So many of us "have" a TON of them. We have all of our "friends" on facebook, the people we meet in passing that we deem "bff" right after we meet them.. but lets all be honest & not get it twisted "There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.- Proverbs 18:24. I think its interesting that the NLT translations puts "friends" in quotations. It's almost as if its saying--they aint' ya friend. Stop expecting friendship like actions for those that claim that they "love you"--LOVE is a VERB. In a friend, their should be some love-like-actions following it. If they were supposed to rock with you--they will never LEAVE you.

And your mind may be going as you think about a friend that you are no longer cool with--as you shake your head yes & agree with me. But I ask you..what type of friend are YOU? It's easy to talk about somebody else's grass without looking at your OWN. ARE you a good friend? Do you gossip about your friends? Do you PRAY for them & cry out to them? Do you grieve with them when they grieve & CRY with them when they cry??? What is really good?

Growing up--I always thought that everyone was supposed to be my friend. I would give them 100% chance to prove themselves. Thank God for the Holy Spirit who reveals peoples hearts to me now. After a TON of "friendships" that went sour, I realized that God places special people around me so I can help them & they can help me to accomplish the very perfect will of God for our lives. Those friends don't suck all of my energy & drain me. They built me up. THEY make me better daily. I pray that I'm the same for them.

(snorkeling in Cayman Islands with Delan & Noel!)

How to recognize a good friend:

1. They #1--push you towards Christ. They aren't pressuring you to drink, go to clubs, have sex, stay the night with randoms or your little boyfriend or girlfriend, they don't push drugs, stealing or lying on you.

2. They are accountable to you. They call you out when you're wrong but still LOVE & support you back into the will of God for your life.

3. They don't always take everybody elses side, especially in a marriage or a God-ordained relationship. They listen & tell you the other side of things. In my own life, when life would get hard I used to book a vacation & run to an island for a weekend. When I started courting with Cornelius, if we got in a fight--I would do the same thing. My best friend told me that I cannot keep running from my issues & I must finally confront those areas & change. They help you see PERSPECTIVE.

(adore her, me & my Jules in Dubai)

4. They get on their FACE for you. A friend of mine was going through tests & after I encouraged her on the phone & prayed with her--I hung up and cried and cried out to God for her. I got on my face as if it was ME.  A friend WANTS what you want for your life as if it was themselves. I felt the pain that she was going through and I hated sin & I hated those attacks but I knew that God was greater than it all. You're prayers cannot be all about YOU. So what's your motive for your friendships? Make sure it's to GIVE the advantage & not take it.

5. They consider you & stick up for you. I wish someone would try to talk about one of my friends in front of me. I'm going to confront the situation in a loving way. YOUR mouth should never be on anybody elses business unless you have a solution and you'll pick up the phone and call that person.

A real friend isn't a "yes or no ma'am." How do you expect to grow if they only
tell you what you wanna hear! A real friend REFRESHES & energizes you. You feel lighter, better & happier when you're around them. They are a breath of fresh air.

7. Friendship is a 2-way street. Are you the only one calling, emailing, texting, tweeting and facebooking your friend?? Ok--they may not be the best at communication but THEY should make the effort to return your calls. One of my best friends isn't the best with the phone but due to us living in separate states--we refuse to let a few days go by without talking to each other. You do what you gotta do.

8. A real friend, rocks with you in every season. You got married? Moved? Went to School? A real friend is RIGHT there with you, encouraging you with bells on. Planning your wedding activities, helping you move in, being resourceful--whatever the case. They don't stop calling you because dinner with you is no longer "convenient."  They don't make your wedding all about THEM--getting mad at you because of your bridesmaid dress option or being secretly jealous because they wish THEY were getting married.

9. They speak LIFE. Lets be real. A real friend doesn't bash you when you're not around. THEY SPEAK life into you & speak life when you're not around. If a rumor gets swirling about you--do they add to it to get others to like them or to "fit in"--or do they call whoever out or walk away? EVEN if they don't agree with your lifestyle--they let it be known to you in a loving way--and then they shut up & stop nagging you every five minutes. If you are dressing like a hot mess--they encourage you to dress classy

10. They don't FLIRT with your MAN or woman OR try to date them after ya'll break up. Don't do that. It's messy. If you really want attention, go spend time with Jesus. There's 7 billion people on this earth & His eyes are on YOU. He'll give you all the attention you need. Stop tryin' to get it from somebody elses man or woman. Jus sayin'.

 So when you go through things, tests, trials, moves, marriage, divorces, deaths.. will YOUR friends rock with you or will they run off & talk about you?! SO it's time to do a friend check. Your friendships should be BRIDGES & not ditches.

                          (me & noey, sad that we're leaving each other in Miami)

Before we leave--a couple questions are on my heart to answer:
1. How can I forgive a friend that hurt me?
Answer: PEOPLE are gonna hurt you. It happens. Its important that WE forgive people so that GOD can forgive us. "For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." (Matt 6:14-15). Forgiveness is for YOU. Release yourself from them. And just because you forgive them doesn't mean you need to run & get a future with them. Let the Holy Spirit lead you in & out of your relationships. God closes some doors that don't need to be opened. So yes, forgive them. THEN seek God IF you should continue a relationship with them.

2. I'm saved now, but my old friends aren't so do I still hang out with them? I'm torn when I'm around them.
Answer: Let's be honest, its easier to pull you off of the chair then it is to pull you onto the chair. When you first get saved you may need to separate yourself from them for a season so God can strengthen you to HELP them. If you are going to be around them--YOU control the environment. For example, invite them to church with you or to a Christian's friends house. They may not go right away but after they see the CHANGE in you--they may be more open to God.  YOU may be the only bible those people read so be a light. Live differently.

3. How do I know if my friends are real? I'm torn about new friendships!
Answer: Ask GOD to show you the hearts of the people around you. If God rips away your peace regarding a person--it aint personal. Obey HIM first. If you aren't clear--TIME will tell.

4. I don't have many friends that are saved. What do I do?
Answer: God has set you apart for a season. At times, we can get so dependent on friendships that we run to our cell phones instead of God. A friend is wonderful but that relationship should always be put into perspective. THEY ain't God--no matter how much wisdom they have. Just show yourself friendly & reach out to others! Get involved as God leads you at your local church. GIVE the advantage & if people hurt you in the past--let God heal you & stop charging everyone.
In discussing friendships, I started making "BFF" bracelets for my best friends, so I figured now would be a good time to introduce them to you. "No Randoms" covers not having random relationships & friendships. BFF just says, that my friends are real, COVENANT relationships and I GIVE my friend the advantage, I don't take it. I pray for my friends, love them, support them & encourage them. I Pinky Promise.

Shipping is free for the second bracelet for a limited time. You can order them here!

God Loves you like CRAZY,

Heather Lindsey

Me & my lovely. My niece & one of my closest friends, Danielle! I adore her!


  1. Love this. Gave me more insight as to who I choose as my friends and those that are my real friends.
    Thanks Heather!

  2. glad to read this.I am at a stage of my life where I've been alone and getting rid of so called friends. Your blog just encouraged me by knowing that it just for a season . So I'm going to focus on improving my relationship with Jesus instead of surrounding myself with friends that will pull me down .God bless you heather,you're like a big sister to me :)

  3. This was very nice..I enjoyed reading it

  4. This is totally what I needed! It's soo easy to pick the wrong people as friends. It's also easy to be the wrong friend. Thanks for writing this! Blessings! :)

  5. Another awesome post, thank you! And I'm so glad you've pointed out that we should look at ourselves instead of just pointing the finger at others. I had to take a look at myself in my own friendships and realize I could do better in some areas, as well :)

  6. What a great post! I feel like women throw that word around so often. The more mature I grow in life and in Christ I'm starting to see the importance of real valuable friendship. Like you said, friends speak into your life and in turn receive your speaking into theirs. They don't constantly drag you down and drain your energy with all their problems. They reach out because they trust you and look for you to shake them out of it. I find that the biggest friendship killer with women is jealousy; especially during and after a wedding. To me, a friend rejoices in your successes and accomplishments even when she may not be experiencing any of her own. God had to remind me that the first shall be last and the last first. There's something truly amazing and life transforming when you find and keeps friends who rejoice with you in every stage of life. These are the friends worth keeping. Thanks for your insight.

    Vonae Deyshawn

  7. LOVE this post! I thank GOD for my 2 Covenant BFF's - they've been my friends (through it ALL) for longer than I can even remember. What an awesome tribute to true friends :-)

  8. This literally just hit me in the face, but I needed the hit! This is great and is actually making me question how good of a friend I have been. I don't talk on the phone a lot and have let months go by without talking to friends. I need to pray about this because for the longest I blamed it on females, but I just may be the female with the problem. God knows what you need when you need it!

  9. Thanks for writing this blog. It was very insightful to read. This allowed me to see some areas that I can improve on as a friend. It also made me realize even more that everyone is not a friend. There are some that are a season and others are a lifetime. When things don't pan out, I tend to hold on even when I know God is shifting things around for a reason. Usually the shift centers around an individual that is draining me than uplifting me. I really needed this.

  10. I just found myself weeping before God about this last night. I don't have any Christian friends and I have felt so lonely lately. I used to be ok with calling myself a "loner" until God showed me that a Christian should not be ok with that, but fervent about reaching out to other people and sharing his love with them without impure motives.

  11. This is a beautiful blog!! I truly enjoyed it. I am in 100% agreement with you concerning friends... it is important that we take a biblical stance on our relationships. Also, it was a pleasant surprise at the end to see Danielle because I went to college with her (Go BLUE!!!)

  12. Love this Heather. Thanks for sharing. I'm blessed to have great friends, but the Lord definitely had to work on them as well as myself throughout the years. My sis always used to point out how many people lack the capacity to be a friend. I used to be as you said you were, I wanted everyone to be my friend. All cookies n' cream. After some harsh doses of reality, I realize this notion is simply unrealistic. My mom used "if everyone likes you, you're doing something wrong," and I didn't understand. She explained about Jesus, and as I got older, I better understood. You can be an amazing person, but still have problems with people.I've been hurt by "friends" in the past,and I let it get me down. I asked God to help me heal,and he not only did that,but blessed me with the friends/sisters I have now:) Awesome Pictures Heather,I can tell those are your sisters.
    Oh,I've started a blog and I'd love for you to check it out sis:)

  13. What a great post, Heather..I am struggling with the fact that I don't have a great deal of people that I can truly call "friends". I have one close friend & we have been friends since our junior yr in high school (we are now 22). Lately, she's been very nasty & difficult to talk to..I tried to explain that to her but I don't think she is getting it. I've been questioning our friendship at this point, and whether or not it is time to stop talking to her..but I feel torn b/c like I said before, I don't have a lot of "friends" and we've been friends for over 6 yrs..I'm just not sure what to do.

  14. I love this blog Heather! I love that you love being used by GOD! Amen, to great agape friendships...

  15. This is amazing! It's great to have friends like that in our space.

  16. This post is such a great blessing! Thank you for sharing and encouraging:)

  17. Oh my goodness Heather!! This was sooooo opportune, perfect, and on point!!!! I'm so glad God told me to come read your webpage!! This was a Rhema word for sure! I <3 you........I am on a facebook I don't get to catch your uplifting facebook post anymore.....but I'm so glad that you're blogging!! Anyway sending lots of love your way all the way from Dallas, TX!!! - Kim

    P.S. You are also an aweomse selfLESS friend for this wonderful ode to the people that God has placed in your life!! <3<3

  18. Heather this post speaks to my current situation. God told me to clean up my list of friends years ago and I kept the wrong one close by for the simple fact that she's Christian and we are apart of the same ministry. For years she's had good seasons and bad seasons in our friendship and I've obviously taken the lesson of long suffering in the bible the wrong way. She has discouraged me in my goals, disguised bitter comments as jokes, and shown jealousy in my relationship with her family, our mutual friends, and a previous relationship with a non-random. It took me a while to realize that even when I was still going before God on her behalf I didn't like her as a person anymore, which makes me sad because I don't not like people too often. And a few weeks ago following surgery and a few life changes God laid me down on the altar in tears after my Pastor spoke these words "God says, you don't have to always be strong for everyone else. It's ok." And that's all it took really to reexamine this drain on my life, where I was pouring into a few people with no return. It's unhealthy.
    I really hope one day to have sister in Christ that will mutually support me, pray for me, and laugh with me.

  19. Heather -

    This is so great & always needed. I remember when friendships (real ones) were hard to come by back in high school; even now in my 20s. I think the scriptures you gave the the friendship traits to look for were on point!

    - Ashlee Chu

  20. Hi Heather,

    Your blog is absolutely amazing. My twin posted this to me and I have been so blessed. I love that your so stylish and all (our bodies are temples and so we got to look after it lol). I love that your so real which is important. My new word - no random lol. It's good to be able to read and learn from a Godly woman like you and is also an encouragement that there are people pursuing a relationship with Jesus around the globe. You are an inspiration and God is going to use you to speak truth into so many women's life.

    I have a problem, my friend who will call herself a Christian is in a sexual relationship with her boyfriend who is also a Christian and they both go the the same church back home. We both at uni and I invited her to church, she's come about three times in the last 18 months and I think its because she got convicted by the Holy Spirit. I don't know how to tell her in a loving way and not seem to be judgemental about her relationship because she is the kind of person who thinks she is always right and would never admit she's wrong. I've also stopped talking to her about God and inviting her to events, life group(small group) and church as she never comes or gives an excuse (her boyfriend sort of told me off for doing so and I tried to explain in her presence my reason for doing so). I now only see and talk to her when we walk to uni together sometimes or in lectures and I barely go round hers any more because she never comes round mine, I've walked out of hers a couple of times before and also I don't want to encourage her and her boyfriend to stay in together as they are living like married couple but not technically cohabitating . She is a lovely girl and her boyfriend is as well just that he thinks he is too clever (I really do love both of them). Her boyfriend, her flatmate and I are the only people she is close to and would probably call friends. I know I should pray for her and I think she is kind of lonely (as I went from always being at hers to never being there)but I find myself not wanting to give grace which is really wrong because who am I not to and them having a sexual relationship really bothers me more than it does my non-christian friends which again is should not be so as sin committed by all should have the same reaction.

    1. Hey love! Sounds like you've talked to her about Christ and about the situation before. She KNOWS that what she is doing is wrong-- hence the conviction & the desire to be with her guy & not go to church, etc. I have to be honest with you--with people like that, I say what I have to say & then shut up. I've learned that I'm not God and I cannot force people to change. PEOPLE are gonna do what PEOPLE what to do. She also has the Holy Spirit convicting her as well. God can do a better job of bringing someone to Christ by getting their heart than we can. So what do we do?? LOVE them. Even if we have to pull away from them for a season if God is directing us. But if she's in your life now, you show her the love of God by gracing her & being there for her. Eventually, she'll hit rock bottom & turn her heart to Christ and you'll be RIGHT there to pray for her & encourage her. "The goodness of God brings a man to repentence"- Romans 2:4. Praying for you both! xo

    2. Amen and amen! Heather you are so right!!!:-) I'm learning to trust the Holy Spirit to straighten people out way more than i used to. Like you said, I'm not God! He can deal with people's heart at the root! Love you Heather! I thank God for you:-)

      Love always,

      Zakiya Jenkins

  21. This is definitely an on time post. Coming to college you figure out people who are really your friends and people who are simply not. I had trouble with this and it is confirmation that sometimes God wants us to walk alone for a season so he can have our full attention! Thank you! xoxo
    Oneisha Ford

  22. THANK YOU!!!!!!!! stay blessed :)

  23. Love, Love, Love..youre a great role model :)!!!

  24. Tricey Banks

    I have known Dalan and Heather since 2000. Wow, can you two believe it has been that long. When Heather says they have been through it I can attest to that. I can also agree that no matter what the two have always had each other back.

    You guys are beautiful.

  25. This post definitely put why I'm friendless into perspective even though I've been a great friend. It was true but makes me feel hella lonely.. :(

    1. Being lonely isn't a bad thing-- usually when we're lonely-- God is drawing us back to a closer relationship to Him. <3

  26. abosolutely love!

  27. Your blog is EVERTHING I NEEDED TO HEAR TODAY. I'm fasting and i was tempted to eat i almost broke my fast and your blog fed me everything i needed to eat. I don't think its by chance that i came across your blog..God will continue to do wonders in your life and bless you <3

  28. im a christian and a work in my two best friends have suddenly cut all ties with me because of my boyfriend. He's a christian but he also did not so christian things. But what bothers me is that its clear they don't like him but i feel like they came together to talk about me and him and decided to abandon me. it really hurts my feeling bc i don't have much friends and i considered them sister to me.we are all christians but they both suddenly became extremely devoted.i pray every day and read my bible and God has revealed to me on several occasions that he was not the one. so i recently broke it off with him. for GOOD. its been really hard but its even harder because i don't feel like i can talk to my girls its so awkward between us now. and i really don't know what to do.I just been praying a lot but what advice do you have for me?

  29. Thank you so much for posting this...
    I am learning how to be a friend all over again bcuz of a past hurt. THANK U SO MUCH!

  30. Just when I thought I was over crying for a friendship over 15years old that has seem to go down south!!!!! Thanks for this...I will re-read and apply to my life. I'm responsible for me...Lord God knows that your heart grieves when a relationship that was no longer considered a friendship but a sisterhood goes south...but to God be the Glory!!! I do ask that you pray for still really hurts at times...and I want to make sure that I'm blameless and don't allow my frustration blind me from seeing the bigger picture.

  31. am so inspired . there are times when i feel i am all alone. but i realise i have a friend who really does stick out for me . she is there no matter what . i am so glad that i have such a friend in my life.

  32. Hi Heather,
    A friend, yes a friend :-) recently introduce me to you blog and I have been gobbling up all that I can from your postings. However this is the only one that I have commented on thus far. It was predestined that I be led to this site at this particular point in my life. I must say that I love your blantant honesty, that is very rare today. Recently I have lost almost all the people in my life that I thought of "friends" because God chose to transition me. Even as I write this I am still struggling with someone that I thought was my bf, but your posting certainly gives clarity to my situation. Immense thanks go out to you, thus I encourage you to continue doing this great the few friends that I have ministry it is like oasis in the desert. continue to be bless and favored.

  33. My best friend has gone through everything with me, but just recently she has joined a lifestyle that is not in the right direction. She has started smoking, drinking, taking pills, and bisexual. I love her to death, but even though she doesn't try to push me to do those things I don't know how to be around her as much without feeling awkward. In addition, she is my roommate this year for my first year of college and I'm so scared that our 7 year friendship is going to end after this year.

  34. reading this blog has given me so much clarity because I have recently lost a best friend due to my actions. I realize now and accept that though she wasn't perfect, she was loyal and a true friend to me. But I wasn't to her and so did not appreciate the gift of her friendship. Losing her has hurt me greatly but have made me realize that i cannot hope to have a true friend if i do not portray those same qualities myself. I have lost almost all my friends and it gets lonely but i thank you for writing this blog because i will read and reread it to push me to be better and in so, accept better.

  35. I've recently been having friendship problems myself. I think it's my season to walk alone. But while this season is happening, I'm working on my relationship with God. And I know eventually God will send me better friends. Thanks for this post, I'll know what to look for next time.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...