How God taught me to trust my friends

By Jessica Brodie

I’d told one person. Yet somehow, when I walked into second period, my entire middle school class knew my secret.

The drama! The cutthroat gossip! It was so hard being a young teen. And at some point along the way, I decided I was sick and tired of trusting anyone. My secrets stayed with me.

But fast forward 20 years later, and I found I was still living that way. Going through a difficult situation, I looked around and realized that other than my sister and my mom, I didn’t have a single close friend I could trust. That wasn’t healthy. I knew the value of female friendships, but I didn’t understand how to navigate that world in an authentic way. I’d get this close to friends, but the long-standing wall I kept around me would never lower. It became a barrier, keeping everyone out.

I’m grateful for that difficult time, for that was when I found my relationship with Christ on a whole new level. I learned to depend on God and give him everything, to put my faith, hope, and trust in him. But after I emerged from my hard time, I didn’t seem to have that wall anymore.

Slowly, I started making friends and began to take risks. I’d tell them what was actually on my heart. I’d trust them with my fears and vulnerabilities when I had them. “What did I have to lose?” I realized. I no longer felt the need for acceptance and approval from people, but instead focused on seeking acceptance and approval from my Lord. No person could hurt me anymore, because I had Him right next to me.

As I learned to love these female friends like Jesus would—generously, holding nothing back—in return, the first seeds of real friendship began to blossom.

In the Bible, the apostle Paul tells the young believer Timothy that “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV).

Further, writes the apostle John, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love” (1 John 4:18 ESV).

While I used to be terrified of trusting people, I am no longer afraid. Being vulnerable and trusting others has become a step out in faith for me, and I thank God for the blessings it has brought me.

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