Being a friend is hard to do. It’s hard to know when to speak and when to be silent. It’s hard to know when to correct someone’s thinking and when to just nod and hope she comes to the right conclusion on her own. It’s hard to hear heartbreak spilling out onto the table across from you and not want to jump in with solutions or lofty platitudes.
As an adult, I feel like it’s harder to navigate the word of friendships than it was as a child or teen. Perhaps it’s because we’re so often running in different directions. Or perhaps it’s because we already feel so stressed with our own lives that we have little room to pour into others. Whatever the reason, I know that friendship is important to God and it is often the vehicle that helps us to grow spiritually.
That’s why I was so interested in the book, A Friend in Me: How to Be a Safe Haven for Other Women, by Pamela Havey Lau.
I would love to learn how to be a better mentor and friend, especially to those who are going through a hard time. The author makes the case that the older women in the church are not adequately reaching out to the next generation, leaving them feeling insecure and unsure of who to seek for answers. The young women do not feel safe exposing their failures and asking for direction for fear of being judged or even shunned within the church. I know, at times, I am personally quick to condemn the actions of the younger generation without taking the time to actually listen to their story and guide them in a new direction. Author Pamela writes:
Intrigued, I kept reading. The author spoke about the need of working on our own emotional issues before we can fully be available to others. She shares a personal story about struggling with forgiveness with her mother and how that wound often prevented her from being fully present in friendships.
All in all, I found the book to be very thought-provoking and at times, very inspirations. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that it gave many practical steps to building friendships. In the end, I was more aware of steps I need to take in my own life to improve my emotional state, but I still felt a little lost when it came to troubled friendships. I think it’s a book that’s certainly more geared to pondering than practicalities. If the reader takes the time to really reflect on the words they read and pray about making improvements, I think, in time and through the power of the Holy Spirit, they will become a safe haven to other women. One thing this book has shown me is that is a long process to become a safe haven, but one that is worth the journey.
Disclosure: I received A Friend In Me: How to Be a Safe Haven for Other Women by Pamela Havey Lau complimentary from Litfuse. Provided I give an honest review.