I almost missed out on friendships with two amazing women because of one ridiculous lie.
Two years ago, I noticed a woman at church who had such an inviting face – the kind of smile that draws you in and makes you want to be her friend. On top of that, she was pretty, she was dressed fabulously, and she wore killer shoes. Instantly, my thought was: We could be great friends. It was just two weeks ago that she and I finally got together to talk. It took me over two years to reach out to her because, while my first thought was: We could be great friends, my second thought was: What do you have to offer?
I wanted to talk to her so many times in those two years, but each time I’d see her, I’d hear in my head: I’m sure she has enough friends. She doesn’t need you. Who do you think you are? And I’d hear that same lie repeated each time: What do you have to offer? Unfortunately, I believed the answer to that question was: nothing, and every time, I did not take the opportunity to say hello.
Yesterday, I met with a young woman who is a very gifted artist. We agreed that she would teach me to draw and paint if I used my budding talents as a seamstress to make her a few items to wear. She also has an inviting personality, and as soon as we sat down, she said the most amazing thing to me. “For a long time now, I’ve wanted to be your friend, but I never said anything. I’ve sort of had a ‘friend crush’ on you,” she giggled. “I have to admit, I was very excited when you asked me to meet with you.”
She didn’t say, and I didn’t ask, but I can guarantee that she had been hearing the same lie that Satan had whispered to me so often: What do you have to offer?
Three women, very much interested in friendship but too afraid to say something, to reach out. What is behind all of this?
This is the very center of who we are as women; we are relational. We were meant to be this way. We were created in God’s image, and He is relational. He is one part of The Trinity. To embrace God for who He truly is, to embrace ourselves for who we truly are, we must not only acknowledge this need for relationship, but also realize just how important it is and how much it is under attack.
That lie I keep hearing is not one that I am saying to myself. Satan whispers it to me over and over. He knows how important relationships are to women. He knows that my heart longs for this kind of connection; likewise, he knows exactly how to thwart it. He did it to Eve. Why am I surprised that he’s trying it with me?
God placed Adam and Eve in the middle of paradise. They had everything they could want in the Garden. The best part was that every day, God walked with them in the cool of the day. Perfect intimacy. What more could they ask for?
I don’t believe Eve ate the fruit out of disobedience. I believe that she wanted to be even closer to the God that she already loved more than anything or anyone else.
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”” (ESV, Genesis 3:1).
Satan targeted Eve. He knew that her vulnerability lay in her heart, in her need for relationship, in her love for God. The Enemy knew exactly what buttons to push, and, wow, did he push! He caused her to question God’s heart toward her. We all know the disastrous results: fear, shame, banishment. And look at God’s consequence for Eve: “To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”” (ESV, Genesis 3:16).
“Your desire will be for your husband.” Eve was relational, her sin was relational, and so her consequence was relational.
Satan didn’t stop with Eve.
He comes after me and my heart. He comes after you and your heart. Satan seeks to kill, steal, and destroy. If he can kill our desires for friendship, he kills our heart. He knows, as he’s always known, that because a woman’s heart is her greatest strength, her heart is also her greatest vulnerability. Once upon a time, Satan, too, had a heart for God. He not only loved God; he worshiped God. We all know the disastrous results of that story, too: pride, power, and banishment. Do you see a theme?
Do not listen to the lies that Satan whispers to your heart. Reach out to those women that you think would make great friends. Take that first step. Ask God who He says you are. Ask God what He thinks you have to offer. Then, when the lies are whispered, you have God’s answers to throw back at the Enemy.
“The truth is I am the daughter of the King. Created in His image, I have a heart that was designed specifically for me and what He’s called me to do.”