Thanks for letting me sneak in here. I’ve heard lots of good things about this site and wanted to share some thoughts with you.
I LOVE teen girls.
In fact, I’m the editor of a magazine just for teen girls! It’s called Sisterhood. I’ll tell you more about that in a few minutes.
I also take a ton of teen girls on two-week international mission trips each summer. On these trips, we do a lot of ministry, hug on orphans, present the Gospel through drama, do some work projects and have our own worship time together each evening.
So I get to talk a lot with teen girls. And when I ask them what’s the toughest thing they deal with, I get a variety of answers (eating disorders, cutting, porn, peer pressure), but you know what keeps coming up more than anything else?
Yep. It trumps all the other problems every single time. In fact, many girls wouldn’t have the other problems if they weren’t dealing with such heavy loneliness.
So I’ve come to realize that teen girls REALLY need each other! I mean, this is a big deal!
And guess what? It’s not just you. God wired ALL women for relationships. All females need to somehow be attached to other females. Even married women need female friends.
So let’s chat for a few minutes about your need for girlfriends. Why are they so important to you?
You need them because God created women to be in relationship with one another. Of course, I’m not talking about sexual relationships. That’s another blog. I’m simply talking about good, solid, female friendships.
When you don’t have that connection to other girls, you feel isolated. Alone. Lonely.
And many teen girls start to feel depressed when they feel alone.
So what can you do? Here are a few tips:
#1: Be picky. Choose your gal pals wisely. Select friends who share common values with you. Don’t hang out with girls who will tempt you to do things you know are wrong.
#2: Be complimentary. Cherish the girlfriends you have. Let them know often how important they are to you. Tell them verbally, text them, send them written notes. It doesn’t have to be much. Simply, “So glad we’re friends” or “Love hanging out with you” is enough to get your message across.
#3: Be inviting. Have them over to your home. This will automatically deepen your friendships. Plan a popcorn and movie night, a game night or a cookie baking night and just spend time laughing and being together.
But … Susie … you don’t understand. I’m LONELY because I don’t have any friends. I can’t do the above because I don’t have anyone to do these things with. THAT’S why I’m struggling!
OK. I hear you.
We need to make this a matter of prayer. God wants you have friends even more than you do! That’s why He wired you to be relational.
So let’s start praying RIGHT NOW that He will help you make good friendship choices. Let’s pray specifically that He will lead a good girlfriend to you, and also that He will give you the confidence to reach out and establish a friendship with another girl.
Understand? We’re asking God to send you someone. But we’re also asking Him to help YOU take the INITIATIVE.
To have a good friend, you need to be a good friend. So pray about whom to befriend, and then move forward. Start saying hi. Be friendly. Ask questions. Get conversations going.
The best place to do this is at church, because more than likely these girls will share your values. But if you attend a small church or there aren’t girls your age there, you may need to look at school. If you’re homeschooled, look for friends in your homeschool co-op.
But what if: If you really can’t find one single friend over the next several months, it means that God wants you for Himself for a season. Know what a privilege this is! Spend time reading the Bible, journaling your prayers to Him, and asking Him to help you become the kind of friend others will need. When you do make friends, you’ll look back on this season as a special, sweet time with your Heavenly Father.
Susie, I have some girlfriends, I just want to be closer to them. Consider starting a prayer/Bible study with them. I’ve written several Bible studies for teen girls. So have lots of other writers. Search your Christian bookstore for the one you want to do, and dive in. Through reading the Bible together and sharing concerns and praying together, you’ll automatically grow closer.
Let’s also chat for a moment about the teen girl magazine I mentioned. It’s called Sisterhood, and it’s really much more than a magazine. Sure, it’s a fun, colorful, jam-packed, glossy mag that will arrive in your mailbox throughout the year, but we also created it for girls to actually connect with each other!
We have a global Sisterhood that’s just waiting for you! It’s an online experience that allows you to connect with other girls who are experiencing the same stuff you are! You can chat about what’s bothering you at school, share prayer requests, hear what trials other girls are battling, and you can join hands to pray with one another.
It’s like entering your own special world for girls who truly care about being united in values and faith. And then when you get the magazine in your mailbox, you’ll feel even more connected through the articles, contests, quizzes and more.
Go ahead. Check us out at SisterhoodMag.com.
Order a one-year subscription for yourself—AND for a friend. Read it together. Laugh. Pray. Bond.
And pray about joining me on our Never the Same Missions trip to Costa Rica, July 7-20, 2014. Learn more at neverthesamemissions.org.
Above all, girls, KNOW that you are so very, very loved!
Susie Shellenberger, Editor
Susie Shellenberger has written 52 books, traveled to every continent in the world and lives in Bethany, Okla., with her two mini-Schnauzers Obie and Amos.