Trouble Finding Friends? Make Them.

Have you ever wished you could find an amazing tribe? A sisterhood of women who will envelope you, welcome you with open arms, and you’ll fit right into their rhythm without missing a beat? It’s a beautiful idea.

Here’s the problem – that’s not really a thing. Instead, we need to change the words we use when we talk about community. I believe that the best, the deepest, the longest lasting, the most “ride or die” friendships are made, not found.

What’s the difference? Finding means that you stumble upon something – maybe by accident - that someone else has created. Making means that you are part of the creative process yourself.

Though making is currently a hip term used to describe artsy craftsy things, it doesn’t just apply to art. The truth is, even if you’re not an artsy person, you are a maker too. We make our families, our careers, our dinners, and our relationships. Making means that you have your hands in every stage of the project. It means that you experience each step of the process, and you take the time to do it properly. It means you get to witness each high point and each low moment.

So what does it mean to make a friendship? How is relationship building like the creative process?

1.       Making is starting from scratch

In friendship, the making process starts with handshakes and small talk – and it can feel pretty bare. When you’re at the very beginning of the friend-making process, remember that it’s meant to feel this way at first. “Scratch” is a great word to describe the sometimes awkward first stages of a relationship. It often starts this way.

2.       Making is time consuming

Of course it’s quicker to go pick up burgers than to make them. Of course it’s a grind to move through all the stages of baby, toddler, gradeschool, and teen years. Of course it’s faster to buy a scarf than to knit one. Making things can take a long, long time, but the time you put in is what makes the pay off so worthwhile. Can you imagine how bizarre it would feel if someone presented you with an 18 year old and said, “Hey, we did the hard work for you! Now enjoy your family without the drag of parenting!” The same is true for your girlfriends!

3.       Making is sometimes frustrating

If you’ve ever had a “Pinterest fail” or a crafting catastrophe, you can picture just how devastating it can be when things don’t go as they’re meant to. When you’re creating anything – from a quilt to a friendship – you’ll hit some roadblocks. You’ll run into unexpected snags. Often, we think that really good friends will never have fights, will never say the wrong thing, or never let each other down. Nothing could be further from the truth.

4.       Making is incredibly fulfilling, and it’s what we were designed to do.

I believe in a creator God who designed us to come alive when we make something new out of raw materials. He loves to make – even Jesus was a carpenter – and He’s put that drive in us, too. At times, we try to forget this fact in favor of convenience, but in the end, getting a ready-made life can be profoundly depressing.

Meal prep companies have started popping up because I think we’ve started to realize there’s something important missing from take-out. Upcycling, restoration, and DIY is now incredibly chic instead of a sign that you’re short on cash. Etsy – the handmade site that was fairly unknown just a few years ago – has exploded with people offering something for people who want something unique, not mass produced. The same is true with our sisterhood. Once we buy into the idea of making our tribe, the sooner we can started!

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If you are ready to take a risk - to step out - and take action to start making real, vibrant friendships, try a craft kit! It's the perfect reason to gather and make friends on purpose!