Signs & Wonders in everyday life
God gave me friends
I really struggled with friendships as a teenager. I was bullied quite a lot and fell into a friendship group where I experienced what I now understand as racial micro-aggressions. I knew that if I stayed it would damage my self-esteem and jeopardise my mental health, both of which were already fragile at such an impressionable age. So, I made a very difficult decision as a teenager to go solo and leave the one friendship group I had. I spent about a year crying in cubicles during my lunch break and wandering around the playground on my own just talking to Jesus. It was great for our relationship, but I begged for friends in the flesh, particularly girls who I could have a ‘sisterhood’ type of friendship with.
I prayed and prayed and then, one day, one person randomly decided to make me his friend. He was part of a group I felt most excluded from and, for whatever reason, he chose to bring me in. He was responsible for helping me find my singing voice, which actually put a stop to the bullying. I went from being no one’s friend to what you’d call ‘a social drifter’. After sixth form, when everyone began going their separate ways for university, I barely kept any of those friendships. I lost that one friend and didn’t know how to find him again.
Then God provided a truly special friend at my church. I’d never had a friendship like it. It was a David and Jonathan type. But, devastatingly, an argument led to the very unexpected end of that friendship. I couldn’t believe something so special could end so easily or be ‘seasonal’ and I began to feel like I would never have lasting good things. I thought that there must be something wrong with me. I was too different, too sensitive and doomed to be friendless, perpetually misunderstood and abandoned eventually.
At a real low, I felt God nudge me to look at the meanings of my middle name and surname. I’d become really interested in the prophetic messages in names and I couldn’t believe I’d never looked these up before. Together, they translated as: ‘compassionate friend; good companion, Jehovah shall add’. Knowing that blew me away.
Soon after, someone at church, who is now a dear friend, gave me this word: “You’re looking for love where it’s not freely given, when there are people who are ready and willing to show up for you! Focus on those people. Go where the love is.” It was the convicting word I needed as God had indeed already begun to provide the incredible friends that I still have to this day! They’re amazing people; people I admire and love to be around, who inspire me, challenge me, are consistent, considerate and generous, who build me up and have been there for me through some of my toughest times. They’re the kind of friends I always wanted but began to believe I couldn’t have or didn’t deserve. I look back and I think: “Jesus knew”. When I was walking through the playground alone, he knew that I was destined to be a good companion and he has indeed added golden friends to my life.
Keziah, by email
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