Four Truths About Making Friends

I’ve been thinking a lot about friendship this past week as I contemplate one of my all-time favorite conferences—She Speaks. I won’t be attending this year and it feels a bit odd. I’m wistful over the friends I won’t connect with but more than anything I’m thinking about the new attendees and how they may feel once they arrive.

Attending a conference for the first time can feel like the first day of Junior High. You find your buck-toothed self nailed to the floor. Your coke-bottle glasses peruse the room for an empty seat as you wonder, “Why does everyone else look so happy and utterly connected?”

Of course, insecurity is a bugger and He’s seldom satisfied with limiting his appearance to a virgin conference. Life is full of opportunities (and obstacles) for friendship. It doesn’t matter if the context is a conference, a job, a neighborhood or a church.

The letter below is for She Speaks friends I haven’t yet had the privilege of meeting. They are my fellow buck-tooth, coke-bottle glass girls who in the next few days may be digging deep as they find the courage to leave their room and enter a sea of estrogen.

Thanks for letting me share with them. I’m hoping you’ll find a pearl or two for yourself as well.


Dear She Speaks Newcomer,

There are a gazillion things one could share with a new She Speaks attendee.

Making Peace with Platform.

That would be a great topic. Good chance someone will talk about it.

Carving Out Time to Write When You Don’t Have Time to Poop.

I bet someone will encourage you in that area as well. (*Ahem.The writing…not the pooping.)

But I’m not 100% sure anyone will address the “friendship thang.”

You know what I’m talkin’ about. The way you feel when there’s an inside joke and it’s clear you’re not on the inside.

If this has crossed your mind than you are the reason I wrote this. Below are four simple principles about friendship that you may experience during your time at She Speaks.

The first phenomenon is that plenty of women will already know one another and they’ll be eager to connect with their familiar friends.

This can feel tricky. You see the hugs. You hear the squeals as long lost friends spot one another and dang it…you wish you were one of them.

My insecure self has found that the very best way to process said reunions is to boss my heart around and remember this is not about me. It’s about sisters in Christ that may not have seen each other for years! Before I know it, my heart is right there with them celebrating the connection.

Of course there will also be plenty of women who will not know one another and can’t wait to connect with new friends. My cynical side can get freaked out by these friendlies. “Is she for real?” The answer? “Yes, she probably is.” Believing the best in your new potential friends opens doors that may otherwise remain closed.

Open minds open doors and before you know it you may find that you’re leaving the conference with a friend that will be your friend for life. For reals, it happens. When it does give thanks!

However, it’s equally possible that you may leave the conference without any such sense of connection. Don’t for a minute think you’ve ended up “friendless”!

Several years ago I sat at the closing message with a table of strangers. Two sweet, southern souls sat across from me. We chatted a bit but conversation was hard to pursue. The room was noisy and after all—they were across the table. However, over the next few years a series of “coincidences” intertwined our paths. Before we knew it, there were cross-country phone calls and project collaborations.

As I write this I’m looking forward to the arrival of one of those dear ladies to my home. In a few days, she’ll be flying in with her husband from North Carolina to catch up and meet the fam. Crazy wonderful.

So, if you leave the conference feeling as though you never “scored” on the friend card, be patient. This may be your season of new introductions and brush-stroke relationships. Just remember, you have no idea when and where God will take it.

I’ve rattled on far too long but I wanted to know you’ve got this. He’s got this. And girl…He’s got you.

Enjoy and rest in the love of your deepest friend…He’s right there with you.

“…but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24

Your DoAhead Friend,



  1. Agreed! And I give thanks or the friends that have developed from the times I’ve had at She Speaks! Praying for each women who feels like a small fish in a big sea and asking God to give them that one person that will help them keep swimming!

  2. Forever grateful for that Friend who never leaves my side no matter what.

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