When Friendship Tangles our Heart
Carey Scott and I connected online because we both have a heart for women who are burdened by the “not enoughs.” And we’ve both been there — trying to calculate our worth by the measuring sticks of the world. Like me, Carey has had enough of the not enoughs. And that’s why I’m so delighted to have her join us on the blog today as we celebrate the release of her new book, Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Life.
Be sure to enter for a chance to win her book. (Details below.)
When Friendship Tangles our Heart
By Carey Scott
Weeks had gone by and she still hadn’t called.
An argument years earlier changed our friendship, moving it from familiar to strained with one unforeseen moment. We rarely disagreed, but this one shook the foundation.
Our relationship hasn’t been the same ever since.
Instead of the easiness that described “us” … I struggled to trust her heart. Rather than run to her with great news or big challenges … I called others. We didn’t make the time to connect like we had for so many years before.
And while I didn’t understand it then, I realize now how very much the slow break-up of this friendship has been hurting my heart for years.
This friend had a special way of making me feel valuable – something I’ve rarely felt in my 48 years on planet earth. This woman loved me deeply, and we walked many dusty paths of life together. She was my person.
But things had changed.
Truth is, many of our friendships are seasonal by design, but I never thought this one would be. And because I had tied so much of my worth and security to this friend—even much more than I tied it to God at times—my heart became all tangled up in insecurity as our friendship faded away.
I could have called her. I could have reached out. But fear of an ugly confrontation kept me from picking up the phone. Even more I thought, “What if our conversation confirms I’m not a good enough friend?”
Chances are, this is your story too. Experiences like this are as common to women as the promise of clothing styles changing every season. Can you remember a time when your relationship with a trusted friend ended? Or when you thought the friendship was something more valuable than she did?
As women, our heart longs to be seen. We want to be known. We want others to see the depths of who we are and love us anyway. And community does that. Friends play a wonderful role in validating who we are… is good enough. With these women, we feel the freedom to let our guard down and share from those deep places.
But here’s where we get into trouble.
Too often, we replace God with our girlfriends. They become our confidants… our problem-solvers… our validators… and the ones we reach out to when life gets big. They’re the first call we make and the final vote on which direction we take.
And while friends are divine gifts that God uses to bless us, they’re not meant to take His place. Allowing anyone or anything in this world to validate our worth sets us up for huge tangles.
Girlfriends may make us feel loved, but they aren’t capable of truly gauging our importance. They may remind us we’re special, but they can’t fully measure our significance. Friends may be able to encourage and affirm us, but they can’t completely quiet those I’m-not-good-enough messages knotted up in our hearts.
Only God can do that.
Truth is, girlfriends will come and go. We’ll have seasons of rich friendships, but they may not be life-long sojourners. And while it may hurt to watch a beloved friendship fade (it really does, I know), it’s a part of our human experience.
But freedom comes when we accept the reality of community—the good, the bad, and the tangling—and allow Jesus to be the determiner of our value and worth rather than place that expectation on our friends.
What tangles you up with insecurities the most in your friendships?
Carey Scott is an author, speaker, and certified Bible life coach who challenges women to be real—not perfect—even when real is messy. She speaks to women’s groups and writes an online devotional designed to help women be who God created them to be. She lives in Colorado with her husband and their two children. Learn more at CareyScottTalks.com or UntangledWomen.com.
Giveaway of Untangled
Carey is giving away a copy of Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Lifeto one lucky winner. In this book, Carey Scott shows women how to untangle their self-esteem from the world and anchor it in Jesus. She lovingly shows readers that God was intentional in how he made them and that he is well pleased with his work. Women will learn practical strategies to escape unattainable standards and the performance-based measuring stick of the world, and find comfort in the fact that they are not alone on the journey.
HOW TO ENTER: For a chance to win, simply leave us a comment letting us know you’d like to win a copy. I’ll draw a winner on Saturday, June 6, at noon. For extra chances to win, Facebook or Tweet about this post, but be sure to let me know in the comments that you’ve done so, so I can tally up all of your entries!
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Would like to read this book!
I am going through something similar right now with a friend of mine. My life is upside down with fears of how am I going to pay my next electricity bill. I am unemployed (13 months) and one friend, who I have been turning to for reassurance, has turned to matter of fact..preaching. I had to walk away because it was suffocating me at one of my lowest points. It hurt us both. I just pray we can get past it. I really need to read this book! Pick me, pick me!
Sometimes we just need those friends to say, “Oh, honey.” Those words soothe my soul. Praying that God brings the provision you need!
Thank you. I find God sending me prayers from so many different people from so many different places! I am in prayer for the position I will retire from (I am 60 yrs. young) and that the people hiring will truly not discriminate age. That, I feel, is why I am still unemployed after 13 months (downsized/outsourced) searching almost daily for a new career. Sadly, adding to my loss will be my home and possibly my sweet dog, Joshua. I will need to move to my parents and they are financial in need, as well, and their yard is flea infested. Their cat suffers but, not like my 18 year old, Joshie. He is allergic. It will cause him such suffering. Why is my life falling apart and I feel I will lose my best friend, if I have to release Joshie’s life back to God. I have given my life to God yet some days I feel He has forsaken me. My heart is breaking…
Thanks for a chance to win a copy!
I had a Friendship that I thought would last a lifetime. Our kids were friends we spent a lot of time with her family since I was a newly divorced mom of three. Her family just took us in like family. It just broke my heart that it fell apart. To this day if I see her we say hello but it isnt the way it was. Would love to read this book.
Oh the pain of lost friendships… especially the ones we think are lifelong. Understanding that some friends are seasonal was a huge breakthrough for me. I hope God has untangled the pain associated with your situation, Cathy!
Thank you so much for sharing, I can’t tell you how much I needed this right now!! I’d love to read this book!!
Gosh Abby… I need it too! Some days it’s so easy to get tangled… it makes us human, right? But I’ve seen God untangle me. And I’m so thankful..
Love your heart, Carey and your book is amazing. Hugs!
Thank you for being a contributing author in Untangled. Your words are freeing…
Timely post! I’ve been talking about this with my neighbor, Susan (we called it hearts enmeshed) and am concerned that I have modeled it for my daughter (14) who I see doing it in a big way! But God is bigger. Thank you for sharing. I’d love to read the book, but I never seem to win these drawings.
God IS bigger, Beth! So true… and how grateful I am!
This sounds like a great read for me. I love people (sometimes too much). The relationship that ensues can easily take the place of the One who gave me those relationships. A daily battle. A beautiful, painful process.
So true, Kelly!
Kelly! You won! I will have the author send you a copy!
I can’t imagine a woman alive who doesn’t need this book.
Amen and halleluiah… 😉
This sounds like something I need to read. Thanks for the opportunity to win!
I too have a tangled-up heart. Love this excerpt from your book . . . I hope I win a copy!
Melody, don’t we all have those tangles that knot us up? Us girls are all in this together…
….yes we are. 🙂
I would love to win this book! I am so struggling with this right now, and I feel God has just shown me the error of my ways. 🙁 I am definitely sharing on FB and Twitter. Thanks so much!!
Thanks for sharing, Carla!
I’d love to win this! Goodness, sounds like such a valuable book for women.
Wow, This book is really what I need to read. I am struggle with this. Its hard for me because of my hearing loss. I have been hurt, betrayed and used, taking advantage of. I thought they were my true friend, but they were just a pretender, to be nice to me. It broke my heart, and cause a wall build up in me, and my self esteem low. I knew I’m not the problem and God love me for who I am. I do love people, I’m just afraid to get too close. I would love to win this book. I know this book will help me untangled, loose up my insecurity.
I think of Hamlet’s words, “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive.” Maybe that is the root of being entangled when our desires and needs erode the basis of a true friendship. Usually one person expects more than the other person can give. I would enjoy reading this book. “Untangled” would be a good solution to many circumstances and broken relationships today.
I’d love to win this too. It seems my greatest struggle with friendships right now is that we all have 4 or more children and homeschool and 4H…and…and…and. No one has time to invest in friendships right now. They will chat briefly if I call, but they don’t call me. If I invite them to dinner, it has to be 3 or more weeks out, then again, no reciprocation. I feel as if I’m doing all the work of staying in touch. It’s tiring.
This sounds so much like me and something that happened in my life recently. I would love to win the book. This blog is such a blessing to me. Meeting you at Lightbearer’s was too. Thanks for all you do!!
Hi Diane! I just drew from random.org, a random number generator, and you were chosen as the winner of Untangled. I will be emailing you to get your mailing address! Congratulations.
I can’t find your email, in the comment here. Can you email me your mailing address at email@example.com?
Hi Diane, I am so sorry we didn’t connect. I will have to select another winner. 🙁
Hi Carey, thanks for sharing this. I also struggle with pre-approval. Messages of not good enough are prevalent, particularly amongst women. Women are bombarded with images and words that we would be worth more “IF…” So yours and Jennifer’s messages of defining who we are in Christ rather than letting anyone else define us is monumental. Just bought your book, so don’t need to win a copy. Just wanted to say thanks.
This really resonated with me – I saw a face and heard the voice of an ex-friend. I thought she had my back, she was my confidant while I tried to work through a tough decision that I didn’t want the whole world to know about. Then…she told others my secret. I remember how exposed I felt, how cold and windy it was on that “cliff” of decision with no sheltering veil to protect my heart from scrutiny. When I tried to talk with her about it, and let her know how she had hurt me, there was no “I’m sorry, I messed up”, it was just a flippant “Oh, well, I’m no good at keeping secrets”. While I forgave her, the broken trust broke the friendship – abruptly. I’ve realized that my safety and comfort is too wrapped up in others, and I am so glad you wrote about untangling. Thank you for the opportunity to win your book.
Thank you for sharing! I would love to win this book, I’ve struggled with this since I was a child! God Bless:)
This sounds like a book that is well needed for so many women including myself. When I took the quiz on the author’s website it just reminded me how this is a struggle for me. I shared this on Facebook too.
An amazing book! A book that is changing my life.
What a great endorsement for the book! I’m sure Carey will be happy to read this.
I guess the thing that gets me hung up with a few friends is that I feel like I am always the one making the effort or putting the first foot forward. Instead of just realizing that I may need to be more of the instigator in this relationship, I let the enemy’s lies seep in…in which he whispers, “She has better things on her plate to do than be your friend”, or “She’s really not as invested in this friendship as much as you are.” Usually lack of hearing from someone ends up meaning she’s been burned out herself, but the enemy’s lies play a large role in leading me off track. Thanks for a great post today and all the best with your new book!
This sounds like just the thing I need right now. I would love to have a copy of your book. Shared on Twitter and Facebook.
Thank you! This is the season I find myself in again and again and it hurts!
Carey, it is so great to “meet you” here today! Your new book sounds wonderful, and will be of extreme importance to so many women, including myself. The relationships, friendships we women share are often what define us today in a world that is infatuated with “friends” (FB), popularity ratings, readership, whatever. We let these “numbers” define us. And we certainly place overemphasis on the number of “girlfriends” we do coffee with each week. I have a friend of over 40 years who I believe does not place the same importance on our friendship as I do. She’s always so busy, flitting from one friend to another, and she likes to let me know how busy she is seeing this one and that one. I have several acquaintances, but only TWO deep friendships. Sometimes I feel like I am missing out on so much that goes on around me. I live in the country, do not drive, and so I do rely on these two friends to offer to pick me up and bust me outta here for a coffee or lunch date from time to time. It’s a lonely existence for me, and I often feel like more of a burden than anything else. I often rank my importance based on how often we get together. They seem to have the busy, important things going on, finding it hard to “squeeze me in” on any regular basis. I doubt myself in their eyes. And I hate that I so often feel this way. And yes, I base myself on the standards of others, rather than who I am in God’s eyes.
I have also, of late, been wondering why it is that true friendship escapes people like my own husband. He understands MY need for outings with friends, yet desires nothing in the way of a friend for himself. He was down to one friend, a great guy he befriended at church. This guy would call every now & then and they would go out and do something together, but my husband stopped calling HIM a couple of years ago. They never get together anymore, and I admit I cannot understand how he can just let his one true friendship fall by the wayside. Like their time together never really meant anything to him, when I KNOW it did. Every so often, I mention this guy’s name, but he never makes the move to call him, even just to see how life is going for him. I’ve given up. I just don’t “get it”–how men can just be so casual about relationships, yet we women crave, almost live for, one-on-one’s with girlfriends. It’s so true that God has designed men & women so completely different from each other. And yet, the more friends a woman has, the more “tangled” her heart becomes, while men seem perfectly content in their own little world, alone & friendless. Baffles the mind. I hope to win this book, but if not, I will certainly be buying a copy.
So good to see your name in the inbox, Jillie. I hope you’re doing well.
Wow, this hits the nail on the head! I would absolutely love to win a copy of your book! Thank you for allowing all of us the opportunity to win. I shared on Facebook and Pinterest as well. 🙂
With so many of us in the same “boat”, it’s a wonder it doesn’t capsize!! But God is BIGGER than all our tangled messes and your book brings us all together on the Pontoon Of Life!! Thanks for the opportunity to enter your give-away…..shared on FB and Pinterest. God bless your days!
Ha! So true, Nancy. About the capsizing boat. 🙂 I selected a winner through a random number generator. Someone else won the book. But I’d recommend it, and it is available on Amazon, or you can take a peek at my copy sometime. Hope you’re doing well!
Wow! Glad to know I am not alone!
I have been the offender and the offended on the friendship scale…I just want to knowmore…the tangles are too stressful. I would love this book! Sharing it on facebook & pinterest!
“Allowing anyone or anything in this world to validate our worth sets us up for huge tangles.” Strong truth, here, Carey. I, too, have allowed friendships to become my security rather than trusting wholly in God. Praying that your book steers others clear of this pitfall, so they can live freer, more joyful lives.
This is great and so timely for me. I’m learning about boundaries in relationships and the seasons of God. There are also “friends” who are wolves in sheep’s clothing. So glad to be learning discernment. The heart is a precious item to give and God will show where it belongs in this season. To Him first, but then to those he illuminates. Learning, learning. Thanks for this article! I would love a copy of the book if it’s not been drawn already. Thanks!
I’d love to read/win this. Looks like a beautiful book full of timely wisdom. Retweeted too. 🙂
This is interesting. All the wisdom found here. I’d like to have a copy too. 🙂
Thank you for this honest post and shedding light on a fairly common issue about friendships many don’t talk about. It really hit a nerve as a best friend cut off our friendship abruptly a while back..the hurt is still present as I read your blog, yet you are also so right in that God is the source of loving, healing and accepting ourselves fully. I didn’t have God in my life when this friendship ended, and now I realize that my friend didn’t either. I wonder if forgiveness or even a loving conversation to better understand her reasons for ending the relationship might have happened if we both had God as the center of our lives and relationship. Thank you for sharing your important story!