I have always struggled to find friendships where I felt fully loved and cared for, and I believe that finding friends is a difficult thing for most people. It is hard to see what people can truly be like until you are personal with them.

           In my search for authentic relationships loneliness, sadness, and anger have been a few of my emotions when I didn’t have friendships. For me, the thing that hurt the most was constantly reaching out to others only to discover a lack of effort in return. It hurts to not be wanted.

          Almost a year ago, a conversation about friendships started with one of my dearest friends Evelyn Cho. She told me about how she was living by a new motto: “Invest in those who invest in you”.

          At first, I agreed with her newfound saying, acknowledging that everyone should live by this, and assuming in my mind that I was already doing this in my own life; however, after reflecting on it more I realized that I wasn’t. In fact, the majority of my relationships weren’t two-sided or mutual. The relationships I was in were not the life-giving community that I had been desperately seeking to find.

          The concept of investing in those who invest in you is about finding an authentic community who truly wants to be there with you through every moment of your life. They want to breathe God into every aspect of your life and call you to a higher standard of living.

          This can only be done with a circle of friends who are dedicated to seeing you succeed and walking with you even when you aren’t. Not only are these people pouring into you, but you are also doing the same in their life.

          It took me a long time to fully apply this to my life, but it took an even longer time to start. I began evaluating all of my relationships and decide which ones were genuine. Did I feel endlessly loved, cared for, and pursued by my friends?

          I wanted to know that they loved me like Abba does, that they loved me for just me and nothing that I could give them or be.

          So, how can you determine if your friendships are those worth investing in? Do you feel peace, joy, and content after being with them or do you feel drained, annoyed, angry or sad? Do your friends tear you down or lift you up? And probably the hardest part of applying the motto of investing in others who invest in you is the second part of the saying. Are the people in your life extending the same amount of energy and time as you are in the relationship?

          I have found that answering these questions and taking action after finding answers is difficult. It takes effort to find friends who are fully invested in you as you are in them. Although sometimes it can be difficult, please don’t give up. It took me years to find friends I was fully confident in and was able to pour my heart and soul out too. God has such a great plan for you and authentic community is apart of that. In fact, real community is something that He calls us too. Once you find it, and trust me you will, it is one of the sweetest things that God can give you.

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