We all love the idea of #squadgoals but it’s more than just a little cute caption for a bomb photo. It’s something we should feel good about when we think about our friends and how we feel when we finish hanging out with them.

Ya’ll know me: story time!

I have always loved to travel. My parents and I took multiple road trips a year when I was growing up, and a lot of times my dad and I took quick trips multiple times a summer because we enjoyed the road so much when he wasn’t working in the community. It was more fun to visit my older sisters and brothers than anything else I was able to do. 

The only reason the trips slowed down was because when I became a sophomore, I started working. Can you say dollar, dollar, bills, yo? I have always loved to travel and work. In fact, it became a goal of mine very early to start working as soon as I finished college so that I could begin traveling. 

I wish I made different decisions. I never realized that some churches and organizations hosted teen mission trips. I never realized that I could have gone to college debt free.…Why? Because my squad and I didn’t know how to turn our dreams into goals and do the research that would help us live out our dreams in the moment, or at least make a plan so that we would really embody #squadgoals.

So what did I spend my money on in high school and why?

Make up. Designer clothes. Hair styling appointments. I spent my money trying to impress everyone else…and they didn’t even like me! My best friends thought it was a waste of money and they did help me to save money by doing my hair when they had time so I’m crazy appreciative for that. However, we just didn’t know that we could have been doing more than trying to look cute for a bunch of boys who were questionably respectful-at best. 

That’s why we need big sister wisdom. 

As your big sister, I am here to tell you that it’s time to start living out the dreams God placed in your heart right now. We get so caught up thinking that we have to start when we get older, but it starts right now. That’s where your friends come in, and this time, I have a couple of questions for you.

Do your friends help you feel good about your future or do they make you want to rant and complain about everything going on in your life right now?

Do they think about the future at all or are they just obsessed with the moment? It’s true that we’re in a quarantine and that is really sad, but some of the girls I know have been starting their businesses, getting jobs, and writing songs instead of complaining about how much they miss their friends. What have you been spending your time doing?  It’s good to live in the present and enjoy every day, but sometimes a failure to look at the future leads us to make stupid mistakes that we know don’t support our dreams. Faith is the tension between enjoying and finding gratitude for what you have right now and looking ahead to what’s coming from the Lord. 

Do your friends support your goals and celebrate you when you do well? 

It’s easier to observe who your friends are when everything is going well than it is when things are going badly sometimes. And we’re not just talking about social media because everyone likes a win on there. True friendship means choosing selflessness and taking the time to compliment others with your words and your support when notice something dope in them. It means showing up for them and then inviting them in to your celebrations as well.

Do your friends help you draw closer to God or distance you from Him?

Honestly, you could have friends that draw you closer to God in school, on your job, or in your church, but you could also have friends that distance you from Him in all those places, too. When I was in high school, the teens in my church were more concerned with who was dating who than what God’s word said about us and how to apply it. Sis, it was a whole mess! I don’t want the same for you. It’s time to pray that God blesses us with friends who are willing to grow closer to Him. 

Do your friends hold you accountable to the future you want to enjoy? 

As we already talked about, friendship isn’t always comfortable, but if our friends can’t remind us who we are and Whose we are, who can? I can always tell if someone is a friend if they’re willing to have a difficult conversation with me to help me grow and get stronger in my faith and integrity (a big word for the choices we make behind the scenes). What about you? If you’d rather have a bunch of people hyping you up so you feel like you’re the stuff all the time…I’d like to suggest that the only thing that’s growing is your ego. Confidence is attractive, but cockiness…nah sis.

The Bible tells us to: 

Stay away from people who are not followers of the Lord! Can someone who is good get along with someone who is evil? Are light and darkness the same?  

-2 Corinthians 6:14

It may seem a little harsh to some of you, especially if we’re supposed to lead others to Jesus, but this verse is not telling us to disassociate from unbelievers. It’s telling us to keep them at a distance. You were supposed to influence this world, not the other way around. It may be uncomfortable, but when you begin to pray that God gives you friends that help you embody #squadgoals in your faith, you’ll be grateful for those whom He sends. 

Praying for you and your friendships.

Dear God, in the name of Jesus, we want to live our best lives now. Psalm 37:4 tells us that when we delight in You, You give us the desires of our heart. Help us to discover our God given goals in your presence. It’s our prayer that you would lead us to helpful, healthy friendships that bring out the best in us and draw us closer to You every day. Show us how to celebrate them as they celebrate us, and give us sensitivity and discernment to grow together.

In Jesus’ name, we pray, amen!

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