An Exploration of Friendship in 2020 – The Hope Table

I tossed my head back with roaring belly-laughter taking me from one position on the sofa to another as I spoke to my sister-cousin on the phone. I could hear she matched my mirthful euphoria with her equally bellowing laughter as we shared views on my plan to explore the ‘F’ word in 2020. As we chatted about the ‘F’ word, mixed in with the harder and challenging elements and questions, were jokes and memories that sparked this heart-tickling joy! Both the good and the lousy of the ‘f’ word highlighting teachable moments.

You might be wondering three things right now:

1) What’s a sister-cousin?
2) What’s the ‘F’ Word and
3) Where is this blog post going?

Well, number 1, means according to your family tree and bloodline, you are cousins, but in life, in heart, you are more like sisters. Our relationship has transitioned from circumstance to friendship to sisterhood.

2, The ‘F’ word, If you didn’t snag it in the title is friendship!

An exploration of Friendship in 2020 at The Hope Table

And here’s 3: As 2020 approached, the impression to explore friendship as a word of the year or theme for 2020 pressed on my heart and mind.
I mean, have you ever considered that there are  many books and courses about developing workplace relationships, like how to manage relationships with employees or managers? There’s resource galore on how to choose your husband, what to expect from a guy and boundary-setting when dating! There’s article after article about navigating boyfriend-girlfriend relationships when to start them, when to end them, how to finish them, how to maintain healthy communicate through the good and bad in romantic relationships. But what about platonic friendships? Woman to woman, peer to peer friendships?

And What is a Tribe?

….and what should it look like? Is that a new fancy internet trend or should be all be in one? Has Sex & The City, Friends and How to Get Away With Murder set our expectations of group friendships too high? I mean the HTGAWM tribe are ride-or-die friends. They literally took the meaning of being someone’s ‘ride or die’ to a whole new level! Or like the Golden Girls should we find all have that group of friends that we grow old with #forlife?

The Golden Girls!

Are you the ‘Strong One’?

A shout out to the ‘strong one’ in the friendship group? I see you, girl! What about if you’re the nurturer of the group? Always doing the planning, organising and inviting? Who looks out for you making sure you feel included and don’t get burnt out? Maybe no-one does because you’re viewed as the so-called ‘strong one’? Well, at least that’s what’s being perceived.

Friendship Break-Ups.

How do we recover from rejection in friendship or navigate conflict (especially in church life)? Are we quick to resolve a dispute? Do you have the hard conversation so you can move forward or do you sweep it under the pew and continue to praise God and serve as if nothing’s happened? I mean we’re Christians, we should find it easy to talk, with love, grace, compassion and be besties again, right? Don’t let the sun go down on your anger an’ all that good stuff? Hmmm..

Seasonal friendships.  Forever friendships.  Kingdom Relationships.  Situational friendships.  How do we navigate them as 21st-century women?

Does social media positively or negatively impact friendship? To many, allowing social media to affect your friendship might seempetty’ or even immature. Is a love-hate-relationship with social media going to create a love-hate relationship when you’re never the one asked to be in the selfie? Or at least you’re in the selfie but not the one that ever gets posted! Social media is a powerful tool for communicating with the world but is it also a breeding ground for comparison? Is comparison more than the thief of joy, is it stealing good friendships too? Oh, shhnap! Was the post about you or wasn’t it? Do I ask or don’t I? Damn, now she’s unfollowed me! What does that mean? Someone, please show me the social media & friendship guide!

While writing to you ladies to share my plan to explore friendship in 2020 – I realised this journey started way before choosing ‘friendship’ as a word of the year for 2020.

I remembered that my husband and I’d been sailing our ship slowly and carefully through a sea of changes over the last couple of years. To name a few, we moved on from his church of 20-something years, a place we’d called home for a long time, impacting a lot of special relationships. Hubby changed jobs which meant working away from home 5 days a week. I’m productive with my time but spend a lot of it alone. We were coming into a new season in business and ministry, so I left my corporate role to work in full-time Kingdom-business. This was another change in friendships dynamics, workplace friends. I’d no longer see my workplace bestie every day! One son got engaged (to my beautiful daughter-in-love) and moved out (I miss him lots). Our other son is exploring a career change, plus hubby and I are travelling more, and getting grounded in a new church. I found myself seeking God’s face about MANY THINGS, including friendships in this season. Asking God to send me friends that I could walk shoulder to shoulder with, on the same level emotionally and spiritually.

While I found distance increasing between myself some friends (and that’s ok because seasons and circumstances do change), I found some friends drawing closer. I also found new friends being sketched into the picture and I LOOOOVE A NEW FRIEND! I also love seeing how God is answering my prayers as join paths with other women of hope. I do recall a couple of delightful ladies that came along, around the same time, from different sides of the country and I was like “Yes! Jackpot!” They love Jesus, they’re entrepreneurial, we ‘click’ and have so much in common. BUT, for some reason, we didn’t quite become ‘inner circle’! Nothing bad happened, we just didn’t develop the bond I thought we would based on our original ‘click’. I realised and understood that both parties were going through some heavy-duty challenges and changes (as were we) in their private life. So maybe it just wasn’t the time or place for them to take on a new friend in me?

Quickly my unrealistic hopes of a ‘Beyonce & Keli, Woody & Buzz, Christine Caine and Lisa Harper with a tad of David and Jonathon, sprinkled with a bit of Lord Alan Sugar and Karren Brady business kick-ass’, was clearly NOT going to happen!


At this point I turned my questions inward:

What does it look like for me to be a good friend?

  • What do I want from friendship?
  • Do I dive in too fast or hold back to much?
  • What do my friendships look like vs what should they look like?
  • What should I expect from a ‘good’ friend and what can they expect from me?
  • Which of my characteristics enhance friendships and which are damaging to them?
  • What have I learned about friendship through the Bible? More importantly, am I implementing what I’ve learned and how?
  • Do I exercise the fruits of the spirit?

An exploration of Friendship in 2020 at The Hope Table

I could go on and on with more questions, and at first, I thought maybe I’m over analysing (it’s in my nature as a ‘C’ in DISC profile which means we like detail, and clear guidelines to ensure we can perform well). Perhaps none of this matters and everyone else finds friendship easy, so I decided to reach out to a few ladies (including my sister-cousin) on their views about friendship. I listened to their thoughts, opinions, experiences and nuggets of wisdom. I realised they had a bunch ‘a’ questions too! Unanswered ones. There were areas of friendship where they comfy, but other where they felt ill-equipped. I decided I would go on a quest to explore friendship (internally and externally).

Throughout 2020 I’ll be researching, Biblical friendships, books, podcasts, blogs, interviews and whatever useful resources I can find, hoping you ladies will join me.

The idea of The Hope Table Sisterhood is for women to gather together GENUINELY, caringly, lovingly and to support one another through life. We wear so many hats, and no woman should have to do it all alone. We are serving God, our families and homes, churches, businesses and communities, so let’s walk this journey together, with authenticity, with Jesus right at the centre.


But…….. can we get to real sisterhood without becoming friends?

Sisterhood Book By Bobbie Houston of Hillsong Founder of The Colour Conference

Not like ‘I friended you on Facebook’ type of friendship. But authentic, honest, compassionate, loving, ride or die (not to the extreme of HTGAWM of course) friendship.

In her book, ‘Sisterhood’ Bobbie Houston of Hillsong Church, talks about ‘How the power of the feminine heart can become a catalyst for change and make the world a better place’. She explains here women’s ministry started with a little whisper from God. In Chapter 11, ‘COLORFUL THREADS – The Friendships’ Bobbie quotes Anais Nin:

“Each friend represents a world in us, a world not born until they arrive ‘, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born”. Bobbie shares stories of old and new friends etched into the story of the COLOUR ministry. That friendship is indeed the true essence of sisterhood.

I pray that you’ll be alongside me as I explore, in 2020, the ‘colourful threads’ of friendship – her ups and her downs, her glow-ups and her shady areas. The way friendships fuels, changes and creates destinies. Gather with me at The Hope Table as we examen stories of friendship, of hope, of relational kingdom alignment.

Whether you’re in a season of friendship that releases glitter upon you from the heavens, or one currently more like a toothache that is giving you headache and nausea, friendship is in our DNA.

So wonderfully said by Sarah Zacharias Davis:
“Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others.”

With hope, heart and true excitement,

Shovorne Adams
An exploration of Friendship in 2020 at The Hope Table


Let’s Talk:

  • What qualities do you value highly in friendship?
  • What are the hard parts of friendship?
  • Should friendship be easy, or do you see it as complexed?
  • Do you have a favourite scripture about friendship?
  • Do you have a compelling story that would make a great guest blog post?

An exploration of Friendship in 2020

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