About the Author

Robin is the author of For All Who Wander, her relatable memoir about wrestling with doubt that reads much like a conversation with a friend. She's as Southern as sugar-shocked tea, married to her college sweetheart, and has three children. An empty nester with a full life, she's determined to...

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  1. Close to home on this one, Robin. What is even harder is watching my children in this day and age try to form true friendships…

  2. It is hard…a neighbor/friend of mine had a disagreement about a Facebook comment I made on her site….I took it as funny…she attacked me.

    This was almost a year and a half ago…after she yelled and told me exactly what she really thought of me for about 45 minutes I hung up in disbelief and emotionally shocked. We have spoken a handful of times since then and its awkward at times around the neighborhood but, I just can’t seem to forget all she said. She wants to move on and so do I so we have….but its not the same.

    I am thinking some times God gives us these obstacles to show us who our true friends are and are not.

    • Kathy,

      So true often times.

      A wise friend once told me almost 20 years ago, “There’s your version of the truth, “her” version of the truth, and the REAL truth lies somewhere in between.” Ever since the circumstances that caused her to share that nugget, I’ve tried to filter every hard thing in its light with regard to relationships. Sometimes seeing the truth that wasn’t my version is the hardest.

      I so hope for 100% resolution; wounds are hard to forget.

    • Kathy, did you ever think to apologize to her about the comment? People can get very unnerved when something they disagree with is posted for everyone to see.

  3. The second thought, the one about having a peaceful heart, really struck me. I think sometimes it takes a lot of wrestling and bumping up against one another to recognize the beauty of keeping a peaceful heart. Only when I’ve learned to let things go, stop measuring and comparing, picking and criticizing, does my heart become peaceful and I become someone anybody would want to be around. Makes sense, doesn’t it? We’re all, at some level, craving peace in our lives. When my heart is peaceful, I get to offer it to another.

    • Nancy,

      I guess we can’t give what we don’t have? All this bumping and wrestling shapes us, though, doesn’t it. Thank God there’s a reason for it!! A good one :).

  4. Really needed to hear this today! Thanks Robin! In the past few months my 14 year old daughter has had her character attacked by not only her bestfriends but also their mothers who are/were my bestfriends. It’s been completely heartbreaking for her and I.

    • Oh, Christi…so hard to endure, I know!

      But I’ll keep encouraging you (and your sweet one) the way I’ve been encouraged–seek Truth, be willing to listen…trust Christ’s good intentions for you. Sometimes so much easier said than done….

      xo

  5. Robin, thank you so much … again. I didn’t discover this site too long ago, but the few times I have read your words, they have truly touched me. I especially connect with “It serves a purpose…..I have a choice to make: to follow the path of least resistance (what a worldly response dictates) or to allow my mind to be renewed and my heart to be transformed.

    God has allowed me to go through a seemingly endless stretch of aloneness. I’m up…I’m down…I try to see the good in it….and I also whine. Oh, I hate it when I whine. I think I can’t take it anymore. He has been impressing on me that I need to be emptied, so He can fill me. And He alone. And this is part of my faith journey….making a choice to not respond in the way the world does….doing anything (even at church) to fit in. Now realizing that to not fit in for the right reasons, sometimes means being alone. But Praise the Lord….I am not truly alone, am I? He is able to meet my needs in a way no one one earth can. And now the faith walk continues….still believing in relationships here and waiting for Him to provide the healthy ones.

    Thank you so much for your honesty and sharing your heart.

    • Barb,

      Oh, sistah-friend! How you’ve encouraged ME! Thank you!

      With love from one sometimes-whiner to another. Praise be to the ONE who loves us because He loves us, thankful for Christ in you and me, our Hope.

  6. Funny because lately I have been recalling one thing that Dr. Charles Stanley has said in the past, that is when someone criticizes him (or attacks him)
    First: he THANKS THEM for saying what they had to say,
    Second, instead of becoming defensive (which is our natural inclination to do) he seriously CONSIDERS what they had to say.
    He says if he can HONESTLY do that, sometimes he forgets and discounts what the person said, that it is NOT correct or right, but OFTEN he has found that their assessment is correct and God is using that person to help him see something in his life that he might need to change or make an adjustment on.
    He finds it can be USEFUL and HELPFUL in his character building as sometimes people can see things we dont or refuse to see in ourselves.
    Now sometimes people in hurt or anger dont always tell us what we need to hear in a nice or pleasing way, however, what they are saying might STILL BE TRUE.
    If we are MATURE enough, we can handle the truth, even if it is delivered in a hurtful way. Self examination can be good for us but it takes maturity and being willing to consider that what the person has told us just might be true! OUCH!!!

    • Martha!! Well, if I’m anywhere near Dr. Stanley’s page, I’m in a pretty good spot. Me thinks he’s slightly wiser and more mature than the likes of me (thank you for sharing those important thoughts).

  7. We’ve gotta feel safe with someone before we can open ourselves up to them, before we share who we authentically are at a deep level, and before giving them permission to speak truth into our lives. If we unveil ourselves too quickly, we’ll most likely be hurt or offended or very disappointed.

    Counselor Leslie Vernick refers to this as keeping your “emotional clothes” on. I love that picture! True health means that we have some sense of wisdom as to when and what to share, to not do so too quickly, all born out of a sense that I can trust you with who I am.
    http://creeksideministries.blogspot.com/2010/02/keep-your-emotional-clothes-on.html

    Thanks for making those verses come alive, Robin!

    • Ah, Linda, thank you for sharing this! In this day and time of socially sometimes over sharing, I like the challenge to NOT GET NAKED! It’s one thing to be vulnerable, share ourselves as we are…and another to let it all hang out, before relationship is founded. Yes, we have to open ourselves up in order to get to now each other…but too quickly isn’t necessarily the right thing, either.

      Thank you!

  8. I love you, Robin Dance, and I’m so grateful for your heart and friendship. And that you dare to find a way to dance in the waves of life.

  9. Robin,

    Your statement “I have a destructive inclination of comparing myself to others” struck a chord with me. I am constantly comparing myself to others–in everything. I know I must learn to be content with who God made me to be and where He has planted me.

    I have always had a hard time making friends, partly due to punctured ear drums, hearing loss, being shy. God has helped me overcome the shy part thankfully. I seem to be better at making friends now at almost mid life than ever before!

    Loved the post Robin!

    • Beth,

      This I’m seeing: I am a contradiction! On one hand I’ve never been more comfortable in my own skin; on the other, I struggle from missing so many cues that matter! How thankful I am for YOU, that you’re moving in the “right” direction. God is clearly at work in you :).

  10. Proverbs 14:30 is an eye opener for sure. I mean who would want that cancer in their body? When I read that in the KJV it says, “A sound heart is the life of the flesh: but envy the rottenness of the bones.” Basically the same. I like the KJV, it is written in such beautiful language. Though it is often hard to understand, it pushes me to sit and ponder with the Word and come up with my interpretation. That means more to me…

    • Lisa,

      With all the translations and paraphrases available to us, we’re in a favored position (compared to the world in general); if we don’t “hear” one way, we might hear another. I love parallel translations so I can look right then, right there are different versions of the same thing. THEN, sometimes the point is VERY well made :).

  11. Passing this along… You’ve really captured the heart here. It’s just like in marriage – if we want to have a happy marriage, it starts with us. Tough truth, but actually kind of liberating! 🙂

  12. Oh, for those college days when I was full of confidence and would assert “I want to be friends, lets go get coffee.” Now… its a push and pull of “notice me/don’t notice me” and wishing that someone would try and be my friend. But you are right, I need to try to be the friend first. So hard- especially with all the self judgement that makes me wonder why such put together women would want to be friends with me (but isn’t that just the ultimate lie?I’m realizing none of us totally have it togethet)

    • Alison,

      The beginning of your comment reminded me of how little children are–all it takes is a playground and a swing and before you know it, someone is bound to say, “Wanna play?” 🙂 What we (and I mean pretty much everyone) fail to recognize is those walls aren’t as tall or thick as we think they are. I think most people are more open to relationship than we give ’em credit for. Yeah, I’m thinkin’ lies are so much easier to believe than the truth.

      Let’s keep encouraging each other, k? 🙂

  13. Just slipping in here to nod my head in agreement because I’ve experienced it, too. Friendship is such hard work.

    Robin, thanks for the way you love us all so well. Grace and peace, friend. Grace and peace.

  14. These lessons are hard and true. It’s difficult to watch someone who is just sitting, waiting… waiting for everyone to pour forth friendship when there is no initial investment on her end. And yet, how do you gently communicate that?

    It brings to mind that quote about how everyone is fighting a battle. Sometimes we expect others to anticipate or elevate our own personal battles and therefore serve us in our pain. And service is a wonderful part of friendship. But even when we are hurting, it’s a two-way street — because that other person has her own battles. We might not even know what they are.

  15. Powerful post. Frienships, especially when you are older are tough! I am the friend who ALWAYS calls, and plans get togethers, and sometimes it’s exhausting. I’d like to be called and be included in the plan. I know, I have to be the better person, but it’s still hard. And why do women have to be so mean to each other? I was in line waiting to go the bathroom before a race and as I glanced behind me, these two girls were snickering and pointing to my outfit! Really! Just had to get that off my chest! Thanks for listening.

    • Carolina,

      BUT…what if you had toilet paper hanging out of your pants??? Or what if they weren’t actually laughing at you but something near you??? Maybe I’m reaching but maybe you misunderstood (I guess I’m HOPING 🙂 ). That being said, usually if people are mean, it’s because they’re wounded in some area themselves. To remember that helps to minimize the pain they inflict from careless actions. HUGS to you for being that planner; and prayers that someone reaches out to you FIRST (and soon!).

  16. I’m sobbing. I have recently felt horribly betrayed by those who were supposed to be my closest.

    Thank you so much for this.

  17. Wonderful post, Robin! So much good advice for friendship–awesome pointers! Thank you so much! Blessings!

    Rachel…I’m so sorry for the betrayal! That must be so awful! I pray that the Lord will draw you close to Him and fill you with His presence and His peace, that you might truly feel His love and faithfulness, that He would be with you and comfort you! Blessings!

  18. Wonderful and it came in exactly the right moment.Yesterday I found myself crying for no apparent reason other than I was reaching out to someone as a friend and one I didn’t get a respone quick in enough, the walls went up,, I immediately retreated and wept.I have been so long on my own after the friends I trusted for years turned their backs on me..they took away with them the sweetness of friendship.

    • Priya,

      I think a woman’s weak spot is her heart in this matter; and I’m wondering if we aren’t WRONG more often than we’re right. What if what we assume is often not the right thing? Regardless, we’re still hurt, but maybe unnecessarily hurt. I’m praying that sweetness returns to you…soon.

  19. There was a lot of wisdom in here with the verses you used. I’m working on being a friend. I would like some people to do fun with and also be a more deep, iron sharpens iron people in my life. I’ve begun to go to a Bible Study with two other women. So maybe that will grow “friendshipwise.”

    Anyway thank you for your words on friendship. I’m in need of them right now.

    • Donna, the first step of changing is always recognizing the need (or desire) to change. Look at you–you’re already well underway. Praying for those real friendships for you, and that the attraction will be Christ in you :).

  20. Wow, it could have been me writing this! I have been working so hard on letting go of these feelings and replacing them with truth the last couple years. It’s comforting to relate but I appreciate your tips…it’s destructive to wallow in hurt even though it’s hard to get the words, situations, or people out of your head. Thank you for sharing! So helpful!

  21. jealousy – because jealousy is an acid which eats away at love with. It to BE a friend first – that’s the thing – if someone chooses to be a friend back…well…it’s all about choices, no?

    my very first post was about love involving risk – and risk involves the potential for rejection. I named last year “connect” – BIG lessons learned. And I HATE that someone injured you so – have no idea how someone could do that to YOU. Only those we allow close to our heart can truly betray us.

    And, your last point – to have people who can sometimes chide you – and other times cheer you on. So valuable.

    I don’t want to pick a favorite – I heart all three. Thank you Robin, and God bless and keep you and all of yours.

  22. Just talking with my husband about friendships and jealousy, so that really hit home for me today. How do you help others who compare themselves to you and keep the friendship alive?