I don’t deserve to be your friend. Chances are I will not be fully focused on you, especially if I have my child with me. I will probably forget your birthday or forget to tell you how much I appreciate you. I may never call you or return your text messages or voice mail. My house will not always be clean when you come over. I will say again and again that we need to get together and then forget to follow through. It is not my intention to be a bad friend, for I greatly value your friendship. Know that I am always striving to be a better friend to you.
I have had some great friends in my life and still do. I don’t know why; because like stated above I am not always a good friend. I try, oh how I try. It probably doesn’t seem like it when I ask you for the fifth time when your birthday is or what your husband does for a living, or even what your husband’s name is. But I do value your friendship. I believe we have friends at all stages of our lives for diferent reasons. Some friends are only there for a brief second like the friend you meet in the store with a kid the same age. While you were both shopping, they were able to entertain each other. Or like the friend at the park whose kid generously shared with yours out of the blue. Their friendship meant a great lesson for your child or prevention of a meltdown in public. Then there are the friends who are there for a season, some of these are college friends who you lose touch with or the one friend you studied with in the one class you had together. Some of these for me are friends from the church camp and girl scout camps I attended as a teenager. I have great memories of those friendships, the laughter, the pranks, the singing, playing ping pong, or swamping the canoe. Many of those friendships have passed on from my life, but played an important role in my life at the time. Then of course there are the friends who come into your life and never leave, and they become your family. Even if you don’t talk to them everyday or even every month, you know they are always there for you and that they would give you the shirt off their back. I would like to introduce you to two of these such friends in my life.
The first one I have known my entire life. We were supposedly friends when we were tots. She is my lifetime friend. And while we are not as close as we once were, I know she will always be there for me and I hope she knows I would do the same. And while we are both busy with our own lives in different cities and different states, she will always be a part of me, a part of why I am the way I am and what values I choose to teach my own children. She was the friend I could always be myself with and the one I shared my dreams with. The one who knew the perfect gift to buy, the one you could have a picnic in the backyard with. The one that you shared your coffee dates over the phone with. The memories we have shared are too many to recount. Thank you Amy, for being my lifetime friend, the one I “loved like a sister” (LYLAS) and BFF.
The second friendship, was one that was never expected. My friend, Connie, was my manager at the Chick Fil A when I was in high school. How many of you have become friends with a manager from a high school job? I can’t say we were necessarily friends in high school (she was four years older than me, a big difference for a high schooler), but she is someone who I always had great respect for and always treated me with respect (in spite of my bad teenage attitude!) For some unknown reason, we kept in touch, even after I quit that job and went to college and she moved to a far away city. I ended up moving to that very same city. She let me and a couple of my friends whom she had never met stay at her house during college interviews. Then, when I decided to move there, she helped me find an apartment, helped me find my way around. That is where our friendship was truly sealed. She could not have been rid of me if she tried! What kind of extraordinary person does that? We have been great friends ever since (even after living together which as we all know is sometimes detrimental to friendships). We live in separate towns now though close enough to visit fairly regularly.
For both of those friendships, I miss the days of seeing them on a daily basis. But, I have a feeling they will always be in my life and we will celebrate together in eternity.
I don’t deserve either of those friendships nor any of my other great friendships, of which all deserve an individual post. (Let me not forget my dear husband who is my greatest friend and partner, and my two sisters who I am lucky to also call friends). Much like we don’t deserve Jesus’ friendship, He loves us in spite of our sinful lives. He has done far more for us then we could ever repay. EVER! It is because of Him that we are called to great friendships and great love.
“We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16
Because of Him, I remind you to open your mind to friendships you would have never expected. I encourage you to be a better friend then I. God gives us different friends at different times in our lives that we need and that need us. We have to keep our eyes open so we don’t miss that treasure! That is what I am working on right now, keeping an open mind for new friendships and not so quickly dismissing those that are different then me as a friend or one who needs a friend. Perhaps it is that person in the park you just met, or the work friend you keep at a distance, or perhaps even an older or younger friend. There are no defintiions of what friendship should be, except love. Jesus was a friend to all sinners. Often his friendship was not reciprocated, but he kept trying. He kept trying out of love and mercy. Never give up on friendship. A true friend is always worth the quest.
My question to you is how do you meet new friends? Whatever age you are, whatever stage in life, In what ways do you open your heart to new friends, and keep your heart free for old friends?
I will end with the words to one of my favorite songs: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6xj4oukh8hY)
“We were made to love and be loved. But the price this world demands will cost you far too much. I spent so many lonely years just trying to fit in. Now I’ve found a place in this circle of friends.”
“In a circle of friends, we have one Father. In a circle of friends, we share this prayer. That every orphaned soul will know, and all will enter in to the shelter of this circle friends”
“If you weep I will weep with you. If you sing for joy, the rest of us will lift our voices too. But no matter what you feel inside, there’s no need to pretend. that’s the way it is with this circle of friends.
“Among the nations, tribes and tongues, we have sisters and brothers. And when we meet in heaven we will recognize each other. With joy so deep and love so sweet, oh we’ll celebrate these friends and a life that never ends.”
I pray that you will continue to be my friend. I will be taking an official break from my blogging to acquaint myself with our new baby boy and readjust to a family of four! My official due date is September 3rd, so he could decide to meet the world at any moment!
Thank you for reading!