Different situations over the last days and weeks has had me thinking about friendships. How valuable they are. How friends can stretch us, carry us, change us, hurt us at times and even frustrate us.
We may have friends that inspire us to be more than we think we are capable of being and cheer us along the way. That inspiration is PRICELESS because they see our potential and aren't weighed down by our past disappointments.
We may have friends that we can find ourselves feeling like it's a one way street at different seasons. When they need support, we drop everything. We do all we can to offer encouragement. Yet, because of their own pain, insecurities, etc.. when we need support it doesn't come as freely. We can feel hurt. Instead of walking away, we realize that these friends do love and care for us, they are just blinded by their own situations. These friendships are vital because they teach us to not be selfish and to look outside of ourselves and see the needs of another person. We do have to be careful to not enable or become codependent, but God can show us the appropriate line. These friends can still be our deepest and most meaningful friendships because when their pain ends they come back loyal because they know you didn't abandon them. They know they were worth fighting for.
We may have friends that we treasured, but are no longer with us. God called them home. They may not be physically with us, but they definitely continue to make an impact on our hearts and lives. I've been greatly thinking of one of these in my life this week as the date that she went home with her Heavenly Father rolled around on the calendar.
We may have friends that were there for us in some of our deepest, darkest times and carried us. They saw us at our most vulnerable and didn't run away. They went through the trenches with us. We hold these friends close because we know they have given of themselves and accepted us without condition. It can really be painful when we see these same friends go through their own battles because we want to pick them up and carry them, erase their situations...and it hurts when we can't...because they were crucial to us in our darkest moments. I know several of my friends fall into this category right now. Storms are hitting them left and right and it can feel so helpless to not be able to rescue. However, I can encourage them to not give up and to keep their focus on Him. It's what they did for me----either by their actions or by their emotional/ spiritual support.
We may have friends that we lost contact with for many years and then come back in our lives and we TREASURE it. It may be a childhood friend or a mentor. Either which way, they are a blessing to us. These friends are capable of making time stand still or even feel like it has rewound a bit.
We may have friendships that didn't stand the test of time and the busyness of life. They may not have remained as strong as we thought through life seasons, moves (we've moved 13 times so we understand that one!), or struggles. These are hard. Some we can rekindle and others just won't rebuild.
We may have friends that we've only just met and are just starting to get to know. Some we know may not be the deep, long-lasting ones...but others...we get a hint or a glimpse that God truly has brought them into our lives for a bigger purpose.
We can have friends that we've never met physically in person, but through social media/internet, etc.. they can bless our lives in countless ways. One of my dearest friends I've never met personally, but I feel as if she's been around my entire life in person, side by side. She knows my heart. She encourages me like no other. She inspires me.
We have friends that just make us laugh. Over and over. Even when we don't want to laugh.
We have friends that challenge us. We all need friends in our lives that can call us on sin, keep our feet on the ground, and tell us in love when we are full of baloney. These friends make sure you don't get up on a pedestal and if you do, they are the first to knock you off! They tell you when you are self-righteous, judgmental, off target or dancing too close to the flame and going to get burnt. We all need these friends. They may sting, but they are some of the most valuable treasures.
We have friends that show us glimpses of Christ by their actions. They just have a presence about them that makes them incredible. His joy shines through them. They are the first to cheer you on and the first to pick you up. These are the ones that cause you to be a better you because you want to have what they have. You feel like you've been in His presence just by being around them.
We all need those friends that we know we could call in the middle of the night. You know the ones that would bail you out of jail (not recommending you try this one out! LOL)! The ones that would help you rob a bank----hypothetically speaking of course. The kind of friend that would show up with a baseball bat if you called and said someone had hurt you or someone you love. I have a few of these. Truth is they scare me. In a good way. :)
We all have and need those friends where words aren't necessary. They just "get" you.
We all need those friends that will share a half gallon of ice cream with you or give you their last piece of chocolate. Oh wait a minute....I'm not sure I have one of those! HAHA!
Seriously----we need a variety of friends on this journey of life. We need the easy ones and the ones that challenge us. We need the fun ones and the serious ones. The ones that dream big dreams and those that live in the land of logic and reality. We all need those that balance us.
We all just need each other.