My mom always told me she prayed for three things while I was growing up.
1. I would have her eyes
2. I would have my dad’s teeth.
3. The Lord would place Godly friends in my life.
I suspect she probably prayed for more than that, but I know for sure those three prayers were answered.
Being an only child, my friendships have always been important to me.
Generally speaking, once you’re my friend, you’re always my friend. I didn’t realize how significant and, frankly, how special quality friendships were when I was growing up. I just assumed everyone had an awesome group of friends in their life. The older I got, the more I realized that the blessing of friendship is precious. And it’s not necessarily one that everyone experiences to its deepest level.
The kind of friendships I’m advocating isn’t something casual.
They are active, sustained relationships that take effort. There is a certain vulnerability that is developed by sharing our lives—the good and the bad—and loving each other anyway. It opens us up to knowing and being known by another person.
They’re hard work, but they’re worth it.
The easiest thing to do, of course, is not have these kinds of friendships. We prefer casual, non-committal, “Hey, how’s it going” kind of relationships.
They’re more convenient.
And we probably won’t get too hurt.
I’m not saying everyone we meet has to fall into this category, but it’s important to have close, Godly friends walking alongside us in our lives. Someone who really knows us and isn’t afraid to speak truth into our life.
We’re communal beings.
We’re meant to share our lives.
We can’t and shouldn’t do it all on our own.
As single people, we get in the habit of doing things on our own.
We close ourselves off out of necessity or habit. But even the strongest among us need brothers and sisters along the way to share the burden of this beautiful life.
We reflect and honor God through our earthly relationships. We are blessed to walk with each other and share in each other’s joys and sufferings. We reflect the heart of God by how we comfort, support, care for, cheer on, and bless those around us. What an amazing gift to pour into each other’s life and be the hands and feet of our Creator!
We need people to remind us of the truth when the world has beaten it out of us.
We need people in our lives that will call us out. On the good days and the bad days we need someone in our life who knows us and isn’t afraid to tell it like it is.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” [Hebrews 10:23-35]
Life is hard. It’s confusing and wonderful and joyous and awful and everything in between all at once. We know this.
But by lifting each other up and truly investing in each other, we live out a calling given to us by God.
And, let’s face it: it’s so much more fun when you have friends to share the journey.
*Photo credit: _Libby_