I see how God has brought friends into my life over the years for different reasons. I have friends that have been part of my life for a long time. The friends that challenge me, encourage me, pray for me, and know my heart. Then I have friends that I know God has brought into my life for just a season. It doesn't lessen how I value their friendship, but their friendship has just been for a time. I am incredibly thankful and have been blessed by the women that have come into my life throughout the years. There are new friendships in my life right now too. Getting acquainted with one another, finding out the common interests, and doing things together that are growing the connection between us. I've also gone through times when I have been alone and my heart has cried out asking Him to just bring that special friend into my life. Through those times He has so tenderly shown me He alone is my best friend. No one else can take the place in my heart I was wanting to fill with a friend more than He can. When the time has been right, He has faithfully brought them into my life. I know that God places a high importance on friendships. He wants us to be surrounded with people who love and care for us, people we can laugh with and to go through this thing called life together.
My best friend happens to be my sister. The five year age difference has never mattered, even when we were little. From the day my parents brought her home as a baby, she was my best friend. As the "big" sister, I really don't remember ever not liking her or wanting her around. Being apart from each other was hard. Whether it was when it was time for me to go in on recess or when we went to bed at night (she would sneak into my room and get in bed with me), we couldn't wait to be together again. As adults, our friendship continues to deepen and grow. I know that having a best friend that also happens to be my sister is a treasure. Sarah is coming to visit this weekend and just like when we were little, we can hardly wait to see each other. There isn't anything she doesn't know about me. She knows what I'm thinking, she finishes my sentences, she knows when something just isn't right. She knows how to encourage me and knows when to push me. True and best friends know how to do that.
All of this has made me think about what kind of friend I am and what kind of friend do I want my children to be. I pray that my children are surrounded by friends that are going to build them up and encourage them to make the right choices. Do I also pray that my children are a friend to the child in the class who may not have a friend in the world? Am I loyal and trustworthy? Do I share in the victories and struggles that my friends are going through? Does my heart hurt when theirs does? Would I be a friend that they would call in their time of need because I am dependable? Do I make myself available to them and do they know what their friendship means to me? Do I make time for my friends or just "fit" them into my schedule? Am I a friend that loves at all times?
In this world of busyness and often getting so wrapped up in our own lives, it's easy to not take the time to nurture and develop friendships. I don't want to miss out on memories that are made with friends, lessons learned from friends, or how God is using this friend to change and grow me. I also have the opportunity to make an impact in their life in a way no other person can. Am I allowing God to use me as a friend?
So, today as we said good-bye to our friends, I am thankful for the time that was spent with them and look forward to the next. I'm going to celebrate the friendships that I have been given by the One and True Friend.