Journal Dates. I don’t know if other friends do this-but Amy and I do. We take our “Jesus/Prayer/Devotional/Church/Thoughts/Quotes Journal” to any nearby coffee house and pour over the pages together. We swap quotes and prayers and heartaches. We reflect on lessons learned, and lessons needing to be learned. It takes a special friendship to be able to go through a journal together, and that’s what Amy and I have.
We are different in a lot of ways. You see the blonde vs. brunette thing we’ve got going. Amy is an introvert. Me? I am an extrovert. As a gifted artist, she almost always has paint either on her hands, or on her clothes. I, on the other hand, can barely draw a straight line with a ruler. She loves snowboarding and conducting. I am scared of snowy mounds and am rhythmically challenged. But for whatever reason, despite any differences, God has ordained and allowed Amy and I’s friendship to blossom and honor Him.
What is truly fantastic about my friendship with Amy is that it points me to God. How so, you may ask? Well, part of it is through our God-centered conversations. But another part of it is that I feel so secure in her friendship, it is impossible for me to ever doubt her love for me. Her heart breaks when mine breaks, and rejoices when mine rejoices. She has seen me at my absolute worst. She knows things about me, I would have rather no one on earth know-but yet, for some unknown, inexplicable reason-Amy still thinks the best of me. She values, encourages, and praises me. The deep loyalty and admiration I see in Amy, I know is a reflection of what I have in Christ. So I walk away from each interaction with her wanting to love and serve the Lord more joyfully and wholeheartedly.
In my 24 years of living, I have been blessed with some AMAZING friends. Friends that have loved me well through the thick and thin, that I cry with, laugh with, and grow with. Glenda shows me how to pray with hope, Cathren infuses in me a love for missions, Kia gives me a heart for motherhood, Kristen teaches me (so patiently!) about the gift of hospitality, Emily encourages me to modesty, and Amy propels me to slay my sin no matter the cost.
What have I done to deserve such great, blessed friendship? Not a thing.
When it comes to staying in contact, I am a pretty horrible friend. I’m bad at returning calls, inconsistent at emailing, and will often mentally respond to a text without actually physically responding to said text. So if friendship was based on attendance and consistently-I’d have failing grades for sure. Not only that-but I (like all humans) am selfish, and prideful, and sinful, and a host of other unattractive things. But the beauty about friendships rooted in the gospel is that they are rich in grace, slow to anger, abounding in steadfast love. So we all learn and grow and apologize and forgive and move on and love and love and love.
If you are struggling with a friend right now, can I just encourage you to love them? Love them ridiculously. Show them grace. Encourage them to godliness. Shower them with truth. Whatever that may look like.
And if you are reading this thinking, I wish I had a true friendship, I encourage you to do 2 things. 1.) PRAY for it consistently and with faith. Ask your small group to be praying for it, ask your mom to be praying for it! 2.) Be on the lookout for it. Be in places and have eyes that see people who could be your iron to sharpen iron. And be willing to take the first step. You don’t always have to be the one pursued-maybe God wants YOU to be the one to start the friendship, to share your testimony, to pray with them.
Friendships are a WONDERFUL (and difficult!) blessing from the Lord. Thank Him for them today; invest in the right ones today!
Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.
Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.
1 Samuel 18:1-3 As soon as he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. And Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father’s house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul.