I am not one to have a lot of friends. I have many acquaintances, but few friends. This is in part, a result of who I am. I am somewhat of an introvert. I am very private. I don’t trust quickly. I am loyal. I take my friendships seriously. It is also in part due to the fact I am a missionary kid, or what they now call a “third culture kid”. I grew up living overseas and moving extensively-on average every two and half years. I didn’t just move down the street. I moved continents! Moving a lot has its benefits, but making and keeping life long friends is not one of them. While I didn’t have the opportunity to establish life long friendships, I learned to make quick friendships and to seize the moment with my friends, knowing one or the other of us might soon be moving.
Last night I had the opportunity to have dinner with one of my very best friends. She is the closest thing I have to a lifelong friend. We only met as adults, if you call being right out of college being an adult! Neither of us remembers exactly how we met or connected. We met at church. A good start. How we connected or when we connected is vague. What is not vague is that our friendship from the beginning has been a faith filled friendship. She has been a faithful friend and I pray I have been the same. We have similar personalities and our life stories have mirrored each other on occasion. There are times we can talk and spend a good deal of time together. Then there are times we can go weeks with little to no communication and we can even have a couple of months where we only have opportunity to see each other in passing. I wondered to myself what made our friendship so special. How did we stay so connected despite the lack of time and opportunity, the hectic pace of life, etc…
I love the picture and quote above. I don’t know who wrote it or where the picture came from. It was the result of a Google search. However, it spoke to me as I thought about friendship. My best friends are my best friends because they are a gift. They are women of faith. They are women of integrity. They are women to whom I can speak in confidence and trust. Our friendships I believe honor God and I know He enjoys them as much as we do. We are not perfect. We sin. Life gets messy for each of us. We disagree. We struggle. But at the center of our friendships remains Christ. Our speech, our actions, our advice is all filtered through Him.
I don’t have many of these “best friends”. In fact, speaking honestly I would say I only have two. I have some really good friends, but “best” friends, only two. I need these women as much as I need my spouse. They refresh me. They challenge me. They hold me accountable. They strengthen me. Proverbs 18: 24 says, “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” I believe that is a scripture we need to take at face value. If it is our goal to have many friends, I think we need to stop and ask ourselves “Why?”. If we flit from one group to another, or find ourselves enmeshed in a different woman’s life every couple of years, I think we need to step back and evaluate. God created us for fellowship. As women He created us to be creators, to bring forth life. He created us to be help mates, not only to our husbands, but to our families and friends. Our friendships are important. Our friendships should reflect our faith. Just as in marriage, we should be yoked in friendship to others of like faith. Our friendships are a testament, they are the place in which we reflect His graces and fruit.
I am so grateful for my two best friends. Here are just a few things I know bind us, hold us together and make it possible for us to call each other “best” friend:
- There are no comparisons. We are who we are, and while we are similar, we are very different and have very different jobs, families and ministries.
- We do not share secrets with others. We keep confidences.
- We laugh with each other, we cry with each other.
- There is no judgement, just accountability.
- We pray for each other.
- We allow mess, not perfection.
- We can fall apart with each other or in front of each other because we know we will help each other pick the pieces up.
- Anger is not allowed to linger.
- Our friendship is a verb, not a noun. We help each other move. We help each other clean house. We cook for each other. We run errands together or for each other.
- We embrace each other-we celebrate each other’s personalities, gifts, talents, jobs, ministries…
Faith filled friendships are the only kind of “best” friendships to have.