The Gift Of Friendship
In just a couple days we will be unwrapping gifts, and in a few months most of them will lose our attention as their luster fades.
Some gifts will be returned while others tossed in a closest. However, there is one gift that seems to hold our attention throughout the year, frequently crossing our mind, and rarely growing dull – it’s the gift of friendship.
In my life, I have attended 5 different schools, about 10 different churches, and lived in 2 countries, 3 states, and 7 cities. I have met people from all over the world.
In all my travels and life’s changes, I have received many gifts, but the greatest gift I’ve ever been given is friendship.
To this day I can laugh with life-long school friends when the years between us have grown far too many. I can pick up a conversation like it never ended with friends I’ve met while we were in the military. However, the deepest, and probably most self-less friendships I’ve ever experienced are the ones God has ordained in my life.
I am not with these friends every day, and months and years can pass between us. Some of them were only in my life for a short season, and others frequently come and go, but they’ve been friends who…
See me at my weakest moment of faith, and yet speak over me that I am a woman of great faith.
They are the friends who pick up the phone because it’s been awhile since we’ve talked, but are not offended they had to call first.
My friends who lift me up in prayer in the middle of the night, not because I ask, but because God woke them up and placed me on their heart.
The friends, while Tom was fighting cancer, who made meals for our family, took my children to school, held me when I cried, and prayed endlessly for my husband.
Those friends who hold my dreams close to their hearts, as if they were their own, and can speak them back to me when I’ve lost sight of them.
My friends who tell me what I need to hear not what I want to hear.
The friends, who’ve seen my children far from God, and do not judge, but declare in faith God’s word over their lives.
My friends who’ve mothered me when I seemed lost, confused, and uncertain of my next move, patiently correcting, praying, and speaking life over me.
Those friends who’ve watched me make mistakes, speak out of both sides of my mouth, and fall flat on my butt – only to tell me to get back up and try it again!
And my friends who know my heart and are not threatened, insecure, or gossip because they don’t just love me, but love the God who is in me.
I’ve learned friends are not just the ones we see and speak to every day of our lives, or the ones we hold in the top 10 text messages of our phone, or the ones who like our posts on Facebook, or comment on our pictures through Instagram.
No, our dearest friends are the ones that when you are at your worst they see the best. When you’re the most scared they speak hope. When you have lost your way, they take your hand and help you find it, and when you dream they dream with you, all the while never asking for anything in return.
It’s so easy to get busy and feel forgotten, unloved, and invisible in this rushed world. But when we take a moment, and reflect on all the amazing people who have come in and out of our lives at critical moments and not so crucial times – we see just how many true friends we have had the honor of encountering.
I hope if you are reading this, you can identify yourself as one of my dearest friends, or the faces of some of your own friends will come flooding into your mind. It’s the gift we get to receive all throughout the year, and it’s also one of the only gifts we get to give that truly holds it’s value for a lifetime.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for a friend. John 15:13