September 14, 2010
Friend- intimate associate; association of familiarity and companionship
How many friends do you have? I'm not talking about people you know, or are friendly with. I am talking about how many people do you know intimately who know you the same way? How many people just "get you"- they know what your intentions are. They know your struggles. They know your strengths. They know the skeletons in your closet and they love you anyway.
I, at different points in my life, have had many people who I thought were my friends. It turns out though, in reality, that the people who are willing to walk with you, and sometimes carry you, through the fire are far fewer than you would hope or believe. I have come to a point in my life where that reality is okay. I don't need to have a large quantity of friends. What I want is quality. I don't have the time or energy these days to play "friends". (Although I do have several acquaintances that I am friendly with. I care about these people, too. But, we're mutually just not on the same level as my esteemed "friends".) I just want to be able be me. I want to be understood. I want to be accepted as I am, warts and all. I want to know that the ones I call friend will do just as much for me as I would do for them. I want to be able to love without fear of not being loved in return.
Friendships, I have learned, can look different. I have friends that I don't speak to very often, a few times a year maybe. But, when we do reconnect, we pick up just where we've left off. There is no judgement of why it's been so long since we last talked. There is a mutual respect for each other, knowing that our lives are different now and we don't fit in where we once did. I also am so blessed to say that I have a few friends who I know that I can count on to do whatever it is I need them to do whenever I need it, often times without even having to ask. Whether it be to listen to me, cry with me, encourage me, babysit for me, shop with me, visit with me, be honest with me. These friends also share their lives openly with me. I would do just as much for them as they do for me. It's just as much about the give as it is with the take. Always being the taker does not make you feel very good about yourself. When you can help someone else who needs you is when you really get blessed and uplifted.
What kind of friend are you? Are you there only when it's convenient for you? Are you there only when you're bored? Do you think of your "friend" only when you need something? Are you there no matter what, no matter when, no matter why, no matter how? Do your friends know how much they mean to you? When was the last time you told them?
To my friends- I love you. I really, really love you! I will always be here for you, just like you are for me. Thank you. I hope and pray that I am as important in your life as you are in mine! If you need me, I'm here!
"There are 'friends' who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24
"And here is how to measure it- the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends." John 15:13