How have your friends made you a better friend? Have you ever asked yourself that question?
During the course of our lives, we have friends that come and go, and each one has an impact on our lives…for the good or the bad. But even friendships that end badly can create good in all of us, if we let it. I was thinking about friends from childhood to the present, and came up with so many good ways that I have learned and grown.
I’d love to hear yours in the comments below!
Childhood friends that I still have are pure gold. They have stuck with me, they know me and allow me to feel comfortable around them, and they have common memories with me. I’m fortunate to have several that I’ve known since I was super young, and they’re some of the best friends…ever.
Moms of my kids’ friends were the best friends during middle and high school years. Showing up at games and getting to know their children on the field, at team parties, and just watching our children grow together provided some great times for all of us! It gave us all this permanent smile when we think back to those years, and we now see our kids grown and married…and having kids. A forever connection!
Church friends that pray and stay and live and give bring encouragement to me, and I hope I do to them, as well. Counting on another to be there when a parent dies, or to rejoice when a daughter gets married, and to worship through all the phases of life is life-giving. I’m so thankful for a body of believers across the nation that I’ve known and worshiped with at some point in my life.
Neighbors that become friends are a special class all their own. They watch our house when we go away, they put away our trash can or we do theirs, and they wave at the beginning of our day as we leave or at the end of our day when we arrive back home. Neighbors are great.
Vacation friends are so fun, when we meet someone from another state or country and find ourselves drawn to them while we’re away having fun. We’ve met several people on our trips, including seven women on one trip to NY with startling needs that we’ve been able to pray for, and remember. I sat by one person on an airplane and got to know that person so well over the course of a 3-hour flight, all for a purpose, I’m sure!
Online friends that we’ve never met but ones that follow what we post are just the best, really! Many women that read this magazine I have never met face-to-face but we chat, we LIKE each other’s social media posts, and we message each other often. I would love to meet each and every one of them someday, but I’m sure I won’t! That doesn’t make them any less my friend…
Marketplace friends are those hairdressers, clerks at the store, the guy at the bank drive-up, or the young waiter at the restaurant we frequent, all people that serve us and serve us well. It’s comforting to build relationships with people we see often and trust to take care of our needs, big or small. These friends are huge. My dad, 94 years young, has many of these kinds of friends that recognize him when he shows up to deposit money or order a burger in a drive-thru.
When I stop and think about all the different kinds of friends I’ve met and am still meeting, I’m amazed and sit in wonder at how each one has shaped my life. Yes, there have been many friends that have exited with hurts, but I have to learn to live and learn and love again. I’ve hurt others, as well, and forgiveness is prime when it comes to friendships. Other friends have shown me what it’s like to give selflessly when they call or text just to see how I’m doing. Those that let me be me, in all my quirkiness and sarcasm, still love me in spite of what makes me odd. And friends I’ve only met in passing have strengthened my resolve to be kind and engage with everyone I meet, regardless of their skin color, economic status or belief system.
Friendship. It’s grand, isn’t it? And to have friends, we must be friendly. And when we are friendly, we will get hurt. But when we are friendly, we all will grow into mature, loving, kind people that have learned from the Master – to love at all times.