“But friendship is precious, not only in the shade, but in the sunshine of life, and thanks to a benevolent arrangement the greater part of life is sunshine.” Thomas Jefferson
Perhaps one of the greatest gifts God knitted in me was loyalty. When I make a friend, I consider that person a friend for life – not just a season, but forever. Naturally, there are seasons when some friendships are deeper due to the simple fact that you are allowed frequent time together to build the friendship.
And then there are times when God knits your heart so tightly with another’s that the seperation of time and distance only serve to strengthen and deepen your ties to one another. Usually, these friends possess the same quality of loyalty as you do, creating the perfect storm for depth and growth.
This gift of loyalty comes with a price. There are some who don’t cherish friendships the same way I do. It’s not wrong, but in the past it has been different enough to leave me feeling hurt. Of course the passing of time wanes the effect of one on another, but for those of us who are inlaid with the gift of loyalty, it hurts to see people walk so easily and effortlessly in and out of our lives.
I am deeply blessed to have a great number of friends from different stages of life that still impact my life on a regular basis. Friends from high school, from college, from our days as young marrieds and our early years of parenting. Friends who have long been distant but who have remained knitted so tight that when we’re together it’s as if no time passed at all.
Friends who bring out the best in me.
Friends who will stay up late into the night listening to me read chapters of my book while also serving me tea for a sore throat, medicine for a hacking cough and sound advice for misguided facts in my chapters (apparently rabbits aren’t greasy…and don’t feed a lot of people – Alright already!! I cut that part out.)
Friends who bring their fancy cameras and spend precious time shooting headshots, willing to make me look and feel beautiful no matter how much time it takes (or photoshop magic, which I have permitted to be used liberally).
I’m grateful for friends who let me be exactly who I am. There is no competition amongst such friends, but a realization of one another’s gifts and a true desire to encourage one another on to the good things set before them. I spent the past weekend in the presence of those very women and I feel so immensely full because of it. Those friends have made me better, challenged me to be greater in all aspects of my life.
I’m thankful for all the friends that have been brought into my life, both near and far. To me, friendship is a lifetime commitment, never to be taken for granted and not to be forsaken. Not when you share a relationship that is mutually edifying and works to make you a better person.
Have you hugged a friend today?
“As iron sharpens iron, so one sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17