I have recently had some wonderful, fun, uplifting friend experiences. I’ve written periodically about how this period of working and having young children can be isolating and challenging for those of us used to deep friendships with frequent in-person connections. But over the past week, I had four encounters that rejuvenated my friendships and my spirit. Here’s a list of four, very different, types of friendships that I highly recommend:
Number 4: The Couple Friendship.
Bray and I have not experienced this much because our interests are so different, and therefore my girlfriends’ husbands don’t have a lot in common with him and his friends’ wives don’t have a lot in common with me. Recently, however, we’ve made friends with a couple in the neighborhood. We don’t see each other much, but they have a child the same age as ours and are dealing with similar issues (interviewing schools, both working, etc.), and we met up with them Saturday night to watch the LSU game (go Tigers!). After five years of marriage, this is a special treat for me to have in my friendship repertoire now!
Number 3: The Old Friendship (not as in age, but as in tenure).
Last weekend, my dear friend and matron-of-honor came down from Fort Worth for a visit with me and the kids while Bray was traveling. It was so much FUN! She’s known me through many different phases of my life, over 13 years now, and we have a shorthand in conversations that comes simply from the longevity of our relationship. She and I have rarely seen each other since the babies came, but this is a friendship you can just pick up where you left off. Facebook is fine to keep up with folks at a distance, but nothing can replace an in-person encounter with an old friend. No matter how far you’ve moved from your old friends, try to find a time once a year just to hang out with them.
Number 2: The Family Friendship.
Friday night we went out to dinner with Bray’s brother and his wife and kids. I mentioned this in another blog post because I was just so surprised to find out how much I’d really been missing hanging out with them. With all four adults working, some with travel, it’s hard to find time to get together. But there is an easiness that comes from being with family that you can’t recreate. You can be TOTALLY yourself and say wacky things and act like a goofball and your kids can freak out and it’s all okay. They’re family, they CAN’T disown you. The freedom that comes with knowing you’re getting to hang out with people that are stuck with you allows you to have a blast without worrying what anyone thinks. This is surely going to go on our priority list as a monthly dinner get together.
Number 1: The Godly Friendship.
I don’t know what the four-some equivalent is for tri-fecta but this week has been the “quad”-fecta of friend get together’s. Last night was absolutely the cherry on the top! There are two women who have been through some mega spiritual battles with me, and me with them. Additionally, one other woman joined our group a couple of years after our trio began praying together and added such sweetness to our midst. This God Quad of women has seen it all and prayed for it all. Last night, we got together for a long overdue dinner. One of the women I hadn’t seen since she had her baby a year ago. The entire two hours was filled with sharing what God had been doing in our lives, and a couple of us, me specifically, came away convicted about an aread in my life that needed to change because of the testimony of my Godly friend. There is nothing you can’t do or get through with a Godly woman on your side. Don’t let these friendships flounder. They not only are an other-worldly reciprocal support system, they are also a check and balance in your walk with the Lord which is critical if you want to stay traveling down the right path. I walked away from the evening refreshed, encouraged, and ready to make some changes in my life because of what we shared.
I know God rejoices in our friendships – he talks about friends throughout the Bible as do his followers. Take some time to maintain and strengthen the friendships in each different area of your life - it’s worth it!
Phillipians 1 – I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart.
I Samuel 20 – David got up from the south side of the stone and bowed down before Jonathan three times, with his face to the ground. Then they kissed each other and wept together—but David wept the most. Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, for we have sworn friendship with each other in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘The LORD is witness between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants forever.’”
3 John 3 – To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. It gave me great joy when some believers came and testified about your faithfulness to the truth, telling how you continue to walk in it. I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink. I hope to see you soon, and we will talk face to face. Peace to you. The friends here send their greetings.