I never had a sister.
I love my brother, but I always thought it would be wonderful to have a sister too.
There’s this quiet little verse in Proverbs which says, “there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
I love that image of friendship. No matter how strong the bonds of family, sometimes God faithfully gives us dear friends who STICK.
I’m headed back to my 20 year (gasp!) college reunion this weekend in Arkansas. It’s made me reflect over the seasons of friendship I have had in my life and how richly I have been blessed.
I grew up all over the country. I went to a different school every year except fourth and fifth grade and high school. I struggled maintaining friendship as I moved from pillar to post and my relationships turned upside down.
Yet no matter the season, God delivered friendships. I am still in touch with my best friend from Kansas even though I don’t believe I’ve seen her since her wedding more than 20 years ago. My high school best friend lives a few hours away, and thanks to Facebook, I’m watching her two sweet boys grow as mine do. My two college roommates, one from the first two years and one from the second two years, are still incredibly dear to me even though we haven’t seen one another in ages.
I’ve lost friends too. Whether to time or life circumstances or lack of effort, but they still hold portions of my heart because of the role we played in each other’s lives for the season.
And here, after turning 40, God still gifts me with deep friendships. My best friend of over a decade is local and I have the chance to see her every month (when we work really hard at it). We cheer each other on and cry together when life hurts.
My two best non-local friends have been some of the biggest surprises ever. Nothing but God could have knit us together. Kristin and I just vacationed together on the beach, and we still talk almost every day to the third member of our cord of three (Eccles. 4:12).
I’ve worried a little this year as my little bit has so few girls around her. She has almost no girls in Kindergarten at her school and you can see, even at the age of five, how she craves heart sisters (since she too only has brothers). Even there, God has gifted us with precious neighbors on either side – a girly-girl to our right a year younger and a sporty fun girl to our left a year older. As I watched them swim and laugh and play on Saturday morning, I prayed for the blessings of rich female friendships throughout the course of her life.
I know girls can be hard, especially during certain seasons, but the gift of female friendship is such a treasure and I only pray I’m the kind of faithful friend so many others have been to me.
A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17:17
Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice. Proverbs 27:9
Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. I John 1:11