“Make new friends but keep the old. The new are silver, but the old are gold.” – Joseph Parry
Recently in my time with God, I reflected upon the blessing and gift of friendship. God did not bless me with siblings, however, I have been blessed with a number of good friends; friends who have been as close as a sister could be, or in some cases, closer. A good friend can make the difference in how our life goes, so we must choose our friends wisely. As my mother used to say, “Everyone is not your friend.” A lot of times, we find that out the hard way; but God, in His wisdom, created us to be dependent upon Him… and interdependent on one another.
A true friend is not only with us in good times. The real test of friendship is when hard times hit, when storms rock our world and shake our foundation, and the future not only looks bleak, but questionable… and they remain loyal.
Loss, illness, rejection, abandonment, and change in all its various forms, can shake our sense of self and stability. In those times, the support of others standing with us as we fight the good fight of faith encourages us to press on through our storms and challenges, which are sure to come, and are a part of this journey we call life.
Friendship involves sharing our life with another in such a way that we both are enriched and better. It sometimes involves saying or hearing things that are not so comfortable, and then offering the medicine of truth, simmered in love, to share with that friend what they need to hear instead of what they want to hear.
A true friend will always have your best interest at heart and encourages a relationship based on a foundation of trust that creates a comfort level which allows you to release your guard and be you – the good, the bad, and the ugly of you. Nobody else but you. They accept us for who we are and in sharing our lives and love, we experience friendship as the gift God created for us to have.
As I have matured in life, I have come to embrace the fact that there are degrees of friendship. There are some people we call friends that experience has taught us that we must keep them at an arm’s length. We love them, but we have learned from experience that we must love them from a distance. The great poet, Maya Angelou, profoundly stated, “When people show you who they are, BELIEVE THEM.” You can set yourself up for disappointment and hurt if you don’t.
There are other friends we can hold closer and allow them into our world, however we are cautious about allowing them into our heart. The test of time will prove whether they bear the fruit of the God’s Spirit, which is “love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22 – 23). You can depend on them to follow through with what they said they would do. These are the friends you allow in your heart. They are the ones who are gifts from God and we hold them close. Remember to be a gift to them, too. True friendship is not a one-way street. If you find that you’re the only one who’s always reaching out, you may want to re-negotiate them on your friendship stick.
As I stated earlier, I have been blessed with a number of close friends who I carry in my heart because they have walked with me through sickness and hard times, the death of loved ones, life’s circumstances and dilemmas, and they are still here. I thank God for them and this gift of friendship.
The Holy Spirit inspired me to write a poem about friendship, which I later created in the form of a greeting card (available on the product page!). In closing, My Chickadees, I leave you with the words Spirit inspired me to share. The poem is entitled You Are My Friend.
A true friend is a gift
that comes from above.
they’re packed with God’s goodness,
and are reminders of His love.
They’re the ones who are with you
through all life’s thick and thins;
and they’re quick to remind you,
you can always begin again.
Ever present, ever faithful
they’ll hold your secrets till life’s end;
and when life throws you curve balls
it’s on them you can depend.
So when I reflect upon my blessing,
and all God’s created me to be,
I am grateful for your friendship
and all you mean to me.
Peace and blessings,