Day 6: What Makes a Friend a Friend

I have been thinking a lot about friendships lately. I am pretty sure it is because I am going to go on a trip soon with a friend of mine, a mentor, who will challenge me about some friendship issues that have occurred over the past year. She will ask me if I feel that hurt feelings have been resolved. She will ask me if I am "in neutral" about what has transpired. She has really drilled into me over the years that bitterness and unforgiveness will eat us alive if we let it. So as I have been examining my emotions, I have been thinking about friendship.

I have been blessed over my lifetime to have good friends. I remember my first "Best Friend." Her name was Alva Ybarra. I have not seen nor heard from her since 6th grade, but her name still sticks in my mind, and though I remember almost nothing about why we were best friends, nor anything we ever did together, I remember her name and the emotion that her name evokes. If I saw her today (and I recognized her!) I would still call her "friend."

I remember my best friend in High School, Tammy Crawford. We grew up together in so many ways; got married close to the same time, had our kids at the same time, then as we moved away our friendship was reduced to Christmas Letters. Can't say why. It just happened. And then one of us moved, and the Christmas letters ceased, and we lost touch. But she's still my friend.

I remember my first real "grown up" friendship, a deep friendship that made me feel like I understood what that David/Jonathan friendship must have been like in the Bible.

I have also been incredibly blessed to be allowed to mentor many young woman over the years, and though our ages are significantly different, I would call each of them friend.

And I will say this, some of my friendships, I have royally screwed up. I have allowed hurt feelings or pride or any number of other things to wreck incredible relationships that may be forever demolished or at the very least forever diminished. And though I might never see those friends again, it doesn't change the fact that I call them friend.

But I have learned this; friendship is not defined by age, or stage of life, or location, or daily presence. I think friendship is defined by the bonds that it forms deep in your heart. And regardless of life and circumstance, real friendship lasts. It weathers storms. It celebrates life. It grieves loss. It endures.

All that to say, what makes a friend a friend? I don't have a clue. Maybe it's the mystery of it that makes it so wonderful.

1 comment:

  1. "If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair." - Samuel Johnson


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