Do you have a friend? One that checks up on you because she has a hunch you’re not yourself today? How about a friend that thinks of you when she is soul-searching? Maybe you have a friend that treats your family to a weekend at the beach when you don’t have a dime for a summer vacation. What about the old friend who sees your kids for the first time and accounts their good looks to you? What about the friend who knows whether there is anything hiding behind your smile? What about the friend who doesn’t call much but always remembers your birthday?
Friends. Two are better than one. Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls. For he has no one to help him up. Ecclesiastes 4:9. As younger women, it is more of the thrill that keeps us close. We take on the night together with red wine in hand. We throw up our grad caps together. We shop for bridesmaid dresses, lipstick and make wedding plans over lunch. We laugh over pregnant bellies and chipper about when we conceived.
Friends. Something happens just about the time real life starts taking its course. There are so many events that make life real. Most of us are lucky enough to avoid them until several years into the twenties. Things like infertility happen. Things like adultery and death. Things like loneliness or depression. Things like sickness or searching. Things like . . .
At these times, when we go through these things, there is a face staring back at you while you . . . Tell your story. Shed your tears. You are leaning on a friend. She danced with you at eighteen when you were both covered in fairy glitter. But now she is leaving her husband. You are leaning on a friend. You think you lost touch, but she is the first one to send you flowers when your dad passes away. You are leaning on a friend. You thought her marriage was impeccable, but she is humble enough to tell you about how she learned of her husband’s infidelity. You are leaning on a friend.
Friends stick closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24. My kids tell on each other – – sometimes for everything. When my boy whispers something under his breath, my daughter parrot squawks it out for all to hear. Friends seal it shut. My best friend has taken my worst, most regrettable mistakes and shoved them under the thick carpet of her vowed secrecy. When my brother was stabbed, my old high school friend had her husband come home from work to take care of my baby boy so I could go to the hospital. Even if we fight like girls, grab by the pony tail, ring it like a church bell . . . we grab those same shoulders, smack a kiss on a teary cheek and promise to stay for the long, marathon run of this sometimes shocking, scary, but never-alone life. Yes, friends stick closer than a brother.
The sweetness of a man’s friend gives delight by hearty counsel. Proverbs 27:9. Who are your friends? Are they reliable? Tried and True? Do they hold your butt accountable when you seem to have lost your way? Do they mirror the wisdom offered to you by God’s word? Do they sharpen you with equal amounts of conviction and grace?
A friend loves at all times. Proverbs 17a. Are you safe with your friend like you are safe in the presence of your Father? Where do you go to find this kind of friend? Friends. This is where FemmeFuel is going to journey with you during the month of August. Cultivating Friendships. How to be a Friend. How to have a Friend. What does God’s Word say about Friends? Ever been burned by a Friend? Do you have any friends? Do you need a Friend?
Life would be rather dry without Friends. Our gardens might be tidy, but certainly, nothing would be in bloom. Imagine having a dried out rose in your keepsake drawer, but having no sweet memory attached to it. Imagine cleaning up after a dinner party without recalling the good laughs from earlier. Imagine truth without the buffer of love. Or repentance without grace. Friends mean this much. They are like the warm cover over you while you rest. It is no wonder that the greatest commandment is to love one another and that the greatest love is to lay down your life for your friend. John 15:12-13. It is a great honor to have and to be a Friend.