Most of us are blessed with friends throughout the various seasons of our life. People we hang out with. People we eat dinner with. People we laugh with. People who will meet us for coffee, help us move, send us an encouraging text, make a meal when we have babies…people who just show up. Friends.
Then sometimes in a random season of our life, we meet more than a friend. We meet that person. The one who stops long enough to really hear our story. The one who actually prays when we ask her to pray. The one who thinks we’re funnier than we actually are. The one who follows up on the details of our life. The one who loves our kids even when they’re nuts. The one who gets us. These friends are rare. These friends are special. These friends are to be cherished.
Three years ago, I didn’t even realize I was meeting one of these friends. At a routine residency retreat brunch, the girl across the table and I realized that we both had two little boys about the same age and had both just moved into the same neighborhood, living only a half a mile apart from each other. She looked across the table and said, “Let’s just be friends, okay?” My reply, “Okay!”
In that moment, a friendship began far beyond what either of us had expected. Here we were two grown women…mothers, wives…with lives full of the caring of our little families. Yet, there was space in our lives for that friend. We found understanding in each other’s companionship. We found a common faith connection…often discovering that what God was doing in one of our hearts mirrored what He was doing in the other’s heart. We just got each other.
We listened to each other. We encouraged each other. We spoke the truth to one another when no one else was brave enough to say what we needed to see. We brought each other meals. We dropped off ice cream and candy on the worst days. We borrowed each other’s movies. Our kids played in each other’s backyards.
As the years have passed, we have seen each other through some of the most unexpected turns life has thrown each of us. Some moments of the deepest pain. Some moments of incredible joy. And all the in between moments of everyday life. The moments that are so plain, yet so important to have someone else be witness to. The thousand text messages that have flown through the air mean more than words can even express. Known. Valued. Loved.
In just a month, this friend and her family will move multiple states away. Her husband graduates from the residency in June. They have an exciting next season of their life beginning this summer. We always knew this would come. At the beginning of three years, this point seemed so far off…someday. But now that we’re here, life feels so short. It flies by faster than can be grasped. Friends of the deepest kind move. And we start new seasons of life. New seasons of friendship.
Over the course of my thirty-two years, I’ve been blessed with more than one of these friends. Women who really got me. Women who still walk beside me in life even though we’re thousands of miles apart. Seasons shift, our frequent contact my lessen, but I know that I am known, valued, and loved in these friendships.
If you have one of these friends, take a minute today to tell her how grateful you are for her in your life. Take a minute to take God for giving you such an incredible gift. Don’t take for granted the unique and precious gift of a friend who truly gets you. Call her up for coffee. Make the most of these moments.
If you don’t have one of these friends but long for deeper friendships, start praying. Ask God boldly for friends. Friends who get you. Then go out and be friendly. If you long for meaningful friendships, go be that kind of friend. Invite the new girl and her kids over for a playdate. Ask that couple down the street to come over for dinner in the backyard. Keep an eye out for those who are new, on the fringes, or seem alone. Be the girl across the table who says, “Let’s just be friends, okay?” Be a good friend and at some point you may actually discover that you’ve met a good friend in return.
Life is short. Spend time with those who are valuable in your life. Tell them you love them, appreciate them, and are grateful for them. You never really know when this season will be over. Cherish the now.
That it will never come again
Is what makes life so sweet.