This is one of my favorite verses when it comes to friendship and doing life together. From the beginning of time, God knew it was not good for us to be alone. He created us to be together in relationship - with Him and each other. Designed in His image, our need for relationships and community comes from God - who has always been in community - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
I sat across the table from two women this weekend (at a retreat I was speaking at) who had been friends for 60 years!!! They were precious and beautiful inside and out! I wanted to spend the whole day with them listening to thier stories about grade school, family vacations, shopping adventures and everything else they've done together.
I was envious of how they loved each other, how well they knew each other, and how obvious it was that they enjoyed each other. They'd finish each other's sentences when one paused. Their husbands had played football together with a few others that were part of their "group". Now both of them had been widowed and counted on each other for companionship and laughter.
They shared how intentional they've been to make it a lasting priority. It didn't just happen. They've vacationed as families for years. When they were young and had little money, they'd all get together to have a meal while all the kids would play. They have a date to play cards once a week. They have an understanding that if one of them is feeling down, they call the other and say, "Hey, I need to get out of the house." They are there for each other no matter what. I told them how much I admired their friendship.
My friend Aimy was with me, and we talked about how different our generation is - how busy we are, how much we depend on technology over person-to-person contact, how much less our busy generation values time together with friends just talking and having fun. We smiled and told them that in January we'd started getting our families together once a month for dinner and games. Then we laughed and said we hope we live long enough to be friends for sixty years!
Today I thought about them and wondered if there will be anyone in my life that I will know for 30, 40 or 50, much less 60 years. What friend will be able to finish my sentences when I am seventy or eighty years old? Who will know me better than I know myself?
This kind of friendship is a rare treasure. But if I want that treasure in my life, I am the only one who can pray for it, look for it and nurture it. I am the worst about letting life get filled up with tasks that take up all my time and leave me too tired to get together with friends. But I know God did not create me to be a human "doing". I am a human being and part of that means "being" with my girlfriends. Even if it means we get together for lunch during our busy work day, or meet to plan our menus for the week, do laundry at one of our houses, clean out each others closets, or go run errands together. It's a start - maybe a road trip to the grocery store with my girlfriend is just what I need!
Jesus' final prayer for His friends reflected His heart's desire for us to be closely connected with each other, "that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you" (John 17:21).
Girl Talk. Talk is at the heart of women's friendships, the core of our connections . So, let's talk here about ways to get intentional as girlfriends - traveling together both inwardly and outwardly. It's not easy, I know. So, I'd love to hear your thoughts, questions, struggles and stories about your friendship journey. Together we can encourage each other with lessons we've learned along the way in looking for and being a good friend. Click on the word "comments" below to share.
© 2008, Renee Swope. All rights reserved.