Friday, January 24, 2014

i don't need a parachute

Hello friends. 

I got to spend the weekend serving at church with our youth. My best friend came down to serve as well, so she stayed with me Sunday night. By then we were dead exhausted. The kind of exhausted where she's emotionally drained and I'm getting snippy, and we both know the other well enough to not push. 

Even when we are too tired to do anything but sleep, I am so grateful for my best friend because she is a forever friend. If my memory is correct, the Lord gave her that realization first. (Not that when you first meet someone, you actually define them as a “friend for now” or a “friend forever,” but you often know pretty quickly if this is someone who will fade away when the circumstance that brought you together is history.)

A forever friend- Someone who has and will be there for you no matter what; someone who knows anything and everything about you and still likes you; someone who has and will continue to love you through the good times and the bad.

Forever friends don't come around very often. The Lord only blesses us with a few bestest friends who become and remain forever friends. Any friendship requires mutual intentionality. Friendship is a commitment that ebbs and flows depending on the season of life we are in (source). 

Friendship is a necessity in my life, and I'm betting it is in your life, too. Friendship isn't optional or occasional or when it's convenient. No, friendship is necessary and continual and unconditional and mutual. 

Notice I said "mutual". Friendship is a two-way street. One person cannot be continually giving without receiving, and one person can't continually receive without giving. It just doesn't work. That isn't a good, healthy foundation for a friendship; so it is no place upon which to build a forever friendship. 

We need friends to keep us accountable. 
Friends who will tell us when we're wrong. 
Friends we can call and/or text in uncertainty. 
Friends that will pray at a moment's notice, with or without being asked. 
Friends who share what God is doing in their lives and ask us what He's doing in ours. 
Friends who point you to God before voicing their own opinions. 
Friends who refuse to let you stay the same- instead, they challenge you and encourage you.
 Friends to be honest and frank with.
 Friends to wrap you up when you're hurting. 
And even friends to smack you when you're being silly.  

We need to BE friends. 
We need to be honest and gentle if the other is wrong, and hear them out when they tell us we are the one who is wrong.  
We need to answer their calls and/or texts with love and concern.
We need to pray at a moment's notice, with or without being asked. 
We need to share what God's doing in our lives and ask what He is doing in theirs. 
We need to point them to God. 
We need to let them make their own choices and mistakes- like they let us. 
We need to challenge and encourage. 
We need to offer love and comfort when they're hurting.
And occasionally a good headsmack. 

Forever friends mean you get to continue through life's messiness and shakiness with someone by your side. Forever friends mean adjusting schedules and making time for one another. Forever friends mean flexibility and enjoying the moment. Forever friends mean getting through a rough patch in the friendship because you are both willing to fight for the friendship. Forever friends mean being intentional about catching up, asking what to pray for/how has God answered a specific prayer, how a certain situation is going, and so on. 

Fight for those forever friends. Jesus gave you each other for multiple reasons. After all, "Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:  If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

"A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need." Proverbs 17:17 

"The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense." 
Proverbs 27:9 

"As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

"Love one another with brotherly affection." Romans 12:10

"When life comes rushing at you out of the darkness who will you choose to face it with? 
Will it be someone you trust? 
Will they be wise? 
And will their love for you help them to guide you to the light, or will they lose their way in the darkness? 
Will they make noble choices? 
Or will that person be untested, someone new? 
Life comes rushing at you from out of the darkness. When it does, is there someone in your life you can count on – someone who will watch over you when you stumble and fall, and in that moment, give you the strength to face your fears alone?"
 -Lucas, One Tree Hill

xo, bethany

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