How does one describe the blessing of a sister, one of my closest friends, who can be counted on daily to encourage and support. To understand without judgement. To offer advice without pretense. To join together with six children between us, serving them macaroni and cheese and finding a quiet moment as they eat, to breathe deep and know that not only are we not alone. That we have a comrade to walk this crazy mothering path with... side by side.
Or the beautiful relationship...the deep friendship...found within my marriage? A friendship that stands the test of time, and perseveres in the face of stress and ugly days and ungraceful moments. A friendship and relationship that refines my heart and teaches me lessons about humility, selflessness, grace and forgiveness. A person who loves me so dearly and fully and wholly, a person who forgives so unrelentingly that I know it is a reminder of the grace of God. I love how our relationship teaches us not just about ourselves, and each other, but shows us more fully the face of God.
Or the two sweet gals I still see from high-school. We have now been friends for twenty...I must say that again...20 years! And even though our lives move in very different directions at times, we come together for an appetizer or a glass of wine and laugh about our younger selves and laugh about our parenting lives. We laugh about how wildly crazy it is that we have aged, and grown into our thirties and are still gathering to talk about it.
And the friend, who currently lives 400 miles away, but who understands me so completely that we swear that our dysfunctional and shady family trees must lead to a point that shows we are somehow related. She buys her clothes in the "tall" section and I in the "petites". I like to joke that I was created from the leftover fabric after God was finished with her. He liked her so much, in all of her quirkiness, that he created me. Then, through a weaving of jobs and random moves to small towns in Massachusetts, He knit us back together and I am forever thankful.
There are others...the women who have come into my life for short seasons, or who are more casual friends or acquaintances but we meet at MOPS, or at fondue restaurants for girls nights. Their stories, their grace, their lives too...serving as a reminder that we are not alone on this path that we walk.
Friendship. Fellowship. The intimate tangle of practical life and spiritual growth. The comfort of knowing we're all in this together.
Friends = One of Life's Greatest Gifts
This post is part of 5 Minute Friday- a place where hundreds come together to write for 5 minutes about a new word each week, hosted by the lovely Lisa-Jo Baker.