What do biblical David, Chandler Bing from Friends and Harry Potter have in common?
Really great friends.
It used to be that anytime I crossed the UW campus, attended a friend’s birthday or a community event, or even went shopping in Daiso in the International District, I would constantly run into people I knew. I was the bubbly, friendly girl that had a wide circle of acquaintances and friends. As I grew older, it no longer matter how many FB friends I had or how many people I knew. What mattered was me knowing who my true friends were. Notice how I didn’t say how many.
Friends make or break you:
“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24 (NIV)
Don’t you notice how people who are similar hang out together? Or is it that people who hang out together become more similar? Who you surround yourself is so incredibly important. Either the friends you have will steer you to a path where you can become a better you and a person you were called to be or they will lead you to make decisions that you will regret with lasting consequences.
At this point of my life, I am beyond grateful for the close friends I have in my life. Acquaintances have come and gone, and in the past, I have had to leave toxic friendships behind because we were no longer cheering on and bettering one another but on the contrary, we were breaking each other down. However, those who have remained in my life are people I deeply care about and vice versa, for it is a two-way relationship.
Friends inspire, encourage and strengthen you:
Sometimes, you and your friends can be in different seasons and points in your life. When you are down, they pull you up; whether with time, resources, food or a listening ear, they remind you that you are stronger than you think.
Or when they have hit the mountain tops and are on cloud 9, celebrate with them and their achievements! Inspire and encourage one another to chase dreams and always believe in possibility!
Of course, if you guys have both hit cloud 9, it’s an all-around good time!
Friends give you an honest critique:
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
Friends tell you the honest truth even if it’ll hurt because in the long run, honesty is what keeps us together and what helps us to grow as people. It might not always be the easiest thing to say or hear but honesty is integral to the friendship.
Honesty isn’t the dessert, it’s the main course! Meaning, if your friendships aren’t based on being honest with one another then what is the point? The best part of friendships is that they tell you what is hard to hear but it comes from a place of love and care. It may hurt like a thousand stinging bees but at least it’s all done in a safe place (okay, not so good analogy). It’s like the bitterness of medicine that works to make you better! (…much better analogy 🙂 )
You may fight but there is always forgiveness:
“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another,forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
When you are close and intimate to people, you are bound to clash. This is all part of sharing life and growing closer together. Sometimes friends disagree and fight, and that is okay.
A very dear old friend of mine was upset with me and rightly so, because I had booked a last-minute trip, which would cause me to miss some major life events happening in her life. I had been going through a life crisis and uncharacteristically from my usual routine, responsible persona, chose to run halfway across the world to find myself, and all the while out-rightly breaking work responsibilities, engagements and the role of the good friend.
I felt terrible. Terrible beyond words. But when we finally talked again, what she told me broke me down into tears on the curbside: Go, she said. After all these years of knowing you and how you stress out all the time about everything, you need to go. Go be more spontaneous and more irresponsible.
She forgave me but not just that, she cheered me on. That day, I felt like the luckiest person in the world.
Celebrate your friends:
As we get older and life gets busier, remember to be intentional and upkeep your community. Relationships take time. So take the time to plan a meet-up, call them, email them and let them know that you are thinking about them. Don’t look back on the years and regret wasting them away. True friendships are one of those gifts in life that cannot be bought or replaced with money or thought but not action, and it is built with time.
To my dear friends, thank you for always being by my side and for being one of my greatest pillars in this life that God has given me.
Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy this time with loved ones and remember to give thanks for all that is good and wonderful in your life – there is so much to be grateful for!