What Kind of Friend are You?

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 (NLT)

There are three types of special friends: friends who are like family, new friends that are fast becoming good friends, and friends who no matter what will always be.

I am blessed to have all three. Recently I held a book signing and needed help with the event. My friends who are like family, not only stayed the entire time to help, but also celebrated this monumental day with me. Never in my life had I experienced anything that moved me so completely. For so long I had erected and fortified walls to keep from getting hurt. These wonderful people helped me knock them down and stepped over the rubble to heal my heart.

We always want friendships like this, but too often we have to get our hearts hurt before we find it. So we erect walls, which not only don’t let people in, but also don’t allow us to reach out.  I encourage you to open your heart. You may be hurt again, but I guarantee you will find love. And when you do give people your heart gently take theirs as well.

And my new friends blew me away by their support and excitement. Our mutual interests introduced us, but our spirits have drawn us together. There is a peace and a joy that emanates from these people that is nothing short of beautiful. I was humbled by their support and can only see a blossoming of friendship that can only be described as a gift.

New friendships can be easy to form but difficult to foster within the busyness of life. But I encourage you to identify those who share a spirit of commonality with you and take a step toward friendship. It means sometimes moving beyond our comfort zone, exploring new interests, extending your soul.  You will discover some amazing people who will light up your world.

And then there are my friends who will always be. No matter the distance between visits or phone calls, we pick up right where we left off. Life becomes busy and we are less than vigilant in staying in contact, but grace keeps us connected on a level higher than our humanity. And when a milestone event takes place in our lives, we are there for each other.

The common thread that draws me together with so many friends is Christ. Jesus said, “No greater love has a man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” My friends didn’t lay down their lives, but they did put down their schedules, their afternoon, their ToDo lists.

We need to make our friends a priority. It may mean planning coffee in advance. It may mean rearranging the calendar so that an important event is celebrated. It may mean dropping everything and rushing to a friend’s side during a difficult time.

After the day wound down I asked myself if I am the kind of friend mine are to me. I think I am; I pray I am. So I ask you: what kind of friend are you? If you haven’t been the kind of friend you would like to be, remember each day is a new day to start fresh. Love on everybody, encourage people, bring joy and laughter into others’ lives. Be the kind of friend you want to have and I can guarantee you will be blessed with many.