Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The perfect Friend.

Let’s be women who no longer compare and compete, but celebrate and complete our friendships…with the unique offering we bring.
~~Renee Swope



I've been blessed in my life with many friends.

Some are constant, some are seasonal, and some are new.

I know the importance of friends.
How their love and closeness can wrap you up in a warm blanket when it seems the cold world is engulfing you.
How the giving and receiving of ones self within the friendship can nourish your soul.


Jesus Himself had friends around Him most of the time,
even though He was the perfect entity of a relationship within Himself.
He knew the importance of friendship...

John 15:12-15
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.



It was my Senior year of highschool, and a group of us stood in a corner of the hallway.
In just a few short days, we would all stand on stage and receive our diplomas.

My long curly haired friend stood holding six little bracelets made of beeds and stretchy rope in her hands.

She handed us each one, as we all looked on intently, tears swelling up within our eyes.

We all placed the bracelets over our hands and around our wrists.

We vowed within that small space in the corner of the hallway to forever be friends joined by one common bond, our love for Christ.

Our smiles lit up that quiet corner.
Time stood still as we clenched our hands together in agreement.

No questions were asked, no doubt spoken.

We knew...
that friends were friends forever if the Lords the Lord of them.


That moment was over two decades ago,
and I can count on one hand how many times I have seen those friends since graduation.

Our lives took roads that didn't necessarily intertwine with one another.

But...
I still have that little beaded bracelet on the stretchy rope.

When I come across it from time to time,
I am reminded of that day and those words and my sweet friends.

I am reminded that He is still Lord of all of us.

I am reminded that we are still friends.

It's not our common grounds that make us friends, or the careers that we have chosen, or the house that we live in, or the way we each parent our children, or the way we speak or live...

it's Him.

He is forever constant in all of us,
because He is that common ground we stand on.

He is that forever Friend.

The perfect Friend.

Our faith does not lie in who we each are, but in who He is.


Too many times,
we put our faith in people.


Then,
when something goes wrong, or we disagree, and hurtful words are spoken,
our worlds come crashing down around us.


We expect perfection from imperfect people.


Sometimes, more often than none...
we expect perfection from ourselves and we allow the disappointment in ourself to keep us from moving forward into a friendship.

This one thing, will stop us from opening up to others and growing in the relationships that God has ordained for us.


Only Jesus gives us never-disappointing, always-fulfilling friendship and support.



I've realized as a woman,
that our worst enemy in friendship is our comparison to one another.
There seems to always be a competition brewing.
Envy and jealousy steal joy from our hearts.
This causes us to give less of ourself than God would have us give.

If we are constantly trying to live up to one of our friends, or act like them, or be who they are,
then we are not being who we are supposed to be, or living out our God destined purpose.


God doesn't want you to be a reflection of your friend or someone else,
He wants you to be You, a reflection of Him.



How boring would it be if we were all the same?
If we spoke the same and reacted the same and had all of the same views and dreams.
It would be like living on a planet of robots...
not living breathing spiritual beings.


We were all created by a perfect Creator in our own perfect way,
bringing our something special and unique into a relationship that needs it.



I want to be comfortable and secure enough in who I am and who I am not,
that I don't hold back on the giving of myself in a friendship.


I want to be that friend who loves at all times,
 encouraging and supporting with my words and my time.


I want to be content in my imperfect relationships...
so that His perfection is all that we see.


I want to be the best friend that I can be,
and leave the rest up to Him.



I found this little list on a blog I read the other day about friendships.
I thought it was appropriate for today's post.

It's a challenge to be a great friend allowing Jesus to shine in and through us.
I am going to do my best to live up to each thing on this list.
I want to take care of those friendships that God has given me, and do it well.

Are you up for it?


A Manifesto for You, Friend

I will be a safe place. I won’t share your confidences.

I will talk about you behind your back, and I will use words that build you up and show you off.

I will defend your reputation rather than contribute to its demise.

I will show humility through encouragement, and do my best to let my actions reflect the way Jesus sees you.

I will allow a united spirit of completion rather than a divisive spirit of competition enter our friendship.

I will pray for you when you ask me to.

I will be accountable and trustworthy ~ my yes is a yes.

I will be for you and not against you, even when what I say may sting a bit.

I will be there to share in both hard and good, to divide the sorrow and double the joy.

I will give your kids extra grace when they are ornery in front of me. And when they are having a moment, the only thought I’ll entertain is it must be your turn for the hard day. Yesterday was mine. And probably tomorrow, too.

I will forgive you when you make a mistake. While I can’t control how you behave towards me, I can control how I behave towards you. And I’ll do my level best to err on the side of grace and love. Because heaven knows I need to receive it as much as I need to give it.



I will bring you chocolate cake, or anything in the chocolate family,  when you are sad or hormonal.
(Okay, that one I added myself.)



If there is something that you would like to add to the list,
please leave it in the comment section below.




God, I thank you for all of the friendships you have allowed me to enjoy, whether they be past, present or future.
Let me see that special gift that each person has and is bringing into my life.
Help me to not hold them responsible for my feelings or worth, for that is a burden not meant for them to bare.
I want to see You and represent Your love in all of my friendships.
May I always be reminded that You alone are the perfect Friend.



Call a friend today and remind them why they are special to you.

Have a blessed day!
.


8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Angie. I love and appreciate you so very much! :-)

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  2. AWESOME!!!!!


    My addition- I will still be your friend even though you do not love to shop. LOL!

    Really, how about- When you come to me, I will always take your side. I will always have your back. I will love you even when you are really hard to love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! I laughed out loud on the first part of your comment. I love you for loving me inspite of my shopping inabilities. :-)
      I will love you even when you are really hard to love...yes!! That is good!

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  3. Nothing other than our relationship with God is more character building and important than true friendship. Thanks for reminding me of that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are right Lana. Thanks for being such an honest and true friend. Love ya!

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  4. Wow!!! True friendship is felt with the heart!!! You are that kind of friend and soo much more!!! I love you Tammy Stelly!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love you too Louisa Beard...you are my heart!! :-) Thank you for reading!

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