As a person who is often a “people pleaser” and one who always seems to care a little too much about what someone thinks—I’m learning that your greatest teammates, encouragers and BFFS only need to be a few. The few who love you when you aren’t your best. Frankly, when you are your worst.
Thankfully, most (not all) of my greatest friends have roots or connections to my hometown. So even though, this post isn’t “about” my town—its about my people rooted in this special town.
I grew up always wanting to be surrounded by friends. Ask my mom and ask my teachers! I know when I was a little girl I probably wasn’t the greatest friend or the most thoughtful. I also know that just like a lot of middle school/high school relationships—many of them ended. I wish my adult-self could have spoken truth to my younger-self about how to be a good friend.
I’ve always valued my friends and have loved spending time with them. But it wasn’t until recently, that I really understood the depth and appreciation for those friends. What they truly mean to me. The friends that are there when you don’t recognize yourself. Or for that matter, when you can’t recognize your LIFE—and the mess its become. The handful of friends are there— to see it all, to feel it all, and most importantly— to stay.
Recently, while talking to one of my best friends, we discussed one of the worst days of my life. Even though the conversation was hard, and it hurt to relive some of those moments—she said something I’ll never forget. “It was one of the worst days of my life too.”
The depth of a friendship is pretty beautiful in my eyes. It changes as we change. It stands firm or even becomes stronger when life falls short. It mends our hearts when they are broken. It supports us when we have no support of our own left. It can be a 2 minute conversation or multiple hours conversation. It is laughable and fun when life is sweet and has ease. It can be as serious or as simple as the day brings.
It doesn’t stay the same though. And I think that’s the best part.
With all the thoughts of true friendship on my heart lately, I’ve stumbled across a few encouraging resources. The first is a devotional with an excerpt from Scary Close, written by Donald Miller.
“Much of the time I’ve spent trying to impress people has been a waste. The reality is people are impressed with all kinds of things: intelligence, power, money, charm, talent, and so on. But the ones we tend to stay in love with are, in the long run, the ones who do a decent job loving us back.”
The second is a new book I’m reading Nobody’s Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle. It’s a memoir about the beauty of friendship. She says in her introduction:
“…Society changed as our world became more global and high tech, and the simple joy of day-to-day friendship began to fade because everyone is just so busy. So instead we “like” one another’s beautiful filtered photos on Instagram and delude ourselves into believing we have community. But here’s the question: Do we really? Do you have those people who will show up on your doorstep with food and a Kleenex when the hard times come? Is there someone in your life who can look into your eyes and ask if you’re okay when she already knows you’re not? Real friendship requires effort.”
True friendship goes the distance. It makes us better. And its such a beautiful picture of love and grace. And it is something that is much deeper than what meets the eye.
I’m thankful for my handful of friends that know the best and worst of me. Thank you for each and every way you have loved me, stood by me, and reminded me how sweet and special our friendship truly is. You know who you are.
You only need a handful of the truest friends.