Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Spelling Out Friendship

 The Oxford Dictionary defines a friend as : a person who feels mutual affection and regard for another; a helper; a person who is not an enemy.(source)

I have lots of friends, but only a few "good" friends, and only one "best" friend. What's the difference? There are many different kinds of friends. In fact when I Googled "kinds of friends" there were so many different lists and categories, if I listed them all, I'd have to write a short book on that subject alone. So I just cut it down to 3 catagories:
1: Acquaintances, friends of friends, co-workers, etc. The one thing that separates this kind of friend from a good friend is the lack of being totally transparent with each other. We tend to put on a happy face for these kind of friends or at least hold back our true feelings and/or don't share our personal life experiences. We may enjoy doing things with them or just a brief conversation at the store or church events. These friends come and go and we may have many of them at one time. Loss of this kind of friendship causes very little to no disruption in one's life.
2: Good friends. These friends we love spending time with. We may talk to them online or text them, maybe go out to lunch or shopping now and then. Good friends often turn into best friends. The more time we spend with these friends, the more we share personal things in our lives. There is often a time where we test the trust-ability and honesty of this friendship. If this friend appears really interested in you and you in her, the relationship can grow dramatically. Sometimes a good friendship lasts only for a brief time, especially if one friend moves away, changes jobs, starts a family, etc. or anything that may require more of their time This kind of friendship, when lost, can be sometimes upsetting for one or both of the friends. This kind of a friend is missed, especially when there is an abrupt separation from each other. Eventually new "good" friends can be found, but it does take time.
3: Best friends. These kind of friends are rare and usually long-lasting (often life-long). This friendship is not based on distance, situations, or life experiences. She will be by your side, no matter what happens, and if needed, meet in a moment's notice. A best friend is one who understands you better than anyone else.  She may even have a premonition or predict what her friend's thoughts or actions will be. Best friendships do sometimes end, but if they do, it is usually devastating for one or both. Because these friends have been so transparent with each other and for so long, there is a history of many memories and experiences with this friend that no other friends share with each other.

Friends do have such a great influence on our lives. I can truly say that without my girlfriends, life would not be bearable on many days. 

Friends have gotten me through so many hard times. They have encouraged me, made me laugh when I was down, and shared some fun times with me. I have spent some good times with some of my "good" friends recently. It has been good for my heart and my mind and I hope they feel the same. I appreciate these friends SO much, especially lately!

Some of my "good" friends have recently changed status'. One of those friends got a new job and didn't need my friendship any longer, so the time we spent together abruptly came to an end. This was a sad event for me, as I had enjoyed spending time with her. But, I have come to realize that, just as she has moved on, so must I, knowing that because I got to know her, my life was brightened, if only for a time. 

Another "good" friend has recently become more dear to me. We meet just about every week for lunch, shopping, or church events. We have been friends for nearly a year and have grown deeper in  sharing personal life experiences with each other. Because of these experiences and close sharing, I could see this friend turning into a best friend one day. Only time will tell.

Unfortunately, my "best" friend lives a few hours away from me and works full-time, so we don't get to see each other real often. That doesn't affect our friendship, though. We have been friends for almost 30 years! When we get together, it's like time stood still from the last time we met. God has always provided, though. When I can't see my best friend, a good friend almost always is there to encourage and support me! 

I hope I can be as good of a friend to these women in my life as they have been to me!  
That's the great thing about good or best friendships! They're almost always reciprocated!

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A wonderful example of friendship in the Bible is that of David and Jonathan. Jonathan's father Saul was David's enemy (although David was not his) but this did not stop Jonathan from being a loyal friend. The Bible says that their souls were knit together and that all that Jonathan had to protect himself he took off and gave to David. He was there for David until the end and David was there for his friend even after Jonathan died. He made certain that Jonathan's children were provided for. (See 1 Samuel Chapter 18)

Another friendship that comes to mind is that of Ruth and Naomi. Ruth was Naomi's daughter-in- law but she was her friend as well. Why else would she say that she would go wherever Naomi would go and that Naomi's God would be her God? Ruth was willing to forsake everything she knew in order to be with her friend. (See The Book of Ruth Chapter 1)

The person who is recorded to be the greatest friend of all time is of course Jesus Christ. He gave His life for His friends and He advised that no greater love hath any man than that he lay down his life for his friends (John Chapter 15 verses 12-14)


 Spelling out Friendship:  Copied from "Franspiration"


“F” is for forgiveness. I believe that when you are truly friends with someone, you are free to make the occasional mistake. With mistakes, there is sometimes anger, sadness, hurt and, hopefully, discussion. After the discussion, if the friendship is true, there should be Forgiveness.


“R” is for respect. Friends are really important to me! They Love you for who you are, they trust you with their deepest secrets . Everyone needs somebody to respect and trust.


“I” is for inspiration. My friends always inspire me to do more and to try hard. I hope I do the same for them.


“E” is for encouragement. My friends always encourage me to be a better person. They also encourage me to keep spreading Love and Gratitude! There is a beautiful quote that fully explains this point. This quote says: ”Keep your face to the sunshine and you can never see the shadow.” - Helen Keller


“N” is for nice. Your friends will treat you with kindness. There is no need for excessive drama or for being mean. Friends should treat each other nicely.


“D” is for Doesn’t give up on me (my friends). When I have a problem or a challenge to take, they are always by my side.They will never give up on me an vice versa.


“S” is for support. For me, this word is one of the keys of any friendship. It has happened to me a lot of times this year, that I needed the support of my friends and they were there for me… Sending me beautiful messages, phone calls, etc.


“H” is for happiness. Happiness is a great gift.  Enjoying happy times through Christian friends is one of the best things God provides for us, as friendship is immeasurable.


“I” is for ingredient. Friends are one of the most important ingredients in this recipe of life.


“P” is for platonic Love. Platonic Love is very much a part of any close friendship. But such a Love does not always stay platonic. In marriage it turns into passionate Love. Crossing that line, between friendship and Love, can be both beautiful and extremely difficult.

Today, I'm so thankful for my friends!
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Counting my gifts with the September Joy Dare:
3 Gifts Autumn
928. Mums!! Colorful mums!
929. Warm, breezy days.
930. Cool evenings.

3 Gifts Growing
931. Growing close friendships
932. Life-long memories
933. Continuing to grow in Christ, even when it's not easy

3 Gifts Given
934. A new journal book, given to me by my friend.
935. A beautiful mug, given as a gift for my birthday.
936. The dear friendships I have made throughout my life.

A gift made, masked, marveled:
937. Made - A net window decor, filled with seashells we've collected at different beaches through the years of vacations.
938. Masked - The masks can come down. We don’t have to pretend with Him. He knows everything, and He loves us anyway. How cool is that?(source)
939. Marveled - Psalm 71:17  "Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds."

3 Gifts Framed
940. My hope is built on nothing less
        Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
        I dare not trust the sweetest frame
        But wholly lean on Jesus’ Name
        – Verse 1 of The Solid Rock

941. Family photos!
942. A favorite picture, asking for God's blessing upon our home.

3 Gifts Moving
943. The movement of the water out my window...such beauty in the ripples made on the lake.

944. Leaves on the trees, rising and falling with the wind.
945. The sun, rising in the morning, ushering in a new day!

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