l'amitié {friendship}

The best kind of friend is the one you could sit on a porch with, never saying a word, and walk away feeling like that was the best conversation you've had.
Author Unknown

Today after having coffee with a dear friend, I was inspired to write this post. Friendship is something that I cherish deeply and is something that I need. I have been blessed with the most amazing friendships. I have wonderful friendships that come from every phase of my life...high school, college and adulthood through business and ministry. The friendships I appreciate the most are the ones where maybe we haven't spoken or seen each other in weeks, months, maybe even years, but once we meet up for a phone call, Skype chat or coffee it is like we haven't skipped a beat. These are the friends that I can tell pretty much anything to...the ones that know me the very best...the ones that laugh when I laugh and cry when I cry. These kind of friendships often take time to bloom and then sometimes there is an instantaneous connection.

Being in the ministry the past 12 years, we have moved A LOT and every time, I'm faced with a decision...will I put myself out there and make new friends or keep to myself. It's not easy for me to put myself out there because I am more of an introvert. I'm not the life of the party personality...I'm more on the quiet, reserved side. For those of you who know me well, you know when I get nervous or excited I get these lovely red splotches...all over my neck and chest, but I've had to force myself to move out of my comfort zone and meet new people...red splotches and all! It is either that or live a life of isolation...which, the latter is just not an option for me. 

Girls have often asked me how I have such deep friendships. Well, I made the decision years ago to surround myself with those who have the same interests, beliefs and passions as I do...those that are wise & will not just tell me what I want to hear all the time, but those who will sometimes tell me what I need to hear. Those that will intercede in prayer for me when I'm going through a rough patch. 

Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.
Proverbs 13:20 (The Message)

I've surrounded myself with fools during portions of my life (mostly my teenage years :)) and those friendships didn't go so well. I'm sure you can relate. So, those friendships I will stay close enough that I can hopefully make some sort of difference in their life, but stay far enough away that they don't influence me.  That may sound harsh, but the above verse is so very true. Tell me who your friends are & I can usually tell you who you are. 

One big factor in the deep friendships that I have cultivated is that I try to be the best friend that I can be. I fall short in many areas (believe me), but I learned a long time ago that you can't expect someone to be a friend to you if you aren't a friend to them. Treat people how you want to be treated.  I also realize that I can't expect friendships to just fall in my lap, but I do have to seek them out and like anything, I have to make an effort.

Maybe you've been deeply hurt by a friend...I've been there...but, don't allow that to have an impact on what the rest of your life is going to look like.  Even though it's scary...life requires risks...so, take a risk today. Is there someone you've been wanting to invite over or ask to go grab a cup of coffee?  Ask! You never know the friendship that is in store for you if you will just take that first step. 

To all of my friends...I love you and appreciate you more than you could ever know.  Words could never express my appreciation for you.  xoxo

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