“I see your true colours shining through, I see your true colours, and that’s why I love you… so don’t be afraid, to let them show.” – Cindy Lauper
Friendship has been one of those areas of life that I do not want to live without. I once heard a sermon that said, “Friendship is a one way street”. He was expressing that sometimes we are a friend to someone who may not be a friend to us. To be a friend is to love sacrificially and with their best interest at heart. That is tough to do because we are constantly looking at what is good for me, or what can I get out of this, or how can I be pleased today. What?! You want me to put someone else first? I have had many moments of stupid resentment because a friend hasn’t called or checked in or initiated spending time with me. But as I write this and reflect on what I think a true friend is, I realize that I have it all wrong when I put the focus on the other person. I cannot control them. I can love them.
The sermon guy went on to say, “but if you find someone who will be a friend back to you, consider yourself blessed.” Mutual encouragement. In the last couple of years I have began to see that some of my best friendships have been a beautiful balance of give and receive, carrying each other’s burdens and carrying our own load, pursuing growth and connection, and getting through the hills and valleys of life alongside someone else. I know not all my relationships are like this, in fact, I’m ok that some of them are more me showing love than receiving it… but when I do find one that is mutual, man do I cling to it.
We’re getting close to Thanksgiving and I realize that I am thankful for friendships. Throughout the many hills and valleys of singleness, good friendships have been essential. They give the opportunity to put someone else ahead of yourself when you can get stuck in self-centeredness. They sharpen you as you realize where there’s relationship, there’s conflict. Friendships give you a place to love with boundaries. I love showing love through a variety of ideas and thoughtfulness… friendship has been wonderful for me to just unleash the encouragement that wells up inside me. A note, a treat, a coffee, a hug… in friendship, I can “just be” myself.
To my many friends reading this, I love you dearly and hope you know that.