What does a good friend look like? For me, it looks like time spent together. It looks like flexibility, calling an hour before I'd like to meet. It looks like conversations ranging from what's for dinner, to the study of Isaiah, to if Christians could possibly adopt all of the "unwanted" children in the world (I put that in quotes because I firmly believe every child is wanted by AT LEAST the Creator, God).
Last week I was sick and just super tired. My friend offered to watch my girls. Every day. For hours. And fed them lunch. Every day. After the first day I didn't even pretend to pack a lunch. I would just drop them off. Or, she would pick them up. All this just as she was preparing to go on a trip. She was always quick to reassure me that it did really help her as well, her kids had something to do so she could accomplish things for her trip. And then I'd show up for lunch. And she'd feed me and we'd talk and she'd let me just droop in a chair while she took care of everyone. For a week. That is a good friend to me.
I have gone through seasons where I have more friends and less. I think I'm more of a few close friends kind of girl. I'll admit I'm not good at staying in touch. I don't hang out with people I've known for decades (I don't really "know" anyone from other decades) and I missed my high school reunion. I'm an investor in those I have around me when they are around me. I don't find fault for this, it's just the type of friend I am.
I'm more of a talker. A prayer. A "call me or text me any time day or night" friend. I'm not great at cooking meals. I'm not really the best at watching other's kids. But if you are going through something, I'll back you. I'll encourage you. I'll be the one cheering you on. That's the way I know how to be a good friend.
This friend who cared for me so well last week? Years ago, we had a really bad falling out. Really bad. Really painful. Not one you'd think, oh, well, I'll get over that. I thought it was broken. And then I prayed. I offered forgiveness and asked the Lord to help me forgive. And our friendship has been a beautiful picture of redemption. The Lord took something that — if I'd talked about it at the time — people would have said, "End this friendship! There is nothing there!" and turned it into something beautiful and sustaining for me. That's the beauty of God's work.
Wherever you are on the spectrum of how you love on your friends, I want to encourage you to keep up with them. Do not throw out relationships that are hard at the moment but maybe have years behind them. Seek forgiveness and resolution where needed. I urge you, take time away if you need, but then go back. Offer forgiveness. Ask the Lord to restore and redeem.
May you be blessed by your friends today, and be a blessing in return.